An Australian magazine dumped its food reviewers after a family-owned restaurant called out what appeared to be a vengeful review as a fake.
Kelly Ramsay and Chloe James, former food reviewers for the Sunday Times weekend magazine STM in Western Australia, published a harsh review of the West End Deli on Sunday about a mediocre dinner they had at the restaurant.
According to WA Today, the pair gave West End Deli nine points out of 20 and advised that the “hipster deli should stick to brekkie” or a breakfast menu. As for customers, the two women suggested that their readers “consider takeaway pizza instead.”
Ramsay and James, who are also former contestants on the Australian reality television show “My Kitchen Rules,” complained about the low-quality ingredients used to prepare the food. They described being served soggy cheese, underripe tomatoes and overripe watermelons. The food was so mediocre that they claimed to have not eaten a majority of it and having left it on the plate.
Following their review, which has since been removed, West End Deli posted a statement on their Facebook page on Sunday to clarify what actually happened. Though the review was credited to be written by both Ramsay and James, it appears that only Ramsay and her fiance were present during the meal. Management from West End Deli wrote in a Facebook post:
“We are not averse to some good old-fashioned constructive criticism, but there were several inconsistencies…
“We would love to know how Chloe can fairly put her name to a review of a restaurant and food that she has not actually experienced.”
According to the restaurant, Ramsay and her beau’s plates were spotless after they had finished their dinner. To add more insult to injury, Ramsay and her fiance didn’t pay for the meal as her credit card was declined. The post read:
“[Ramsay] was obviously quite embarrassed and promised to come back the next day and settle the AUD $260 (US $187) bill. That’s the last we heard of Kelly for close to 7 weeks. We rang, left voicemails and text Kelly numerous times but were ignored completely until late December.”
In addition, West End Deli claimed the review to be an unfair reflection of its restaurants since Ramsay dined at the restaurant in October 2015 and the restaurant now uses seasonal produce. They concluded:
“We also made our concerns clear to the STM editor after we were made aware that we were being reviewed months after the dinner took place..
“STM has a readership of 321,000 people, meaning that these 2 ex reality telly home cooks have the power to damage the reputation of a family business with a few inaccurate, scathing taps on the keyboard.”
The Sunday Times magazine fired the two reviewers on Wednesday. A tweet by West Australian read:
— The West Australian (@westaustralian) February 24, 2016