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“Shin La”
Review of Shin La

Shin La
Ranked #33 of 111 Restaurants in Brattleboro
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: Asian
Restaurant details
Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Shin La”
Reviewed July 9, 2013

I have read some of the poor reviews and while I agree that the Shin La lacks ambiance and the service can be spotty, I have always had an excellent meal there. I generally order bi bim bap, kim chee, vegetarian dumplings, among other things. I have eaten here for about 20 years and it has never disappointed me, and I've never known the owners or waitstaff to be anything but polite.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 47jill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esther K, Guest Relations Manager at Shin La, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Dear Jill,

So happy to hear you love our Bibimbap, Kimchi, and Vegetarian Yakimandoo! Great taste!

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback for our restaurant. We really do appreciate it and hope to see you again soon!

P.S. -- My apologies for the incredibly late response, but better late than never, right? :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    22
    20
    0
    5
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Putney, Vermont
Level Contributor
29 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Dirty restaurant, owner difficult, food awful”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We used to go once in a while but stopped after a very, very bad experience. The food we ordered to over an hour to appear at our table. It was not anything like the picture on the menu, but having no time left before the movie we ate some of it anyway, the waitress said it would take forever to get other meals. Oddly, she also looked a little scared at the mention of returning it, though we reassured her the bad food was not her fault. It was a horrid meal. It was little more that frozen mixed vegetables heated, somewhat seasoned, dumped over white rice. I couldn't finish the slop. When I tactfully asked the owner if something could be done to make up for our awful meal she started screaming she'd call the police if we didn't pay. Her inappropriate behavior helped me understand the waitress' fearful attitude when asked about returning it.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ruby05346
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esther K, Guest Relations Manager at Shin La, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Dear Ruby,

I am so sorry to hear your experience at Shin La that evening. It seems that you dined with us on a very busy night, most likely with many others in a rush to make their movies. Admittedly, sometimes we are unexpectedly busy. Our owner, Mrs. Kim has run the business for over 30 years. She has always been one of only two head chefs. Our restaurant is small-scale and we are unable to have additional kitchen helpers, hostesses, food runners, bus people, etc. With that being said, unfortunately, on extremely busy nights, an hour wait for your dinner should be understood. It takes approximately 15 minutes to prepare each table's meals. When the dining room is full, time is tacked on accordingly. We are very grateful that most of our customers respect and understand this.

I am sorry your meal did not look like the picture on the menu. My father took pictures of every dish made just as we were serving it. From what I gather, you ordered our Gopdol Bibimbap. The assortment of vegetables on top of the rice are never frozen. Aside from the freshly shredded lettuce, they are all spiced or marinated. The homemade hot sauce on the side is to be mixed and eaten with the dish.

While our restaurant is not glamorous or new, it is certainly not "dirty". We deep clean our tables every Monday, vacuum/mop daily, and work to ensure all other aspects of the restaurant are clean and hygienic. Not once did we ever receive an unsatisfactory assessment from our State Inspectors. Taking your feedback into account, we will continue to maintain a cleanly environment.

I can only say that your review here is an account of what happened through your lens. We aim to deliver the best service we can and ensure that the food is made with utmost care. I am certain Mrs. Kim would not have "threatened to call the police" if you truly approached her with tact. We are a small business and are unable to comp any table that does not finish their meal. If the food was made improperly or if we could alter it in any way for you, we would have been more than happy to resolve your issue.

I must add that it is highly stressful for our owner, who prepares each meal in the kitchen to play the role of chef and manager at the same time. I do apologize for the rocky experience you had and hope that you will see it as an extreme outlier.

We appreciate your taking the time to provide your thoughts. Thank you.

P.S. -- My apologies for the incredibly late response, but better late than never, right?
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brattleboro, Vermont, United States
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“My stand-by comfort food restaurant in Brattleboro”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

I've been coming here for years, and while it's not for that special dinner, it's always a standby place to go for me and my family in Bratt. The service is always friendly, though not always super fast. I ordinarily am not a fan of Asian restaurants that feel they must mix different Asian cuisines on one menu in order to please everyone, but here it works. I like that one person can have sushi, one person can have teriyaki, and one person can have Korean food. I like the Korean, and while it's not the best Korean food I've ever had, it is still good, and it's the ONLY Korean place in the area. Things I have all the time that are excellent are the gopdol bi bim bap (served in a hot stone bowl that makes the rice form a crunchy crust at the bottom), soon doo boo chigae (very spicey tofu/seafood stew), and the Ojingeo Bokkeum (spicy squid & vegetables). Also the yaki soba is delicious.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Sam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esther K, Guest Relations Manager at Shin La, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Dear Sam,

Thank you for your honest and thorough review! We really do appreciate it and hope to see you again sometime soon!

P.S. -- My apologies for the incredibly late response, but better late than never, right? :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, Connecticut
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Dirty Restaurant and so so food”
Reviewed October 13, 2012

My wife and I went for dinner here on Friday, October 13, 2012 and we should have left when we were initially seated. First of all the place is filthy. We were seated next to the Sushi Bar along the wall and the layer of soot, dirt and dust was actually visible! The carpets were worn and dirty, lights were out, the table felt sticky and the place just had the feeling of being unkempt. The food that followed pretty much matched the cleanliness of the restaurant. My wife asked if she could get a sauce for her Tofu dish and the young waitress replied no...what? Other dishes came with sauces so how difficult would it have been to serve the Tofu with a sauce from another dish? So she ordered Tofu that came with "sauce" which turned out to be nothing more than a little dish of very bland soy sauce. We tried it doctor it up but it was still pretty boring. I ordered vegetables over rice in a hot stone bowl.......it was mostly rice and lettuce. The sauce was okay. The service was poor. My wife asked for a knife and never got one. The waitress also never checked on us to see how our meal was, maybe she knew already? Oh well, Shin La is just not our cup of tea!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank bertmerc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esther K, Guest Relations Manager at Shin La, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
I am sorry you felt our sushi bar was not clean. It should have been kept clean and tidy. We have our staff deep clean all table tops weekly in addition to wiping them clean after each guest and when necessary. Our soy sauce bottles are washed when refilled and wiped daily. I wish you had mentioned the "soot, dirt, and dust" you saw -- we would have gladly cleaned the area further or re-seated you elsewhere. We have also never (over the span of over 30 years) received an unsatisfactory assessment of our restaurant from the State Inspectors.

I am so sorry for your experience with your server that day. It seems she was not accommodating and we will continue to train and provide feedback to our servers so incidents like this do not reoccur.

I am unsure why you found your dish (Gopdol Bibimbap) to be mostly lettuce and rice. It includes sauteed or marinated vegetables including zucchini, carrot, fern, bean sprouts, and shredded lettuce. Glad to hear you found our hot sauce to be okay. It is homemade and delicious when mixed in the dish!

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback for our restaurant. Again, we really do appreciate it and hope that you will give us another try!

P.S. -- My apologies for the incredibly late response, but better late than never, right? :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Proctorsville, Vermont
2 reviews
“Wonderful Food”
Reviewed October 3, 2012

Being from NYC and having a Korean Aunt I was a bit nervous to try Asian food in Vermont but I am so glad I did. It was amazing the Kim chi is homemade the sushi has fresh has can be , the service was top notch. I loved the brass tables and the little notes if trivia around the restaurant. I almost forgot I was in Vermont.!

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Patty M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esther K, Guest Relations Manager at Shin La, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Dear Patty,

Thank you for your kind words! So glad to hear you love our homemade kimchi and sushi! Also, we appreciate your thoughts on our copper tables and the trivia notes in the booths. The owner's son put the notes there a short while ago.

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback for our restaurant. Again, we really do appreciate it and hope to see you again soon!

P.S. -- My apologies for the incredibly late response, but better late than never, right? :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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