|The napkin at Jiko|
We arrived at Jiko around ten minutes before our ADR time, and we were seated almost immediately. We learned that the restaurant had the largest selection of South African wines in the world (not that either of us were old enough to drink it), and we were given our menus. Jiko is very romantic, and it is a perfect place for a date night. It's dark but not too dark, and the servers are excellent (or at least ours was). We ordered the Taste of Africa as an appetizer, which is an assortment of breads served with three dipping sauces (one was hummus; I can't remember the other two). We also each ordered the filet with mac and cheese, cooked medium.
The Taste of Africa was excellent. It was so interesting to try the different dipping sauces, and the bread was great. The appetizer was $9, and it was totally worth paying out of pocket, since we were on the dining plan. Then our entrees came out. The first thing I did was taste the mac and cheese, which was awesome. Then I cut my steak open. I had ordered it medium, and it was bright red inside. There is no way to describe it but rare. Honestly, I'd rather them have cook it all the way to well done than eat it rare. I do not like rare meat. I felt bad, but I decided to send it back, and our server was very apologetic. At this point, he brought us little salad appetizers compliments of the chef because of our troubles, but I noticed that many other tables also had that appetizer, also complimentary. Some hadn't even ordered yet, so it couldn't be because of kitchen mistakes. It made me wonder if we were treated differently because we were young, which is not a thought I often have at a place known for it's service like Walt Disney World.
Anyway, my second attempt at the filet came out, and unfortunately, this one turned out to be rare upon cutting it also. I honestly didn't want to delay our dinner any more, so I simply decided I would eat it. This is where Disney service truly shined, however. Our server came by to make sure I was happy with it, and I said I was. I didn't want to bother him with the fact that it was still wrong. But he noticed that it was still bright red inside and tried to convince me to send it back another time. The fact that he was honestly concerned (or at least it sure seemed like it) that I wouldn't enjoy my meal made me a little happier about the situation. I ate the less-rare edges of the filet, and I ate the mac and cheese, but this certainly wasn't the best meal of our trip.
This may be slightly of topic, but many people say Le Cellier shouldn't be going back to two table service credits. I could honestly say that our meal there was 100 times better than our two credit meal at Jiko. The steak there was perfect, and everything was delicious. At Jiko, we were just disppointed. I'm hoping it was just a rough night, and I hope that I do get to try Jiko again in the future. That said, I probably won't be returning for a while. Luckily I'll be trying other signature dining experiences in January.
What do you think about Jiko? Was my experience just a fluke? Is it true that Jiko has been getting more bad reviews lately? What do you usually order at Jiko? Let me know what you think about this restaurant in a comment, on Twitter (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook!