Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Are food quality standards in jeopardy???


Luckily, it's maintained in small towns like Kampar, where you're assured of the yummiest ever claypot chicken rice from this stall, which is rumoured to have started this dish


No food review today, but I thought I would like to bring up a topic that has been bugging me for some time. An incident during the weekend, when the issue reared up again, just brought to my mind, how food quality standards seem to me dropping drastically.

It's not a random incident, as I have been noticing how places, I love to hang out before - the food don't taste the same anymore. I reckon it is the rising prices, as everything has gone up double or even triple fold. Take for instance, butter. The price for my favourite brand, Lurpak has risen to almost RM10 a packet, almost double from before. Makes you rethink baking a cake, nowadays.

I've heard of stories about restaurants that can't be bothered to make proper stocks anymore, as it is just way too expensive. Imagine how much more they will save if they add a pinch of MSG versus adding an extra chicken. Most of these places, don't dare increase prices, as consumers will just run off to another restaurant, hence shortcuts like these are employed instead. Whatever it is, we the customers end up suffering instead.

For today, let us share bad experiences we had at restaurants or even street food places, we always thought we could rely on. I reckon, we need to start a consumer food watch index soon, as standards keep dropping. Maybe it is time to start cooking at home, where we are guaranteed good food.

19 comments:

Jan said...

I totally agree with this topic.Its quite sad, not only the food quality dropped , but after the fuel hike it became even lousier and expensive.I've already boycotted a few of my regular makan places. Staying in melaka , chicken rice ball used to be a cheap and nice food. Now the rice has reduced half its size(it was small to begin with). Price didn't increase but it feels weird when you are eating more chicken than rice. Even the famous popiah is getting smaller in size but bigger in price.
I'm seriously running out of places to eat around here.
Whats worse, I can't cook. :(

Christine Tham said...

Homecook food is always good but occasionally to eat out and enjoy life. Agree that everything goes up and food is no exception. Food sellers have to make a living also, what with everything on the rise, they have no choice but to cut down quality of that food. Ultimately both ends suffer - food vendors lose customers and we, eaters suffer from poor food quality and expensive prices.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

totally agree..alot of prices do not dare raise prices..but it is obvious that either quality or quantity has suffered..one very obvious example is how the korean bbq place i go to; despite going thru major renovations and their place expanding from 1-3 shoplots..the price of their meat is the same but the quantity? lets say the portion is about 3/4 wat it used to be..

Moolah said...

You know, what peeves me off the most is the fact that the majority of food stalls hire foreign workers as cooks. Now I'm not saying that the foreign workers can't cook but the food just tastes different. It's just not authentic anymore!

ling239 said...

something like the KFC bfast i had...
they are trying to compete but prices and quality are just not at par...>.<"

Lauren said...

Cockroach Alert At Bangsar Village!
A place you wouldn't expect to have a cockroach problem but I've come too close to comfort with these creatures to feel comfortable eating food there. Spotted at 2 places:

1) Basil Restaurant
Saw a small to medium sized one crawling along the edge of the table while having dinner here a few months ago and told the management, who apologised profusely and gave us 10% off. Still safe to eat here? Not sure.

2) Hiestland Swiss Bakery (in Village Grocer)
Opened one of their display boxes to reach for a yummy looking multigrain raisin oat loaf and saw 2 cockroaches running along the display case walls - 1 baby one and again 1 small-medium sized one. Will never shop for bread here ever again!

Paprika said...

With rising food costs, one must expect smaller portions if one expects to pay the same price. But what is not okay is drop in food quality and service. At a 5-star hotel Japanese restaurant recently, not only was service pratically none existent, there were bones in the salmon sashimi!

k.t.x said...

hey hey boo, so how was it? so, frm yr opinion kampar food still rawks? i always think so myself. it's something we r proud of and never really trumpet it everywhere (except me, but my publicity is not good enuf, to bring harm/glory? lol!!). did i not mention the claypot rice? yeah, there is one shop which i always goto if i reach kampar late at night...we love this one, but it's basically same same between most claypot rice shops.....hehe.

Nic (KHKL) said...

these days, we need to pay a "premium" to get the normal food that we have been enjoying all this while. and if we are lucky, we'll get back the same thing (with that premium). most of the time, the food just doesnt taste the same anymore...sigh...

pancake said...

i totally agree, i went to for my usual nasi lemak at this "kopitiam" in ikano. not only has the price of the nasi lemak has increased, but the portion has decreased dramatically!! What used to be a, okay i dunno how you call this part, but it's the drumstick joined to the body, is now reduced to a small piece of fried chicken. And the quality, well, it totally sucks, and i'm not going back there ever again!!

I guess it's the same almost everywhere

Lianne said...

luckily my fav Nasi Lemak Bungkus remains the same, in terms of pricing and quality. but its sad for the rest ..

one thing i notice really is, the rice they use. lots of them have substituted them to cheap rice, which were hard and unsatisfying :-(

irresistible said...

yes yes!!! *can u see I'm raising my leg for support of this post * winks.

fuel price rise and everything else seem to go up up and above as well.. only one thing drop. food quality. sad-nya..

CUMI & CIKI said...

i just want to highlight, that in our neighbouring country, Thailand.. you will see that the price of gasoline is pretty high - even higher than Msia. YET, their prices in food and food portions/quality, have hardly changed over the last 5 years? Blame the gov, blame the msian mentality ... whatever. If other countries can get by without being cut-throat , why can't we.

boo_licious said...

Oh noooo, Jan. I didn't think Melaka will also be affected as the places I have tried in Perak so far haven't really been. And, we were just thinking of tripping down to Melaka! Hope you get to find good places soon!

Christine - I do love dining out plus cooking (the best of both worlds I reckon) and I also totally understd the restaurant's dilemma. Sadly, we have to suffer and hopefully not our health too.

Joe - well, it is a spiral effect. Once oil prices go up, everyone raises the price just to make more monies. Cumi & ciki has a very valid pt, how come Thailand can handle it but not us?

moolah - I know that feeling. I once walked into a coffeeshop in Imbi and it was just full of foreign workers instead cooking while their employers read the papers or chit chatted. Needless to say, quality was compromised.

ling239 - that brekkie looked a bit sad. I guess they want to follow the market but don't want to spend on quality food.

lauren - sigh! I hate roaches. Thxs for the tip! I once stood in a restaurant kitchen where there were a few big ones. Took a lot of effort to not scream loudly and make a big scene. Place was a BKT outlet in SS2 - damn scary.

paprika - there is sooo bad! I still can't believe they can do that. Their rep is gone.

ktx - still not edited pixs, took too many but kampar was very worth the long drive, petrol and toll. At the end of the day, I feel a bit happier knowing there are people passionate abt their food!

Nic - I hate that. I don't mind paying premium if I get very good food but not when food just tastes so so. Hence when I am in Spore, I don't complain abt the prices, as I know I get good quality stuff. Here, we seem to get the rejected stuff!

poor pancake...guess it is time to switch nasi lemak stalls!

lianne - rice prices also gone up a lot. Not only that, a lot of places don't get supplies hence they have to look for other sources.

irrestible - hopefully in the long run, it will weed out the bad outlets hence the good ones only survive.

cumi & ciki - I guess they can't let go their profit margins hence they do the increase price thingy, but I do also hear stories abt how supplies for some items are just not available nowadays. The suppliers, just don't want to sell as they don't make monies.

Precious Pea said...

You are sooo right! I actually don't look forward to outside food anymore. In fact, whenever HUbby suggest to eat out, i don't get excited as I used to be. I rather cook at home, cheaper and i get to even bring some to work and that SAVES a lot of money!

boo_licious said...

precious pea - can I also tumpang makan???

Boon Chuan said...

Even the raw material to prepare food is replaced by the low quality stuff. Previously we seldom heard of 15% broken rice but now its a norm in all hypermarkets.

szu yie said...

I really think that restaurants and cafes use cheap stuff nowadays. Unfortuately as living away from parents makes it a little harder to cook at home during weekdays, i try to go to places i can trust. I go to Bangsar Village quite often and I agree that they have a cockroach problem. I used to visit the Bakerzin place there and I saw a cockroach when i was having dinner a few months back. The manager was trying to explain to me that they washed their kitchen everyday, to the extent of moving everything out of place and putting it back, but i didnt believe him. Then i expressed similar problems with delish (which is much worse and a totally waste of money) and basil. Since then I have been embarrased everytime i passed the outlet and saw the manager there...shy...:(

keira.owen said...

I was working at Bakerzin (now called Oriels)for about 10months but I left in July to head to perth as my mother and sisters decided to go there. Helps when we have a PR...anyway, I was sad to leave Oriels coz the chefs and owners were so focused on using quality ingredients and always wanted food to be cooked the right way. I agree totally that alot of restaurants use cheap and unhealthy ingredients and having worked in a kitchen, i tend to be a lot more picky when eating out. i was told that delicious actually uses compound chocolate...not even the real stuff..errr..The Oriels/Bakerzin people there were so into quality that rumour, when I was working there, has it that they told the singapore company to stuff it since they couldnt get their quality control issues in order. Thus the lack of cakes and thus the closure of Bakerzin. We were not allowed to mention much as there were legal issues, so they told us.. Its hard to find good places to eat but the Oriels owner once mentioned that there is a korean place in hartamas that's very good. Dae jang jing...i think..but its quite expensive.. havent tried.

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