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“Sometimes, you just want to get your spicy-food fix”
Review of Asia Cafe

Asia Cafe
Ranked #772 of 3,783 Restaurants in Austin
Price range: $0 - $12
Cuisines: Chinese, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Takeout
Neighborhood: Northwest Austin
Reviewed August 12, 2012

I'm in Austin for some research at the LBJ library and my friends told me that if I wanted my Asian food fix i might as well go to Asia Cafe, which they'd heard was pretty good (though they're vegetarian and have never eaten there). So, I went, and what really made me happy was the readily available spicy chili in little cups (of which you can take as many as you like, the cashier said) at the counter. The food was alright (I've had hard-to-go-that-wrong "Yang Chow Friend Rice" and "Stir-Fried-Pork-Noodles") but the spicy chili (I took two cups and mixed it into my food) made me a happy camper. It's the simple things for those of us who hardly ever find this specific kind of chili (flakes of dried chili and seeds, in oil) in the United States. I'm easy that way. Yeehaw.

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Thank W N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (68)
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50 - 54 of 68 reviews

Reviewed July 27, 2012

We like to go to eat at this restaurant. It is very family oriented, the food is a little greasy but good, we like the spicy fish, and chon chin chicken , but lately it has less chicken than before. Good food after all.

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Thank Bleu27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

I used to love this restaurant. But several things have caused me to re-evaluate.

1) Long crowds and only one cashier. *That* cashier was also pulling double duty by taking phone orders and requests from diners that already had their food.

2) The drink setup. Horrible! Not user friendly at all - worse than an outdoor barbecue.

3) The portion sizes are way out of whack - especially for lunch. There is no lunch menu. You're stuck with enough food to feed an army. Typically, I can make 3 meals from what they serve me.

4) Today. Let me tell you about today.

I'm vegetarian, so I went up to order my typical sesame tofu. They put very little (if any) veggies in this, so I asked for extra broccoli. A $2.00 upcharge! They were going to give me egg-drop soup, but since that's typically chicken-broth based, I declined and asked for the broccoli as a substitute. That was NOT doable. I had to take some sort of pickled vegetables or nothing. I opted for nothing.

I got my plate and it looked like the regular tofu plate I usually get (sure didn't have $2.00 worth of broccoli on it!)... And I ate maybe a cup of it before I realized there was an odd texture.

Upon closer viewing, there was meat in the dish! They had given me sesame chicken!!!

I went up to the front counter to ask the (very harried and slow) cashier for my money back.

"You said you wanted chicken," she tells me.

"Uh, I'm vegetarian... I don't EAT chicken."

She looked at me in total disbelief, but called another person to the front. Who ALSO challenged what I had ordered (my friend who was in the line with me heard me order tofu).

They were surly, BARELY apologetic (only in the fact that they refunded my money)...

Their food is fabulous, but everything else about the place has totally put me off of ever eating there again.

CUSTOMER SERVICE, guys. sheesh.

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1  Thank poetesstx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2012

Sambet's was a hole in the wall Cajun place that had great food; unfortunately, they had a fire last Thanksgiving while deep frying turkeys and are no longer in business (at least, not at the Spicewood Springs location).

Thank TravelingTexans4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2012

I have eaten at Asia Cafe 4 or five times now and every time I think the same thing - "this food is pretty good but the customer service is ridiculously inefficient and just plain bad. First of all - you can call in an order or stand in line then place your order at a cash register but either way you get to order from the same disinterested guy. If trying to call in your order he doesn't seem inclined to pick-up the phone and take your phone order - I guess because he is trying to take orders from the folks standing in line (in the restaurant). And if you are standing in line in the restaurant waiting to order the guy seems to periodically stop to answer a few of the calls or walk off for about 5 minutes to refill the silverware containers, water container, napkins, or whatever else. It seems like someone would realize at some point that it just might be better to have more than one person taking orders and someone else replenishing supplies. Second - when you place an order they give you a number and when your food is ready they literally stand at the register and yell out the number. Nobody seems to be able to understand exactly what number the guy is shouting so he gets more and more irritated and yells the number louder and louder till someone finally comes up and asks if he is calling their number. Half the time its not them so he resumes the shouting till someone else comes up. Maybe using a device that displays the number in conjuntion with the number calling would be a good idea? It would definitely improve the server's efficiency and result in a much quieter atmosphere. So why would anyone put up with this crazy bad service? Because the menu contains lots of interesting, different, and well prepared dishes at a reasonable price. You can get meals here that you will find nowhere else in Austin. I'm sure I will be back but am begging them (please, please, please) to improve the customer service!

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Thank AustinMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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