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Review: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On KAREN'S DINER

Sit Down & Shut Up: Karen's Diner has opened in Top Ryde Shopping Centre.

Review: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On KAREN'S DINER

8 June, 6 pm, Karen's DIner , Top Ryde Shopping Centre.

Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on Karen's Diner, Pop Up restaurant.

Sit Down & Shut Up: Karen's Diner has opened in Top Ryde Shopping Centre.

A 3 month pop up restaurant, Karen's Diner is part of an international chain of entertainment dining experiences.

Customers can expect plenty of sass, great food and a sprinkle of bad attitude. Don't expect special treatment at this diner because it's all about Karen, and she won't be taking any of your nonsense!

The name's sake, Karen, comes from the social media trend of bestowing that term to an entitled woman who weaponizes their privilege usually in an aggressive and psychotic manner.

The staff at Karen's are disgruntled, miserable and vent their irritability on the customers.

Review: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On KAREN'S DINER

As we arrived, the entrance was wide open. We approached the host's counter to then be belittled that we came in uninvited and told to go outside and wait (and freeze!). Outrageous.

Once berated for standing in the cold, and told to come in, we were put on display to the entire restaurant for being late. (Even though we formally changed our booking time).

Of course, we obeyed and were laughing, while starting on our night of disparaging entertainment. (Well, we were holding back the laughs in case that gave them another opportunity to denigrate us!)

The menus were thrown at the table and the waitress, after storming off ,came back to reluctantly take our drink order.

This led a variety of brutal entertainment. From leaving our meals on another table to barbarous microphone announcements, to various games that involved the entire venue.

Review: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On KAREN'S DINER

One game is the Wheel of Misfortune, where customers are put on the spot depending on where your bad luck lies. Possible tasks to complete were to name three sexual positions in 5 seconds or being subjected to do a worst dressed fashion parade meandering through the crowded tables. Followed by encouragement for all to boo the fashion victims.

The loudspeaker announcements were amusingly varied and included: degrading the birthday guest, hassling the vegans or to point out any particular style choices that the customers dare to wear.

You are also privileged to personal dismissive humour at your table. All the staff at one point visit your table and have a dig. Since my guest and I were of an older (only slightly though!) generation, it was pointed out that we were having a big day out from the retirement home. Wounded.

Review: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On KAREN'S DINER

As with stand-up comedy not all the jokes hit the bullseye. One waitress sat at our table with an old dial up phone (not connected) and asked to call our number, then was angry when we didn't answer. The routine didn't generate laughs and was somewhat dumbfounding. I impertinently did ask for a lactose free Shake and to my surprise the opportunity was not taken advantage of. But credit to the waitress who was concerned that my dietary requirements were met while delivering her uninterested tone.

At times, the team could have had a larger repertoire of scripted barbs that they could call on, rather than relying on the mostly impromptu moments. And if you are offended by cussing then this venue is not for you.

Review: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On KAREN'S DINER

The reassuring aspect is that all the ridicule is done in the name of a fun enjoyable night. Patrons are invited to be Karen's too, along with a set of rules. Essentially the mandate maintains that staff and customers are respected and not mocked for who they are but more so for the choices they make. Wear a fluro item at your peril, sport a mohawk and don't expect to go unscathed and if you have winged Nikes, there's no hope.

Review: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On KAREN'S DINER

The events of the evening create a fun and engaging atmosphere. Yes, the customers are not only consenting to the ridicule, but they are also yearning and or fearful of it. The bonus is that this set up leads to a more fulfilling evening for the patrons.

There is a party feel to the night. All tables were more actively involved in their own enjoyment in between that staff entertainment. A wonderful atmosphere that is less frequent in other restaurants. Often the tables of customers interacted with each other, to much hilarity.

The 'bad' service is the signature trait of Karen's. The management are savvy enough to know that this doesn't include waiting for meals or less responsive staff, it's just the style of the delivery that is thoroughly entertaining.

Of course, this style couldn't include the quality of the food. The meals we had were a taste sensation.

In the vein of a 50's diner, it's main stay is a burger joint. The fries are perfect: light, crispy and delicious. There is a vast range of burgers that are fun and exquisite.

The 'I want to See the Manager' Karen is Two Wagyu Beef patties, Two slices of Manager's cheese, Bacon, Lettuce, Pickles and Manager's BBQ - Mustard sauce. A superb example.

The 'Karen's Got Real Beef with Brisket' is divine. There are Vegan options (if you dare), the usual sides have a gourmet touch, and there's a vast range of Shakes and inventive cocktails.

Review: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On KAREN'S DINER

If your meal outing is a catch up with friends and family or a celebratory event and you'd love a huge dollop of entertainment, then Karen's Diner is the place for you.

The city venue is permanent, and the Top Ryde site is a 3 month Pop-up.

Get ready to be well fed and suitably insulted. If you have a quick wit, it might just come in handy.

Review: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On KAREN'S DINER

From This Author - Jade Kops

Jade is an Aviation Safety Training Instructor with a love of Theatre, Cabaret, Musical Theatre, and music and is a committed advocate for the live performing arts industry in Sydney and Australia.... (read more about this author)

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