Article: “Fusion with flair, if you’re patient” (Aug.2006)


“Stunning design and excellent food by themselves do not automatically make a great restaurant, however. Three months after it opened, the 200-seat Kampai still is plagued by poor service and a kitchen that sometimes seems incapable of turning out more than one exquisitely plated dish at a time.

…On our first visit, the server kept rebellion at bay by stopping regularly to check on us and apologize for the kitchen being so backed up. He was friendly and professional. As the evening dragged on, he brought a free pot of tea to keep us happy.

At a later dinner, a different server all but abandoned our table after bringing drinks, and there were no reassurances. He appeared undertrained and overwhelmed. The starters and entrees straggled out one at a time, and the rice we asked for earlier in the evening didn’t arrive until we were almost finished eating. The manager, eventually noticing our discomfort, tried to speed things up and offered a $5 gift card toward a future meal as compensation, but it wasn’t enough to mollify us by then.

…Kampai House has the food and the setting. Now, all it needs is some attention to service to become a restaurant worthy of a return visit.”

source: “Fusion with flair, if you’re patient” by Aleta Wilson (Mercury News, Aug.13,2006)


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