I was in Cairns in June with a group of friends and I had told them about a restaurant, Koh-Ya, which was one of the best yakiniku restaurants I had been to. That made the choice of a restaurant pretty easy. When we arrived, something just looked very different. Koh-Ya was always bustling and busy as all hell but the restaurant was as quiet as a church mouse. That should have served as a warning already but we needed to eat somewhere so we decided to try it.
I asked the waitress and she said that the restaurant was under new ownership and had been renamed Riki. The menu was certainly far more comprehensive than what was previously on offer at Koh-Ya which was really only yakiniku. We ordered a range of dishes from the menu - robatayaki, salads, rice dishes etc. We also ordered yakiniku but there was no buffet any more - it was all now off the menu.
The food was ok. It certainly wasn't exceptional but it wasn't poor. What we did find though was that it was terribly expensive for what you got. A measly cabbage salad was $9 but what really burnt was the meats for the yakiniku. All the meats were expensive with very small serves.
Sometimes, you leave a restaurant feeling really satisfied and other times, you leave feeling quite dissatisfied even though it is hard to put your finger on one thing. This was one of those times.
Looking at the level of patronage, it should be obvious to the owners of the restaurant that their formula isn't working, especially in comparison to how busy it used to be as Koh-Ya. If they have a rethink about their approach, I doubt they are going to be there much longer.
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