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“the service is a deal breaker for me”

Fonda de la Madrugada
Ranked #1,946 of 7,569 Restaurants in Shibuya
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Shibuya / Harajuku / Ebisu
Sentosa Island, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
104 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“the service is a deal breaker for me”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Tonight I visited for the third time. The first time was a dinner with girlfriends and I don't recall service being a huge problem that time, although that could be because I was busy chatting so it wasn't as noticeable. The second time, my husband and I went for dinner and the service was so slow that my husband said he wouldn't return. I told myself it was because it was a Saturday night and they were busy. So tonight, since he wouldn't be home for dinner I decided to give it a shot.

I arrived shortly after they opened at 5:30 pm on a Tuesday night. I figured they wouldn't be busy yet, and I was right. At 5:46 pm, I ordered an appetizer, drink and entree. I asked if the entree came with any sides because the menu wasn't clear. I was told rice came with it. I asked for refried beans also. I was pleasantly surprised when only about 6 minutes later, the appetizer arrived. But not so pleasantly surprised that the beans that I expected to come out with the entree came out with the appetizer. And they sat there as I waited for the entree. It became clear that the entree wasn't coming anytime soon so I went ahead and ate the beans so I could enjoy them before they got cold. My appetizer (jalapenos rellenos) and the beans were pretty good.

46 minutes after my order was placed, my entree finally arrived. I could accept the delay if the restaurant was packed, but this was early on a Tuesday night and there were only a couple other tables that had customers seated at them. I saw plate after plate come out of the kitchen until finally mine arrived. And I didn't even like it. By that point, I was pretty full anyway after the chips and salsa, the jalapenos, and the beans. I ordered shrimp wrapped in cheese and bacon which sounds like something that can't possibly be bad. But the bacon wrapped around it was so soft and chewy, I just couldn't get past that unpleasant texture. It was probably cooked thoroughly but it had a raw quality to me.

So to sum up, for me the food doesn't rise to the level of making me want to put up with the lengthy wait involved. Which is too bad, because I really enjoy the atmosphere there.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Pugmama-san
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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61 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Tokyo, Japan
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“The Hidden treasure of Jingumae”
Reviewed 13 July 2013

Located underground in the place you would never expect such a spacious and atmospheric restaurant. I was all the time wondering what was located in these huge rooms before.

Service is really good; Waiters seem too busy at times but they are really doing their best. No complaints here.

The food is Huge. And delicious!

It is not the cheapest place in Tokyo but for the amount you get quite reasonable;

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JaanVisitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simi Valley, California
Level 5 Contributor
32 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Horrible service, mediocre food, expensive”
Reviewed 19 May 2013

I am from California so I eat Mexican food all of the time, and let me tell you that this was not at all like the Mexican food that I am accustomed to. After 2 weeks in Japan, we wanted something other than Japanese food so we decided to go to this restaurant for my birthday dinner. (As an aside, I actually came here in 2005 and had a wonderful experience. I can remember that the restaurant was beautiful, in a cavelike setting, all of the wait staff were Mexican and friendly, and the service was excellent.) This time, the wait staff was Japanese and not friendly at all, which was odd considering everywhere else you go in Japan, with few exceptions, wait staff is efficient and wants to make sure you have a great dining experience.

Maybe the problem was we came on a Sunday night at 9 pm, but it took a 15 minutes to have anyone come to our table at all. We got a tiny basket with 7 chips and a tiny dish of salsa. For 4 people, we didn't get 2 chips a piece. We had to ask the waiter for water, then to take our order after another 10 minutes. The wine came out quickly, but that was it. We never received our appetizer platter, which cost 2360 yen, so we asked the food runners about it after they delivered our entrees. They went to check, and 10 minutes later, it arrived, but all of the food was cold, including the tortillas in the heating basket. All 4 of us ordered street tacos for entrees,(2 for 1500 yen, fish was 2 for 1050) and it was all cold as well. We wanted one more order of the tiny salsa that came with the chips, so we asked a different waitress for it right after we received the tacos. We finished the tacos, and then the appetizer platter which came 10 minutes later (so about 30 minutes later), and then a food runner came to deliver the salsa. We told her there was no more food left so we no longer needed the salsa. About 2 minutes later, the Japanese waitress came with the same salsa. We said, in English, "too late" as we pointed to all of the empty plates, and she turned around with a sour look on her face and left. Fortunately, the 315 yen for this delayed salsa was deducted off of our bill.

We never saw the waitress again. I got up and tracked her down in the nearly empty restaurant and asked her for the check, in Japanese of course, to which she replied with a curt "hai". She dropped the check off, and then the waiter who took our order reappeared (we never saw him again after we ordered), and watched my father examine the check and pay the bill. It was odd that he stood there staring while my father was paying. After the credit card bill was signed, he said thank you and left.

I'm not sure if we were there on an off night, or this is what the restaurant has become, but it was a truly memorable birthday meal, and not in a good way. The food was all cold, the wait staff was never around, and the food was slow to arrive if it arrived at all. To top it off, it is very expensive, although this is Japan so we were expecting it. I can see if the food and service were great, it might be worth it, but 6300 yen for a pitcher of Margaritas or Daiquiris, 2940 for a pitcher of beer, and 2500 yen for 3 enchiladas? The meals come with nothing, so if you want refried beans, it'll set you back 630 yen, and Mexican rice 525 yen. A carne asada is 2900 yen. Margaritas are 1250, and beers are all about 945, including the Asahi, for a small.

All in all, expect to pay a lot here, and hopefully the service and food will at least somewhat justify the price. I sure wish I ended up at a sukiyaki/tonkatsu/tempura restaurant for my birthday instead!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank socalguy93063
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Osaka
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A real life-saver for hungry expats!”
Reviewed 8 February 2013

I wandered into this restaurant more than ten years ago. From an unprepossessing ground floor entrance, one descends into an open, airy bar and restaurant space that looks and feels like a Mexican plaza. The big leather chairs, the authentic Talavera pottery and the cheerful Mariachi band create a lovely atmosphere without being cheesy. And the food hits the spot.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ZenBach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best Mexican food in Tokyo area”
Reviewed 15 November 2012

Authentic Mexican. The chips and salsa were better than most in USA. Carnitas were tasty. real corn tortillas...Would recommend to anyone craving a taste for good Mexican food in Tokyo area. Sangria was nice, as well. Mui buena!
Went with large group from office and had reservations downstairs with no smoking.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Lanelle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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