Popular Mt Eden restaurant Molten has hit back at a group of disgruntled diners, responding to their Zomato post by "reviewing them as guests" on Facebook.
A patron, known on peer review website Zomato as "Irish Eyes", rated Molten a measly 1.5 "poor" for "the worst dining experience ever!"
The casual dining bistro had previously received 20 reviews on Zomato with an average of 3.8 out of 5.
In Irish Eyes' first Zomato review, they wrote:
"... my Chicken main course was very salty! It was supposed to have been wrapped in prosciutto but it looked more like bacon to me. My husband said his Lamb was tender but quite salty as well. The side of Roasted vegetables was ok but some of the chargrilled root veges were so overcooked and tough that they were not edible."
The review was pulled down from the website this morning.
After being alerted to the harsh feedback, Molten Restaurant responded to "Table Six from last Saturday night" with a vehement review of their own.
"You were rather rude to the people that worked at our restaurant. Please bear in mind that we are not out to sabotage your evening, in fact quite the opposite - we are trying everything in our power to make your experience an enjoyable one so that you come back.
"... When we first asked how your meals were you said fine, then ate them in their entirety, then upon the plates being cleared you let us know that it was the worst meal you've eaten in a decade and that it was too salty for your tastes. Maybe next time you could let us know upon tasting the meal that it wasn't to your taste so that we have an opportunity to fix it.
"... Also, please don't complain that the prosciutto on your meal looked like it was bacon in your online review. The simple explanation for this is that it was pancetta. As per the description of the dish on the menu."
Molten owner, Sven Nielsen, told the nzherald.co.nz that Irish Eyes' review was unfair, unjust and "a little bit vindictive", prompting him to stand up on behalf of restaurant owners.
"There were some inaccuracies in the review and there was some hyperbole. I'm pretty sure it wasn't the worst meal they've ever had," Nielsen said.
"I think things would be dealt with a lot more constructively if the problems were brought to our attention beforehand so we can have the opportunity to address them.
"There's some people that feel that they should not mention anything and go home and write anonymous reviews and it just seems a little bit vindictive to me."
The Mt Eden eatery took out Best Value for Money at last week's Metro Restaurant of the Year Awards and were runner-up for Best Drinks Service.
Molten wrapped up their online rant with a reference to the opinion of local food legend, Lauraine Jacobs, who recently slammed "commercial sites" like Zomato.
"Unqualified amateur diners who are rewarded with stars for the sheer number of reviews they post, but usually are lacking in expertise and have no knowledge of the industry, can completely destroy the trade and reputation of good restaurants," chef and food writer Jacobs wrote in a leaked email.
Zomato spokeswoman Yatchi Yan hit back at the perceived food snobbery at the time, saying the website was a positive service enabling "anyone and everyone to comment on their experiences".
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