February 28, 2010

Lei Garden restaurant, Chijmes Singapore…nice food served by dishonest and inattentive staff

The Lei Garden website has this boast: “Every Lei Garden staff is well conversant with the four pitfalls and four virtues in human nature taught daily by Mr. Chan. The four pitfalls that we have to watch out and refrain from are selfishness, stubbornness, laziness and pettiness” All very nice and fine. But perhaps someone should advise Mr Chan to expand it to six virtues and include dishonesty and non-attentiveness.

The assistant captain was very economical with the truth. Instead of a proper explanation or attempting to find a solution, she insisted our group squeeze onto a small table and kept insisting a 5ft-diameter table was same with a 6ft-one. She was walking not around with a dog and a cane, so I knew her eyesight was ok. The hostess eventually came and after admitting that the table was a smaller one, moved us to a larger table.

The waitresses are universally inattentive. You do get refills on the chinese tea, if you ever see your waitress. Our inattentive server  not only failed to refill empty glasses, they did not even notice that we were trying ot order some additional things. Overall, service underwhelming but not completely disappointing.

It’s too bad. Beautiful restaurant, food was yummy, but the staff need an overhaul. That’s the true truth and again, I say it as it is…


February 16, 2010

Mount Elizabeth Hospital Singapore…sorry seems to be their hardest word

Filed under: medical Centres — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 6:49 pm

Mount Elizabeth Hospital is a previous recipient of the Excellent Service Award (EXSA), a national award that recognises individuals who have delivered outstanding service.  I now understand why they haven’t won it since.

A simple gastroscopy of  the stomach by means of an instrument called a gastroscope turned into a Guantanamo Bay detention pow interrogation exercise. According to all the sites I’d googled the procedure is painless and is usually done under a light sedative as a day-case patient. In preparing for the administration of the sedative, the nurse attempted to attach a  small plastic tube  in a vein on the back of my hand. “Take a deep breath,” she said and pushed the needle into the vein. Then she retracted it and repeating the “take a deep breath” instruction again, she duly pushed the needle in again. This went on six wicked times. If I was a spy, I was almost ready to spit out the information the enemy want by now. I wondered how fun it would be for her if the roles were reversed and I was the one who said “take a deep breath” and poked that needle into her. After 1/2 a dozen times, she must have got bored of her game and called her colleague over. Taking one look, he said to me, “Your blood vessel’s burst. We have to try again on a different vein.”

It was difficult to tell that under the girlish exterior of this nurse beats the heart of a ruthless sadistic maniac. Elton John must have had her in mind when he wrote the song “Sorry seems to be the hardest word”. For an establishment of this status like Mount elizabeth where customer service is of pinnacle importance, you’d expect at least a verbal apology. But no such word could come from the mouth of the nurse from hell, could it?

I have now recovered from a Chinese New year with a swollen and bruised right hand. I have repeated my story to the many people I painfully shook hands with who took the trouble to notice and enquired about the brutal mark, and I am still telling the true truth saying it as it is…

February 7, 2010

Mad for Garlic, Singapore…I am mad for more

This Korean franchise at Suntec City (Galleria), Singapore  offers a good selection of Italian offerings that are incorporated well with garlic. Being a MFG virgin, entering the restaurant and being greeted with an ambience decorated with garlic bulbs, it seems I have just walked into a house in Transylvania.

The Garlic Bread Tower was absolutely amazing. The mussels dish was generous. The mussels was chewy, the spicy sauce was sauteed with onions and, of course, garlic. The pasta was delicious and the shrimp and garlic sprout were rich in aroma. The garlic snowing pizza was the best. It’s a sweet garlic (duh) pizza topped with shrimp and pineapple dice. I didn’t regret a single bite.

You can be sure of a healthy meal here. Thanks to the special recipes and preparations, the health benefits of the garlic has been retained.

Although most of the dishes are not that strong in garlic, they should serve some mouthwash with your dessert. At least your vampire boss will not bother you after lunch.

Mad for garlic is mad for your money. I didn’t know garlic could be so expensive, but still, I must be mad…cause I want more. Believe me, I tell the true truth, always saying it as it is.

February 1, 2010

Empire Hotel Brunei…overwhelmingly grand but underwhelmingly lacking in delivery

White marble. Gold accents. Luminous and breathtaking architecture. With a hotel with such sublime luxury, you would expect it to provide you with the heartfelt service experience of the majesty of Brunei Darussalam.

For starters, a quality hotel will have some Mystery Floors, because asking the doorman where the Italian restaurant is located will not help as he is as unaware as us.

When you send your shirts for pressing, be sure to mark for them to send it back to room 5325, otherwise they will take the liberty of delivering it to Cape Town for you. This will guarantee that you get kept awake for 1.5 hours that night to continuously repeat the description of your shirt till you emphatise with your pet parrot.

My stay was also educational. I learned from the staff in Spaghettini that there is no fizz in the bottle of San Pellegrino because the bottle is made of plastic and not glass. Wonder if the fact that the expiry date is a few days away has anything to do with it?? While you are in Spaghetinni, stay away from the lamb rack but you must have the chicken liver bruschetta.

Speaking of restaurants, Pantai is superbly located at the beachfront. The fish and chips make a good impersonation of banana fritters. This is the first 5-star restaurant that serves your starter, the spring rolls after everyone’s finished the main courses.

The room service staff will not leave you alone in your room until he has cleared the tray they brought you the room service food on. Took me 3 eternities to convince him I did not order any room service.

If this sounds like a stay in the dark side, it’s not. The staff members were extremely hospitable and they were clearly trying their best. They were warm, patient and friendly. It clearly boils down to training (or the lack of it). I speak the true truth and say it as it is.

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