Friday, 29 April 2011

Lunching At A Not So Tranquil Garden

Have you tried the Gardens Lifestyle Store & Cafe over at Mid Valley? I went there for the first time on Wednesday and what I thought to be a nice lunch under the plastic tree, while being serenaded by live piano music played in a huge birdcage, became a screaming (yes, I did scream out of frustration) affair for me. The people who had lunch with me, and quite used to see my ugly face when I'm angry; was just laughing merrily when they saw my "black" face over extremely shoddy service and worst of all, over-charging. Can you imagine the cafe supervisor overcharged us by almost RM100 and didn't have the courtesy to explain when we inquired?  My GM paid for the bill and I only got to know the exact amount when I returned to the office. I asked for the bill from him and was shocked when I saw things charged but weren't served to us. Do they think I'd keep quiet about it? What did I do after? Raise a complaint over to their HQ people.  I don't deal with mere store managers when I'm pissed off. I go straight to the upper management.

There are more stories about it, but the first, the lunch itself...
Our table, overlooking that nice piano in a cage
Cappuccino Viennesse
Ice water is charged RM1 (no refill, and the staff will get surly if you do ask for a refill! A Longan Blast and Ice Lemon Tea
Coffee in a floral cup
Spaghetti Marinara
Tandoori Pita
Peking Duck Pasta
Fish & Chips
Grilled Norwegian Salmon
Grilled Barramundi
My own lunch - Grilled Australia Prime Aged Sirloin Steak
We were supposed to have some cakes too, but as some of us waited up to an hour for our food to arrive, I decided to cancel the cake order. That's not all, we had to wait for like, half an hour for the staff to print out the bill!

The problems at this cafe stems from the couldn't care less attitude of the wait-staff (they are so blur, I had to shout at them to bring the orders to the correct person in our party of 30 pax), supervisors not doing their job, and food served to other customers who came later than us despite us pre-ordering our food before  our arrival. Maybe they've never experience a big party coming in for lunch before, and maybe if it was just a  party of two, the service would be way better, but for me that's such a lame excuse. If you can't deal with people, don't work at the frontline. Or maybe you should go work at McD instead. You'd be excused if you act like some mindless zombie there.

But on the bright side, the HQ people (I talked to several) were really nice and quite efficient  (this includes the nice receptionist too) in dealing  with my complaint. They did an investigation immediately and held a meeting to address the issue. The marketing manager called me a few times after that to assure me that they are taking care of the matters and invited me out for lunch to discuss it further. Them immediately addressing my complaint was already enough to make me happy and forgive everyone but I sincerely felt that all the "blur" staff at that cafe including the managers should be re-trained on how to work in a F&B business! And they've just lost a few top management customers in my company who already banned me from ever making reservation there ever again.

That's why folks, service is important so that you don't lose customer. Rectifying the issue afterwards is commendable, but sometimes it can be a little too late...

I'll give the cafe another chance, but like I told the marketing manager, I sure hope the staff there won't sabotage my food by spitting on it if I ever return there for my meal!

And folks at work, if you are reading this, more photos of the farewell lunch over at my FB account including the birthday cake cutting.


  1. If I were you I would have done the same thing. Lack of service is enough to get on anyone's nerves but overcharging with no reason is ridiculous!

    I've yet to try this place but I pass by it all the time in One U.

  2. hmmmm, i don't even plan to eat in this restaurant, to me things are not really that attractive and are slightly overpriced..

  3. have only been to their outlet in 1U once, and i guess well, nice environment and food are quite ok, but not quite worth the money..

  4. and this MV outlet, i think it's quite noisy and colleagues went there and complaint about their lousy service, plus your experience here, which makes me blacklisted it already..

  5. haha, the HQ are always better after you make a complaint.. cos those are the management people and i guess they care about the business, haha.. :D

  6. @sriyany,
    That's why. And making customers pissed off is not a way to get repeat customers. o.O

  7. @SK,
    Yeah, I too think the price is a tad too high. But well, when somebody else is paying, who cares! LOL And anyway, we pay for that nice ambiance too.

    Yup, HQ people are better but if only HQ people pro-active but the frontliners themselves don't care a hoot, it wouldn't do, would it?

  8. I have passed by this place but never dined here before. Restaurant has a nice setting and ambience.

  9. @Mei Teng,
    It does have a nice ambiance but rather not-so nice service.

  10. Oh dear! Bad service does kill business. Was the food any good? Some of them do look nice.

  11. Lina, psst..go read the comment I left at SK's.

  12. @HappySurfer,
    Bad service or no, business is sure brisk there though. I guess some people don't mind sub-standard service.

    My steak was so-so. I think I get better value eating at Tony Roma's. But the Caesar salad with smoked salmon was quite nice for me.

    And the marketing manager highly recommended their char koay teow.

    And I left a reply over at SK's. I agree with you, the comments there are way out of control now. LOL

  13. The food looks really good and I want one of the Cappuccino Viennesse!!

    Japan Australia

  14. @Japan Australia,
    The food presentation there is sure nice. Yeah, I want that cappuccino viennese too. :)

  15. never tried here...

    good food + good service = excellent
    so so food + good service = OK
    good food + bad service = sorry, u got bad review :)

  16. @Yatie,
    And average food + bad service = no return visit! XD

  17. Food looks great but too bad, service lousy...=_=

  18. @Alice,
    The food there indeed has nice presentation. I hope they'll improve on the service though.

  19. can i have a sip of the Cappuccino Viennesse?

  20. @LR,
    Sure you can. Come on over. ^^



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