I went to The Baker's Table roughly 5 times now. Each time, it was with a friend and we shared each others' orders to sample more of the menu options.
The sandwiches are impressive at first glance. I ordered some spicy chicken thing, and I thought "Hey, not bad for 9500 won." But then I took off the top heap of bread and noticed the following: a small slice of lettuce, two paltry pieces of chicken and a half-slice of tomato.
- That's kind of how the entire menu works at Baker's Table: Impressive on first impression, but once you start to "dig in", the glamor is gone and reality hits... this place isn't that great.
My friend's sandwich was kind of the same. She wasn't that impressed but ate it anyway.
I also tried their "famous" sausage dish, which was heartily slathered in ketchup. I was not impressed in the least and tried wiping away most of the red goo to eat the sausage. Their frozen potato wedges taste good, though.
Neither was I a fan of the expensive schnitzel. For about 15,000w you get a decent slab of boneless meat. It was improperly breaded - like a sad novice trying to cook his/her first chicken katsu or something - and it was so dry that I couldn't eat more than one bite. I was starving at that point, though, so in my determination I actually applied lots and lots of ketchup. And I'm not really a fan of ketchup. It helped me down the dish, at least. I was getting this meal no matter what!
The soups: I tried the tomato, cream of potato, cream of broccoli soups. Each of these are not too shabby. They are "good", but when you're that close to "great" it only takes minimal effort. It didn't have any personality or flare that pushed it over the edge. And that's too bad. Soooo close!
The service isn't that good, and it's always crowded. I don't mind the less than average wait staff, but what DOES get to me is that if you want water, you have to pour your own. Fine. The problem is, it's behind a giant espresso stand, which is behind 6 seats' worth of tables, next to the bread stand. With six people sitting in the the path to the bread stand, two people looking at breads, you can have quite a struggle to get by the espresso stand for a cup of water... I find this to be way more work than it should be.
Once again, I go against the grain when it comes to a popular restaurant. If the dishes were 2,000-5,000 won cheaper I wouldn't mind so much. Especially because they make their own bread, so there's bound to be nearly zero cost for the bread on their sandwiches. They charge WAY TOO MUCH for what you get. I don't plan on ever going back, but I don't think they care at all; the place is always packed with people who seem to find something about this place worth going to.
With that said, try it out: Your Mileage May Vary and a new fan may be born. But tell me - if you do go - think about the POTENTIAL for greatness that they come so close to achieving.
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