Mum shares negative review on kids chicken nuggets meal and receives a tone of backlash.

Mother-of-two, Vanessa Maldonado, took her young family for a meal at the Hanging Ladder in Balmain but was underwhelmed by the portion size of her daughter’s meal and left disappointed with the manager’s handling of the matter.

After sharing her experience on social media, the owner commented in defence of the establishment and accused Ms Maldonado of lying and threatening the restaurant with bad reviews.

nugget meal

The blogger wrote, “I asked the waitress if they made a mistake and she said she would ask the chef. She came back letting us know that the chef said that was the right amount [of chicken nuggets].’

Unimpressed, she said she asked to speak to the manager.

‘He became defensive and said the cost of the plate to him was $2 plus the cost of running the business and paying staff and believed the portion size was ‘quite generous’ for the price.’

‘The manager then said he would take the plate back and take it off the bill and walked off.

‘I was taken aback by his response and my daughter was left with nothing to eat for lunch.’

Ms Maldonado’s post had been liked by 438 users at the time of publication, and received a number of comments from the Hanging Ladder’s business account.

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, the owner of the Hanging Ladder Andrew McNamara said he feels the dish was fairly priced and sized for a kids plate and that his restaurant is now being misrepresented.

‘This is the first complaint we’ve had on the size of the plate. I feel the portion is in line with the quality and price offered. It’s made with fresh crumbed chicken breast and our house made wedge cut chips.

A number of social media users criticised the Hanging Ladder’s handling of the dispute, with one observer noting the restaurant ‘wasn’t doing themselves any favours with all this arguing’.

One food blogger shared the past asking people what they thought saying, “I reckon that looks ok for $8.50! I’m also not really “for” slamming small businesses online. Whilst I might not return if I wasn’t happy with the service, to put down a small cafe online just doesn’t sit right with me.”

People commented on her post saying it did seem a bit petty.

– “She is probably being a bit of a whinger (food looks good, maybe another nugget would be good) but I also think the manager/owner looks bad by engaging in the argument – sure, defend yourself but it went on a bit too much. I suspect fault on both sides here & neither of them handled themselves well.”

– “This woman is sounding like a spoilt brat & I’m with you, why splash it all over Instagram slamming a small business. Seems to be attention seeking.”

” I gotta say the chip/nugget ratio looks a bit sketch. But that said, a rant probably not the way to go, it’s not the Ritz. Vote with your feet and warn your mates. First prize, a polite private message/suggestion to owner.”

– “Honestly it is more than enough food for a young child and being in Balmain the rent alone would be huge yet its cheaper than any kids meals I have bought my son lately. She should have let it go.”

– “It’s a kids meal ! How much food does a child need ? That’s more than enough and to be fair instead of a processed chicken nugget they have given hand crumbed chicken.”

Her post has since been removed from Instagram it seems.

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  • The business should have just remained silent instead of fighting online.


  • That is a standard child’s meal. The price is very reasonable. They are not frozen food simply cooked or re-heated. Was there a vegetable or salad bar there as well? If so she is completely out of line.


  • I don’t think it was necessary to go on social media with this.


  • I don’t believe social media shaming is the way to go.


  • There are a lot of social review pages out there. I probably would have posted my experience with a short sarcastic review and allow the photos to speak for themselves. It’s 4 peices of what it looks like popcorn chicken…


  • Wasn’t the right way to handle this


  • I’ve been to a few places and have been disappointed with the meal. My way of dealing with it was to not go back and let my friends and family know why. Social media is not the way to go. How many businesses get ruined by people complaining on social media?


  • By publicly responding the manger has done the wrong thing. Yes vote with your feet and let your friends know what the service was like. Everyone seems to think complaining on social media is the way to go.


  • my grandchildren will not eat chicken nuggets it is better to buy an adults meal and they share that. or if only one grandchild with you they can have a portion off your adults meal, which they will eat. I find that most childrens meals are dreadful and I do not blame the children for not wanting to eat them . and yes the plates are usually filled with chips usually overcooked


  • Everyone is entitled to their opinion and this manager handled the complaint badly. He has just brought more trouble down on himself when it would have been far easier to just offer one or two more nuggets. In my opinion with looking at the plate the ratios are a little out. The nuggets are really quite small and are overwhelmed by the amount of wedges. Simply make nuggets that are bigger and then the quantity would be about right. Other than that it seems like a good sized plate for a kid’s meal and I don’t think I would have made a complaint about it. $8.50 is also a reasonable price with most places charging around $10.


  • I’m sure the girl would hve eaten that meal and been satisfied. Looks fresh and yummy for an order of nuggets. Have you seen pale yellow half warm nuggets in the small box at other outlets??
    The manager can’t leave them without a meal. but some diners can be so frustrating must be exasperating.


  • I agree with most of the comments in saying it was good quality food not processed stuff you pay the same price for, however I do not agree with the portion size of the chicken compared to the wedges. Maybe should have been one or two more chicken pieces and less wedges and the customer probably would have been happier. I do believe in the power of word of mouth if your complaints are not dealt with fairly.


  • I think there are ways to complain and to get your point across. It’s now so easy just to jump online and incite outrage. People are ruining the image and reputation and businesses of hard working people. The customer is supposed to ‘always be right’ but many customers these days show such apalling behaviour, you really have to question motives. This is now the norm in behaviour and acceptance. Dont’ like something, go online and slam the person/business/etc. It just turns me off and makes me want to support the business more.


  • What happened to the motto ‘customer is always right’? The manager was clearly in the wrong with how he handled the complaint, leaving the child without food to eat, what the? I think she is brave to complain and ask for support on social media, if no one complains how are they going to know and improve things. Walking out and not going back does not solve the problem.


  • Social media at it’s worst. If you are not happy, vote with your feet – leave and don’t come back.


  • I don’t get the need to complain on social media. If I’m not happy with a place, I just don’t go back


  • Not sure I would have started a debate on social media about this. Maybe the quantity was small, but probably the quality is superior compared to other venues.

    • I always prefer a quality meal of medium size over a large meal with poor quality.


  • It is quite hard to get an idea of the actual size of the meal from the photo. The quality of the food is always important and fresh food and tasty food always wins with us when out. The controversy around this looks to have given the venue publicity both ways.


  • you know what, i agree with this lady & with the way it was handled by the so called manager leaves a lot to be desired. You go to macca’s or red rooster or even kfc you get a far better meal for $5 as for me i would have asked for my money back on every meal & then walked out never to return. That meal is not even worth $5


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