I used to go there frequently and I always go with friends. Yes from time to time we wait for a table, or we dont get one, but nothing bad about this. I am happy the restaurant is successful.
But I went there last time with my girlfriend and her family, so we were 6 adult and one kid. They sat us inside as we made reservations earlier in the week and did not have to wait. We order food as we usually do, and basically there is a lot of choices enough to satisfy everyone. we took pizza to share, few appetizer, including the tuna tartare, salads etc...
As main course we had the sea bass, and other dishes like the lobster pasta... nothing really knew as i dont think the menu as changed for a long time, which is ok as we taook those dishes before and it is one of the reasons of coming back. we enjoyed them, we enjoyed the environment, we enjoyed the service....
Well not anymore... to the point that for once I was not even the one complaining about it. the whole family of my girlfriend was complaining and saying how they will not come back anymore as it seems that it is not the same anymore.
So not to go into too many details but the tartare was not good, the pasta were too salty and we asked to be changed as it was not even possible to eat it, then it came very dry and we did not dare complaining again about it. few other dishes add issues and we requested to speak to a manager to express how disappointed we were but for some reason the waiter did not seem to think it was important enough to call upon a manager to talk to us. I then requested if the chef "Alessandro" was here tonight in the kitchen, the waiter did not seem to know who I was talking about. he replied that the chef was not there. and it is understood that a chef like everyone else is entitled to days off, vacations, and all but I am assuming that he appointed a sous chef or someone in charge in case it is needed. the bottom line is that no-one came and talk to us, at some point one of the waiter, maybe a supervisor maybe a manager came and told us that he was sorry that we did not enjoy it but did not do anything to assist to make it better. everyone was upset by the lack of understanding from the staff. And you know how many of us in Hong Kong have felt that way before? How many times you go to eat somewhere and hope when you return it would remain as good? and Joia to be fair did this for quite some times but it seems that they do not anymore. I respect my girlfriend family that they were upset and agree with them that something defenitely went wrong, but sadly since when we discuss going out for dinner we do not mentioned Joia anymore.
I do hope that Joia will come back to a good level of service and food, it is a place I would like to go again and I will try it again personally as i believe it can't be like this always, but this is a symptom of the Hong Kong restaurant industry nowadays. Making ends meet for restaurants owner prove to be harder than before, the food price increase, rents increases faster than the market is willing to support it, but as long as the majority of the populations do not protest it will continue that way. the second issues there is the service that let us down, which is also a symptom of the hong kong politic choices made long ago to not consider the restaurant industry a noble choice of career therefore parents do not encourage their children to pursue actively in the domain allowing them to do it while they find either a suitable husband or a "better" job.
It will come a time that Hong Kong like many of the other Asian countries will realize that the local market is evolving with the increase of life style and travels people know better, the world is opening and restaurants can not rely only on their food anymore... nor their locations... Even in Hong Kong, especially in Hong Kong
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Jan 12, 2013
Spending per head: Approximately HKD500
Value for Money3
Keep it up!