It’s true that not every one of our dining experiences always turned out good. That’s life, isn’t it? You get some good and definitely some bad as well. Most times when I encountered a bad dining experience, be it at a roadside stall or in a 5-star establishment, I seldom blog about it. Like what I’ve always been taught: if you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything. The not-so-pleasant factors could be bad food, been made to wait too long for service, bad attitude from the staff, unreasonable prices, dirty premise etc etc. Usually if it’s just one of these, well…. I tend to forgive and forget. At most, I avoid going back to that place again.
However, if it’s a combination of several factors, then I feel I should express my frustrations. More so when a restaurant brands itself as “grand”… as in the Grand Palace at Pavilion. Not only “grand”, but “palace” somemore! So isn’t it only natural that its customers should have some expectations from such a restaurant? Located on the 6th Floor of Pavilion (I heard that floor is reserved for the “higher end” outlets), we headed to this restaurant one late Sunday morning, looking forward to fill our tummies with some dim-sum.
As it was still pretty early, the place wasn’t busy – maybe about 6-7 tables were occupied. Once seated, we were served this plate of appetizer… strips of cold chicken breast meat slathered with mayonnaise, sitting on some limp shreds of cucumber. Not very impressive. The breast meat strips were tasteless & hard – possibly stripped from leftover chicken?
We quickly marked the dim-sum items of our choice (selections were pretty limited actually) and waited for our food. After about 15 minutes’ wait, these appeared on our table…
As we were ravenous, those plates were emptied quickly. I would say none made a big impact on me – the Cha-siu Pau and Woh Tip (fried dumpling) were just OK. The Chee Cheong Fun was served without the requisite sambal – we actually had to request for that! The Steamed Fishballs were… forgettable.
After the 1st 4 dishes, service slowed down. So I took a walk to check out some huge pots of food laid out at one end of the restaurant… and this was what I found…
Yes, the pots of food, some half-filled, were presented in that manner – they looked like leftovers from some event the day before?? Isn’t it appalling?
The next few dishes of dim-sum appeared…
More sloppiness – just look at that plate of Braised Chicken Feet. That little pot of Curry Pigskin + Fishballs took the prize for “Most Tasteless Dish” of the day. The fishballs tasted like they came from a long-frozen pack from the supermarket.
The Steamed Pork Ribs with Bittergourd and Fried Springrolls were possibly the only 2 dishes we enjoyed… because after these, everything went downhill.
LL had ordered a plate of Wantan Mee with Pig Foreshank (pork trotters) because according to him, dim-sum are for wimpy eaters – he needed something more sustainable. So we waited…. and waited…. and waited for the noodles. We reminded 3 different staff about this order.
When there was still no sign of our wantan mee, after 40 minutes, I snapped a photo of these staff – apparently they were responsible for the noodles because we saw the 3 service staff going over to them each time we reminded them….
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the elusive plate of Wantan Mee with Pig Foreshank were brought out…
“Sloppy” was really the theme for the day. Family & friends who have eaten at my house will know that I will never EVER serve any food without first wiping clean the sides of the plate/bowl. So how can a supposedly-high-end restaurant allow their food to be served like that??! I hate sloppiness.
It was darn disappointing to find that the noodles were lukewarm, the pig foreshank were also just lukewarm, hard & chewy… but the worst part was the accompanying bowl of soup…
… which was not even lukewarm – it was cold! Cold soup in a chinese restaurant is akin to a crime. What more can I say?
By this time, all we wanted to do was to get out of the place. We cancelled the dessert and called for the bill…
I noted that all the dim-sum items were listed in Chinese only but for a few “regular items”, there was English translation. When I asked the service staff why there was no English translation for the dim-sum items, her flippant reply was “oh it’s like that la”. Strange – only the dim-sum items can’t be translated, it seems.
So, just a little warning here: if you don’t read Chinese, you won’t really know if you have been billed correctly for your dim-sum at this place.
As we made our way out, we were completely ignored by the few staff milling around the entrance … no nods, no smiles and certainly no “thank you, please come again”.
Well, that’s fine because I don’t think we want to go there again anyway.