The sister turned a year older yesterday so we had an early dinner celebration with family at her chosen restaurant, The Clifford Pier. Located within The Fullerton Bay Hotel, the restaurant serves, simply put, hawker fare in a so-atas-it-hurts environment. Of course, you pay prices along the lines of $19++ for wanton mee. I told the sister that our Dad will get a heart attack if he sees the prices. Hur hur.
Anyhoo, what the birthday girl wants, the birthday girl gets so off we went. But first, we made the son pose with a giant teddy bear.
As usual, I took about 12,500 shots before this made the cut. He was distracted by something (tourists, I think) and refused to look at the camera despite us calling his names and the boy making strange noises to get his attention.
I made the reservation for 6pm via Chope and was surprised when we arrived at about 6,10pm that the table was being “prepared”. Erm ok. Service lapse #1.
We decided to entertain ourselves by taking photos in and around the hotel. I have to admit that the environment makes for gorgeous photos.
I expected the hostess to inform me once the table was ready but no. I had to walk up to her again after about 10 minutes to ask if our table was ready. She replied feebly with a “Erm yes” and walked forward, expecting us to follow her. Okaaaaay.
I was holding the sister’s birthday that we picked up along the way and asked if she could assist by putting it in the fridge. In her words: “I’m sorry Mam, we cannot keep food from outside.”
I was dumbfounded and asked: Erm, this is a birthday cake. So….should I leave it outside and let it melt?
Clueless hostess: *smiles weakly and stays silent*
Service lapse #2. Why was this not communicated to me in the reservations that NO OUTSIDE FOOD/CAKE IS ALLOWED, I’m not sure.
We got down to ordering and eating. I remember reading that they have a 4-course set promotion at S$58++ but it was not presented so I had to ask. Can you see the pattern here? At this point, I was getting a little impatient with the strange service standards.
So we ordered, food came and we ate. Yes, it was uninspiring to say the least. Oh, I forgot to add that a portion of plain rice is $5 (refillable). Environment is TOP NOTCH and the food wasn’t bad per se so I’m guessing we are paying for the ambience more than the food. Halfway through dinner, a jazz pianist entertained with popular tunes and that was nice.
At the end of dinner, a slice was cake was presented to the sister. The waitress (not the surly hostess) apologised that we couldn’t consume the cake that we brought, hence they are giving us the cake instead.
Perhaps we were just unlucky but our encounter with the hostess and the incident with the “outside cake” marred an otherwise lovely evening with the family. A simple case of communicating their policy to guests who made a reservation would have sufficed.
I don’t foresee myself going back again unless I have overseas guests. I guess it is nice to enjoy hawker food in a posh environment instead of sweating it out at a local hawker centre. Then again, isn’t that the quintessential Singaporean experience? So yes, if you are thinking of heading to The Clifford Pier, I hope that you do not meet the clueless hostess and please remember not to bring your own birthday cake.