What’s a Pleasant Dining Experience?

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It has been a long time (really very long) that a dining experience has left me frustrated and disappointed. There are certain expectations when you enter a restaurant or eatery or whatever places that serve food, whether it is the décor and the prices the place charges, all the way to the food quality/quantity and service. For the prices it charges there are certain expectations, but I guess disappointments are part of life and you learn from these lessons. Like in this case, to always make sure they repeat the order and get it right the first time.

I wasn’t that impressed with Wrap & Roll the first time I was there and spent S$94++ (for 4 people) on simple Vietnamese appetizers in an eatery with simple unappealing fast-food like décor. Compared to my previous visit to Wrap & Roll, we visited in the evening after dinnertime and it was only two people. The reason why we chose Wrap & Roll was because it had the least crowd (no queue and not much customers at the time), so I decided to give it another try. We were prompted ushered inside (this time) and seated down, but when I tried to get our order taken, I was ignored for a good 15 minutes or so (two waiters/waitresses, at different times, saw me and acknowledged, indicating that they would come over to take the orders, but they never came and I had to wait till there was one near the table next to us to make it known we would like to have our order taken).

Even when someone was there to take down the order, it was the beginning of a mini-nightmare. Perhaps it was my fault for being tired and not making the waitress repeat the order (which is practiced almost everywhere but here). Or perhaps its was hers, when she found it normal for two people to just order a bowl of dry noodles and an appetizer, not checking back to confirm the order. So when the appetizer came, then the bowl of dry noodles I was expectant for my fish noodles but it never came. I soon realized something was wrong: they had either forgotten my order or totally did not record it down. And the place was not even at full capacity, if it were it would have been understandable (to a certain degree).

Upon that realization (and after 20 minutes), my appetite had ran away. I was no longer in the mood to eat (after being ignored and waiting for so long). Yes, I could have informed them and gotten that bowl of fish noodles, but what was the point when my appetite had left and I would have to pay for something I no longer wanted. What could they have done to make it a better dining experience at that point? Nothing. It wasn’t a fantastic experience the first time, but on the second visit, service was more than lackluster, ineffective and inefficient. 

Good Acceptable (and hopefully palatable) food should always go hand in hand with good service (pretty décor can only do so much), especially when the price dictates that there will be some sort of service (or at least remove that 10%, so that there are no expectations). Even if service is not that great, or the food not that fantastic, there should be basics like smiling, repeating the order, making a copy of the order available on the table, and at least reasonable good response times for taking down orders etc...Well, for me at least.

What about you?
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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


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