Dallas Steakhouse Review
I was going to put this up on TripAdvisor, but they are not listed and have no website so you can’t add them!
I always like to check out new ventures so when Dallas Steakhouse opened 5 days ago, I arranged a trip with 2 friends.
I was unable to make a booking as there was no web presence, so instead I went in and booked a table for later that night.
Dallas Steak House occupies the premises formerly of Coyote Mexican Restaurant.
Due to traffic, I arrived 10 minutes before my 2 colleagues, and ordered a Coke, as I am off alcohol for a while. I chatted to, what seemed to me, to be the head waitress – she didn’t have the staff uniform on. She had excellent English and it transpired she was from the Philippines, something that is getting more and more common these days. I mentioned how it was always a mystery after placing an order, what you actually get served with in Thailand, due to poor English skills, and joked that at least we wouldn’t have that problem tonight.
My colleagues arrived and we looked at the sparse menu which consisted of 2 sides of A4 only, containing all the starters, appetisers, main courses, side dishes and desserts, but we noticed that the pricing was quite reasonable.
One of my friends ordered 2 Vodka and Tonics and 2 glasses of water, which seemed to confuse the staff, but eventually, came, he then looked at the wine list and ordered a bottle of red wine and two glasses. The waitress came back and said that they hadn’t got that one, so he changed the selection; again that one was out of stock too. Luckily the third choice was available and the waitress came back and showed him the bottle, possibly for clarification… After a few minutes, no wine had arrived, but I saw the waitress wandering about with it in her hand, it became obvious there was a hunt on for a corkscrew! After a good 5 minutes a male waiter appeared with the bottle and a corkscrew, and after some initial problems extracted the cork and proceed to dispense the wine, however a third glass had now appeared, but we prevented him using it.
We ordered the food, 3 starters, and 3 fillet steaks, one medium, and medium rare and with mine I emphasised that I wanted it burnt, extra well done, cooked all the way through and no red bits – assuming the English skills of the waitress would ensure that I got what I wanted. Usually with Thai staff the local term is sook-sook for well done, and I usually, with the graphic help of the fingers of my hand point to each finger in turn saying “sook” five times, this usually works well! An unusual item on the menu was “Seasoned Steak Wedges”, we assumed these were potatoes, but having been “had” many times in restaurants in Thailand, we thought it was prudent to check. The waitress said she wasn’t sure and would ask the chef, she came back and confirmed that they were as we suspected – potato.
The first starter arrived, “Vine ripened tomatoes and mozzarella cheese” well it was mozzarella OK, but the vine ripened tomatoes had changed into slices of green and red tomatoes very similar in size and shape to those that get sneaked into a burger bun. Not impressed, my friend complained to the waitress, who said she would tell the chef, but that was as far as it went.
After a few minutes I saw my mixed salad get to within 10 feet of the table, and then get taken away again, only to reappear a few minutes later. It was very good and sensibly priced. I was just finishing it when the third starter arrived, a well known Thai dish “Deep Fried Crab Cakes”, nicely presented but a good 10 minutes after the first starter had been consumed. The crab cakes turned out to be crab balls, but that really doesn’t make much difference, however it would have been nice to have been served with all the starters at the same time.
Before the crab balls were finished, a plate of roasted vegetables arrived, the accompaniment to one of the steaks, then one portion of “Seasoned Steak Wedges”. My friend finished his crab balls and 3 fillet steaks arrived, 2 with sauces and one without, exactly as ordered and they were placed before us. As they all looked identical, we asked the waiter which was which, he pointed out a medium rare one (ordered without sauce) and that was in front of me with the peppercorn sauce, so we swapped steaks. The one I got didn’t look well done at all, so I looked at the other one, my other friend cut it and said, this is OK, it’s medium. So 2 out of 3 so far, I was a little dubious, basically as all 3 arrived at the same time, not really possible with my extra well done order. The consensus of opinion was to cut it and see. Sadly it was blood red inside.
I was not too happy with my salad moving about the restaurant before I got it. Added to that, the steaks had a good game of musical chairs as well, and I ended up with a steak that needed a GOOD 10 minutes more cooking before it was to my taste. For me this was the limit. As they took it away I decided that by the time I saw it again, everyone else would be finished, so I told them to forget it and get me the bill for the Coke and my salad.
Around 12 minutes later, and after asking 2 more times for the partial bill, I was apologised to by the waiter who told me not to bother to pay, and I left.
I met up with my friends later, who said the steak was excellent, but the overall experience, even with staff outnumbering customers by at least 2:1, was a complete shambles.
Disappointing to hear about this experience but then I'm not surprised, this being Bangkok.
I'm certainly not defending the restaurant here, but I think it's generally accepted that you need to give new restaurants in Bangkok at least a couple of weeks to work through teething issues before reviewing them. New establishments just don't hit the ground running here.
Unfortunately service standards in Bangkok have fallen off a cliff in recent years and in many mid-range places the service is, frankly, quite appalling so while you didn't have a good experience, it was probably no worse than many other similar outlets! Like you said to me in person, when you try the place again in a couple of months it will probably be much better. And hey, let's take something positive out of it, your friends did say the steaks were good!