I LOVE American Chain food restaurants and upon moving to Jeddah I was delighted to see that so many of my favorites were available here. Over the weekend we had extended family in town and decided to give the family friendly American chain Chili’s a go.
We arrived just after Asr prayer on a Friday afternoon. The place was packed and hopping with the great feel of a successful restaurant. Even though they were very busy we only had to wait 3-4 minutes before we were led to our table toward the back of the restaurant. Our table was clean and our server was quick to make sure we had enough place setting for everyone in our party (only 5 people), however that was when the speed and good service ended from our server.
After ordering we had to wait more than 20 minutes for our server to come back with our drinks. (FAR Too long from my perspective with 15 yrs experience in the restaurant business myself) and our food arrived about 25 minutes after ordering. We ordered a variety of foods from taco’s, to steak, and even a burger and sandwich. The steak was quite tasty, but both the taco’s and the chicken sandwich were rather blah, dry and tasteless. Our server never stopped by to check on the taste of the food nor did he ever come back to offer us refills for our drinks. We had to flag down random servers 3 different times simply to get drinks refilled. In addition, they only cleared the dirty plates after dropping off the drinks. Our server never came by to ask if we wanted dessert and we once again had to flag him down to get the check (15 minutes after our plates had been cleared).
Food wise Chili’s was a fail in my book–not even close the the quality or service received in America or other foreign locations I have been to (I have also tried the Roshan Mall branch with much the same experience).
The only redeeming thing this Chili’s offers is they have a lovely shaded outdoor patio and a nice sized shaded jungle gym for kids to play on. I also really appreciated the fact that the Chili’s had a sign posted saying that parents must accompany their children to the playground and are NOT allowed to leave then unattended. I happily report that from what I could determine most parents were following this rule so the playground was a safe area for kids to play while we visited.
Chili’s does not offer birthday packages. You can come in with your own cake and order off the regular menu with your child and guests, but they provide no extra entertainment and do NOT have a private party room. In my opinion, the patio would be a great venue for an early afternoon (11am) birthday party on the weekend or possibly a weekday evening party (as long as this great weather is pleasant). They do have a great selection of food for kids. Kids can choose: quesadilla, pizza, grilled chicken, nuggets, beef burger, chicken burgers or Mac and Cheese. Kids meals also include a choice of side and drink for the fantastic price of only 20 SAR.
If you have had a different experience at Chili’s Al-Andalus Branch please feel free to share your comments below in the comment sections.
Roshan Mall: 012-694-6806