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Perth deli successfully defends against wrong review, reviewers sacked


Proves on multiple counts that reviewers lied and also had a huge unpaid food bill. Took case directly to the newspaper & via social media.

The West End Deli, a very popular restaurant in Perth, Australia, proved that restaurants can fight back against the increasingly unchecked review community. It fought hard against a particularly harsh newspaper review by a famous food critic duo, ultimately prevailing on all counts.

It’s arguably an easy life if you’re in the restaurant reviewing game, until you write a negative review and get caught out for not even being there.

That’s what happened to Kelly Ramsay and Chloe James, former contestants on Australian reality television show My Kitchen Rules and food reviewers for The Sunday Times magazine (STM)in Perth, Western Australia.

The pair’s scathing review of their dinner at West End Deli was published on this Sunday (Feb 21), but has since been deleted. Ramsay and James have been in an online battle with the restaurant ever since, before finally being sacked by the publication on yesterday (Feb 24).

The sorry saga began when the pair awarded the West End Deli nine points out of 20, saying that the “hipster deli should stick to brekkie” aka breakfast, and for readers “to consider takeaway pizza instead,” according to an excerpt by WA Today.

Poorly executed flavours, soggy cheese, overripe watermelon and underripe tomatoes were amongst the criticisms in the review. Ramsay said she left a large quantity of food on her plate due to the poor quality.

Questions regarding their review arose when the restaurant posted a lengthy statement on their Facebook page on Sunday, indicating that only Ramsay and her fiancé were in attendance, despite the review also being written by James. The restaurant also said the plates were pretty much licked clean.


“The scathing review reads ‘On the walk home, Chloe sighed, ‘Shall we head to [another suburb] for dinner, take 2?” Not only was this a cheap shot but it’s a fabrication,” the restaurant claimed. “We would love to know how Chloe can fairly put her name to a review of a restaurant and food that she has not actually experienced?”

The post also claimed the review was conducted in October 2015 and it doesn’t reflect the restaurant’s current menu, which uses seasonal produce. The restaurant said Ramsay and her partner didn’t even pay for their food for weeks, due to a declined credit card.

“[Ramsay] was obviously quite embarrassed and promised to come back the next day and settle the A$260 (US$187) bill,” the post reads. “That’s the last we heard of Kelly for close to 7 weeks. We rang, left voicemails and text Kelly numerous times but were ignored completely until late December.”

The bill was allegedly “begrudgingly settled” by James, according to the restaurant, which informed the editor of STM of the concerns. The post has since received more than 21,000 likes and has been shared more than 5,000 times.

The duo’s publicist, Deborah Munson of The Options Group said there were inaccuracies in the restaurant’s FB post and also claimed James made a payment (AUD 260) over the phone on Nov. 16, then again on Dec. 16 when they were contacted, and that they were not chased for weeks for the money, as per the restaurant’s claim.

Munson also said the pair discussed the review with STM, and then revisited the restaurant upon instruction on Jan. 14.  She did confirm only Ramsay was in attendance at the original outing, however.

“‘Going for Dinner Take 2’ isn’t a comment Chloe would have used considering she wasn’t there on the evening in question,” said Munson.

Something didn’t sit right though. Rod Savage, editor of The Sunday Times and Perth Nowissued a statement on their website on Wednesday, expressing that the publications will no longer be using James and Ramsay as reviewers.

In a statement, he said, “The Sunday Times has clear editorial standards which demand accuracy and transparency. Regrettably a recent food review by Chloe James and Kelly Ramsay did not meet those standards, so we will no longer be using them as contributors to our publications. We will not be commenting further on this matter.

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Source: Mashable

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