As Chinese New Year is around the corner, we decided to organize a dinner with fellow colleagues. These are the people who joined the organization the same time as me, and were later on scattered around respective branches. It is only during occasion as such that we meet up reminisce the good ol’ training days and to catch up with one another’s lives.
It was my very first time visiting The Han Room, though I have heard about it numerous times. It belongs to The Oriental Group of Restaurants, hence I had high expectation on our dining experience this time. Made a reservation for 11 and we went there 2 hours earlier to place our order as we were told that the restaurant would be extremely busy on that night.
I must comment that the reception/waitress didn’t make us feel welcome at all. Instead of saying “欢迎光临”(welcome), she said “订佐台没？”(made reservation already?). Heck, I know your restaurant is probably fully booked la but don’t need to speak to us with that kinda tone. I expected better service than that from a supposedly “classy” restaurant.
It certainly didn’t come as a surprise that the price of everything in the menu was skyrocket high. Most of the dishes were priced by “per pax” instead of “per portion”. Considering the branding, the décor and the prime location, the pricing was indeed justifiable. We happily placed our order and walked around the mall while waiting for others’ arrival.
Fast forward to our dinner time, we were led by the waitress all the way to our table which was at a separate room outside during which we had to step on dirty carpet and passed by their dirty kitchen -.-
Although they arranged our table right outside the toilet, I tried to ignore the unpleasant scent and convince myself to accept this unforeseeable fate. Not sure whether the source of smell was the molded carpet or the toilet. But one thing I couldn’t accept was the fact that there were flies in the restaurant! How could there be flies in an air-conditioned restaurant?? I tried not to bother at first but one of the flies somehow got injured and fell onto my table spot! WTF. I do not care if the excuse was that people open the door to come in and out of the restaurant, because the presence of flies is a sign of unhygienic environment and is should not have happened at The Han Room. Someone should have done something to prevent it.
Anyway, we started our dinner with Lou Sang session. There were a variety of Yee Sang in 3 sizes, and we picked the Salmon Medium pack. I thought the salmon tasted weird as if it has been frozen for months.
Salted egg de-shelled prawns. Altogether 11 so each of us got to eat one. When we checked the bill we realized that this dish cost RM110, in other words RM10 for each prawn :/
Yin yang pomfret fish, tofu and vege. Nothing much to shout about.
The focus of the night was no doubt the suckling pig. This particular dish was brought in and out of the kitchen several times that night.
When I placed my order, I specifically told the waiter (or supervisor or whatever, a man in black coat) that we wanted the piglet itself without rice. In the menu, the piglet itself was RM280 and the piglet + glutinous rice was RM330. I was surprised that the dish came with rice when it was served. Did he not hear my instruction? I always made sure I speak loud and clear. Perhaps they served it wrongly? We decided to enquire the waitress.
Now before I forget about that waitress, she had been showing a long face the entire night! I always thought service industry hires polite and friendly staff. But it seems like she was unhappily serving us our dishes and unwillingly refilling our tea that night. 老娘歉你啥？I cannot condone such service attitude. Yet I thought Chinese New Year was supposed to be a joyous festive season?
Back to the piglet. When I told them it was the wrong order, they willingly took it back. Moments later someone came and explained that it was the same suckling piglet but served with rice. Well ya, I know?? Why state the obvious? Same pig but different price ma. They tried to push us into accepting that dish despite it being the wrong order. The thing is, I particularly instructed the waiter to place this order WITHOUT the rice! How could they mess up our order despite my clear and precise instruction? The only explanation was they tried to serve every customer this dish with rice for higher margin! I felt angry and cheated!
When I refused to accept it, they brought it back to the kitchen again. Heck I wondered what they’ve done to the piglet in the kitchen, because when they brought it back again the rice was still there. I refused to think that they have spitted in our food or mopped their dirty floor with the pieces of crispy pig skin, as I convinced myself that a reputable restaurant of such surely hires people of highest service manner and ethical behavior.
The waiter/supervisor who took our order came to solve the hoo haa. You know what made me really upset? It was the fact that he tried to argue with me that I pointed at the picture in the menu with rice when I placed my order, which I did not! I pointed at the fcking dish name which was labeled RM 280 k! Do not try to challenge my memory and patience! I cannot tahan being accused by a waiter when it was clearly their own fault to begin with. Then he tried to 将错就错 asked me to accept it with rice wtheck. He should never have pushed the fault on me. I told him that it was his mistake and he should do something about it instead of forcing us to accept it. It’s not that we can’t afford to pay. 50 bucks is after all, less than RM5 per person after we divide it. But it was their extremely inferior service level which made me so persistent.
Failing the argument, he suggested that we could have the dish and that he would discount 10% from our total bill, which was approximately 80 bucks off which was more than 50 bucks and we could still be better off. To which I told him that we memang entitled to 10% discount since we have the member card -.- Finally he gave me his word that he would deduct 50 bucks off from our bill prior to the discount. Which they later did by taking the yee sang of equivalent price off the bill.
Seriously, what is so difficult about changing the piglet? They could have just moved the piglet from one plate to another. Or if that was too much trouble, serve us another without rice! What is their fcking problem trying to argue with their customer and accusing their customer of placing the wrong order?! I wouldn’t say that customer is always right, but in this case I could proudly declare and speak with my conscience that I was right and totally had the right to demand for what we had originally wanted.
Perhaps some of you would have accept it and avoid the hassles when faced with such situation. But not me, as I always believe that we are entitled to our rights and should never be afraid to speak out. Call me stubborn or demanding. Believe me,不是我刁蛮或刻意难为人！
To conclude it, it was overall a rather bad dining experience at The Han Room. In my opinion they should really train their staff to improve their service level. Being a well-known restaurant does not give them the right to be rude or oblivious to their customers. Of course, I wouldn’t stop any of you from visiting the restaurant as some of you might not have so much expectation on services. The food was alright, but whether or not the price was worthwhile could be a matter of perspective.
On a happier note, do visit The Gardens Mall to check out the pretty CNY decorations.
Forgive and forget as we welcome the prosperous Goat Year ^^