The Top Line: 1/10. I would strongly recommend not going there! (Don’t worry, you wont be missing out on much!) The food was not good, but that wasn’t the worst part (see the end for the bombshell).
The Review: OK, I’m going to give an honest review from my own experience, I hope none of you take it to heart, but I had a terrible experience at this restaurant.
Firstly, I had seen this restaurant several times before and always wanted to go in an try it. Why? It had recently been renovated and looked quite warm inside. There always seemed to be a little buzz around the place (even though a lot of the traffic came from people waiting for the restaurant next door: See my post on 257 Home Kitchen, which I also would not recommend – same concept, same rip).
Secondly, their food seemed alright! It seemed like one of those classic chinese-western restaurants with those silly dishes like Singapore noodles, curry chicken, egg and tomato rice, shanghai stir fry noodles, wonton noodle soup etc. Their specialty also looks spectacular – a massive pork hoc centrepiece, all glossy and shiny from that glaze on a gigantic platter surrounded by greens! Every table had one!! We didn’t.
On my second visit, I decided to try the lunch special for $7.80 for a main dish and a drink. We ordered a Curry chicken with rice and Fanta.
I cry when I see this picture, it was so bad. Firstly the waitress told us they had no fanta – half an hour later I see another table with fanta, coincidence? maybe… but it was all a bit sus… Anyway, oversized pieces of onion that dominate a curry -chicken-, green peas that was thrown in for fun (although thank god they were the best part), clumsy pieces of chicken probably cut from a drumstick and that horrid artificially yellow curry sauce that tasted of powder and left you with a salty aftertaste, chinese restaurant syndrome.
Second dish we ordered was the Spicy Pork with Rice and Soya Drink.
Definitely worse than the first one. This was in no way authentic. There was way too much black vinegar and dark soy which made the dish extremely corrupted and there had to be a little bit of that chilli pastes probably from a lee kum kee jar.
Then came the absolute thing that killed it. The restaurant owner comes over to my table and says ‘can you eat a little faster, there are people waiting.’
I was so shocked at this encounter I could not react quick enough. She didn’t say it in a pleading manner, she said it in an irritated manner. My gosh, this is a restaurant – when there are no seats left, people are supposed to wait in line until a table is finished with their meal. I’m sorry if I am a slow eater, I’m sorry if I wanted to talk to my company, but I felt like she was out of line by saying that, and then proceeding to reach down to grab our unfinished dishes. Luckily, she did refrain from taking them, but did say again ‘there are people waiting and no more seats left so if you could finish up…’
Well, even if I wanted to be rebellious, I wasn’t going to sit there in this atmosphere anymore. Clearly she did not want us there, so clearly I was going to leave. We didn’t finish the food, but it was not worth finishing. As I was paying my bill, she served me incredibly slowly, with more concentration on everything else around her. As she proceeded to hand me my change, I saw her trying to drop the coins in my hand… and then missing, so the coins fell on the bench top, leaving me to pick them up while she went to handle other situations. As I was leaving, she said ‘if you want to have a conversation, you can feel free to use the tables at the back, but while there are people waiting, I need to give them seats.’ Well thank you very much for your warm invitation but I shall be leaving now, never to see you again.
And for clarification, I was there was less than an hour, which is not excessively long. This just broke all the service etiquette, even for a Chinese restaurant! I know there have been instances where staff have tried to hurry customers along, but they do that discreetly (maybe handing you a bill, giving you 10 minutes notice), or they give you a time limit directly before your meal, not with that attitude and level of irritation. If you’re going to kick out customers, why would I become one of your customers ever again? She also spoke to me in Chinese. She probably would never do this to a non-Chinese customer or one that paid more for their meal … but then again, you’re the one who put such “good value” prices for lunch! Not my fault I got sucked into it and decided to take advantage of it!