Restaurants in Dili

Timor Leste is notorious for its overpriced low quality services. A bunch of NGO’s and training centers work in cooperation with the Government and SEFOPE to change the situation and most importantly change the people’s attitudes but with no apparent progress.

The latest example – El Legendario. It’s opening was a huge event and it’s service quality is a huge flop. Don’t forget that it was opened by the owner of Novo Tourismo, who I’d expect to have gained some experience in managing restaurants.

Another one – Hotel Timor which has been on the market for more than a decade and haven’t taught yet its staff to move a little bit faster. Don’t forget about that huge 4WD Ford in the lobby and paid Internet for customers which is rediculous while even Burger King gives away 30 min of free WiFi.

The real question that needs yet to be answered is why foreigners coming to Timor instead of bringing in their high standards of work adopt the local low standards of Timor. Maybe they think that when in Rome, do like Romans do.

There are quite a few national restaurants in Dili which feed the national communities and tourists: Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Portuguese, Turkish, Vietnamese, Indian. I love all of these kitchens and I’ve been to almost all of these countries or I had a chance to try their food in other countries. I can assure you that what all of these restaurants in Dili serve is just a pale shade of the real Korean, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Portuguese cuisine. All I got there was disappointment and food poisoning.

The latest incident happened just yesterday after a visit to the Japanese resto in Timor Plaza. I immediately felt that the food wasn’t fresh, and the fish was 10 times unfozen. Literally everything was terrible about the food and the worst part was waiting for me at home where I spent half a night hugging the toilet. No. Never will I come back.

Timor is the first and the only country in Asia where I got disappoined with the food in the restaurants to the point where I started cooking for myself at home, which I’ve never done before: neither living in Hong Kong, nor Mumbai, nor Seoul.

The quality and price never satisfy you in Timor. Never. Be it the poshest expensive restaurant or the simplest warung (in terms of price-quality the latter gave me even better experience for 2$ price)

The latest bad experiences I had were: Pousada de Baucau (2 times, both very mediocre and poorest service), Timor Plaza (the chicken in the sandwich died in vain), Japanese resto in TP (my stomach still hurts), Indian resto at the TP food court (stale food followed by diarhea, vapid immitation of real Indian food)


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