It all started with a lousy dinner on Sunday night.
Now we all know how crucial a good Sunday night dinner is to help to reduce those Monday blues, don't we?
Or is it just me? *Shrugs*
Last night, against all my better judgements, I allowed myself to walk into Pacific BBQ Cafe on Lonsdale Street (sister of the famous Pacific Seafood BBQ House in Richmond) because I was lured by the crispy skin roast pork displayed in the window and Wen had craving for roast duck.
Maybe I've just been away for too long that I had forgotten all about the kind of crappy service we get in HongKie restaurants around here, but seriously, the customer service was shocking!
First we were asked to share a table, which I hate, even when there were plenty of empty seats around and the place wasn't even full.
While we're on that note, I'd like to mention that Wen and I had concluded that 3 is the best number to dine out in Chinese restaurants (those without a white table cloth and wine glasses) in Melbourne. You will most likely get a table with 4 seats so you will have some personal space without feeling so crammed up like you're gonna knock something or someone over all the time, and you will have some distance from the other tables so you don't have strangers sitting next to you listening in on your entire conversation.
(Oh my God, did that just sound as sad as I think it sounded?)
Anyway, back to my story about my bad Sunday night dinner.
With a little luck, Wen and I actually got a tiny table to ourselves. Before we could sit down and take our coats off, the waitress was ready to take our orders. Not to mention that she insisted on speaking to us in Mandarin without asking if we understood the language even when we placed our order in English.
Okay, fine, I admit I'm being a tad bitchy about this, though I didn't show my displease at the time, because I had a horrible weekend with some really annoying guests in my apartment.
Our food came, my barbecued pork (char siew) and crispy skin roast pork were juicy and succulent, no complaints there. But the moment Wen put down her chopsticks, when she's barely half way through her roast duck noodles, a waiter popped up from nowhere, extended his arm, and wanted to collect her plate! Wtf?!
Every 5 minutes, I swear, the same waiter would appear and ask if we were done with our food. Now this all happened when the restaurant was not full and there were plenty of empty tables around. How rude is that?!
Oh, and we are not slow eaters, in case you're wondering.
Wen and I got so annoyed with him asking every 5 minutes that we simply let the waiter collected our plates when we were not even finished. I figured maybe he was just really eager to do his very important job of sending as many plates back to the kitchen as possible. *Rolls eyes*
After our plates were gone, I took a sip of my Coke with lemon, and the bill came without us asking for it. In under a minute! That's gotta be a world's record or something.
It was just slammed onto our table, without any explanation. And the same waiter started harassing the customers in the next table for their plates.
I understand your need of super fast turnover of tables in order to make as much moolah as possible in one night, but did you really have to be so blunt and abrupt while you're doing it? Would phrases like "please" and "thank you" kill you, really?
And maybe, just maybe, you can relax a little and give your customers a break when the place wasn't even full and there was clearly no line at the door?
Funny thing is, I don't see anyone rushing this Caucasian couple who's been there long before us and were slowly enjoying their meal with a bottle of BYO red wine.
It disgusts me sometimes how us Asians treat our own kind but would go out of our ways to lick the bottom of shoes of someone with a different skin colour.
And then there was this creepy man who kept staring at our table. He wasn't in his uniform, so initially I thought he's a customer waiting for our table, but turned out, he does work there. So maybe he's like the second phase "attack" after the waiter?
He was staring so rudely that I actually stared back at one point because I was that upset! He looked away for a bit, but started staring again soon after, inching closer to our table like an irritating fly.
The horror dining experience ended when Wen and I got bored with this seemingly impossible battle defending a customer's right to their table so they could at least finish their food and drinks that we decided to just leave.
And you'll be proud to know that we didn't tip that night. :|
With a bad weekend and a bad Sunday dinner in my pocket, I woke up this morning only to find that one of the annoying guests whom I've been trying to avoid like the plague is still in my apartment, and shows no intention of leaving anytime soon.
So no, I guess I'm not having that great a Monday.
I certainly hope yours is a better one.