On Thursday night, I was at Sapphire on Mount Faber with my date. The ambience, overlooking the night lights, was so fantastic and I decided that we should celebrate my sister’s birthday here – on Sunday. I asked the waitress to make a reservation for me and she returned with a name card, asking me to call the number. I was high with alcohol but was sober enough to think – what the hell? I am here, and you want me to call? Then the next minute, it struck me that Sapphire is under The Jewel Box, which takes in all the reservations. In a good restaurant, the waitress would have informed me so that I needed to go through The Jewel Box, but she didn’t explain this fact, and if I were an quarrelsome customer, her non-explanation could have led to much unpleasantries. In the best restaurants, the waitress would have walked down to the reception area and reserved for me, then inform me that my reservation was confirmed.
I should have read this bad service as a sign, and run, but noooooo, I am kind, I thought the waitress was polite and nice enough.
My sister and I walked into the restaurant and a waitress asked me in a very rude manner: “Yes?”
I said, “We made a reservation, under the name Wise Guy.”
As she was showing us our table, she said rudely, “Your two other friends are coming, RIGHT?”
My sister said to me, after she left, “That is very rude of her. Why is it her business to interrogate us like that?” But noooo I was kind, so I brushed it aside. I put her brusque manner as her personality.
We asked for water. It is strange because in such a classy restaurant as this, it should be taken for granted that water is automatically served and refilled at a regular interval. But we had to keep asking and asking for water.
I once did a review on Pasta Brava, asking what could go wrong with carbonara? Wow, apparently, carbonara can go wrong. There was no taste to this at all. It was milky and the dish wasn’t even warm. The chicken bits were in cubes and very hard, difficult to chew. Cream sauce is probably one of the few things in the world that is worth the insane high calories, but this sauce was fattening without being tasty. You would think the kitchen ran out of salt.
Chicken confit. Every patron ordered this and so we thought we gave it a go. You know why the kitchen had run out of salt for the carbonara? It was because all the salt went into the chicken. The chicken was just salty. Yes, it was tender but who cares about the tenderness when the moment you put it into the mouth, you want to spit it out? The best dish of everything we ate was the broiled vegetables.
After the two very bad dishes, the pizzas (top: tuscan pizza; bottom: Hawaiian) in comparison were okay. By “okay,” I mean it is slightly better than Pizza Hut. The crust was slightly lighter than pizza hut but it wasn’t thin crust. (seriously? Who makes non-thin crust pizza these days?) The toppings, I could tell, were freshly made but the pizzas tasted only slightly better than pizza hut. Usually good and bad pizzas are differentiated only by the freshness of the ingredients, but these pizzas were only so-so. Again, I think it’s because that the toppings didn’t have seasoning.
At this time, we asked for more water, and the rude waitress went, “YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH.” If this were the army, I would have replied “Yeah ki lan, yeah.” My sister complained about the waitress’s rudeness and again, I said, forget it lah.
And it was difficult getting the service staff’s attention. Three out of four of us had to wave our hands so that the group of them, standing at one corner doing nothing, could notice us.
We shared two desserts. Top: Chocolate mousse with ice cream and tiramisu with ice cream. Do you see what is wrong with the two photos? The ice cream was melted! By this time, after so much bad service and bad food, I was beginning to get mad. As you can tell, throughout the night, I have been very forgiving, and kind, and not being picky. But this is too much.
We started with the tiramisu and so I asked the waitress in an even tone, “Why is it that you guys serve us the tiramisu only when the ice cream has melted? You guys are so free, standing around, doing nothing.” She said she would change it immediately, which appeased my anger. Seriously, I am a softie.
While waiting for the tiramisu, we ate the chocolate mousse with vanilla ice cream. We just started eating, because we were excited about it as it was a novelty, coming in a jar. Then, after a few mouthfuls, we stopped and asked…”Wait, where is the mousse?”
We asked for the manager. We asked, “What dish is this?” He had to go consult his menu to tell us. And then we said we didn’t have any mousse. He took the dish to the kitchen and asked and came back to say that the ice cream had melted and mixed the mousse with it.
I said, “But the ice cream shouldn’t have melted in the first place. Both the mousse and the ice cream should have been solid.”
And then he talked back to me. At this time, he was very rude. It wasn’t what he said; it was in his condescending and brash tone. When he left, my sister commented on his rudeness. At this time, I was at a dilemma because I didn’t know whom to complain to since both his staff and he were rude.
Tiramisu came back. Do you see what is wrong with this photo? The tiramisu was the same as the first plate! Instead of doing a completely new dish, the chef merely transferred the tiramisu and added ice cream. And the ice cream was cavernous, hollow inside. Wow, talk about saving cost.
The chocolate mousse came back looking completely different. But do you again notice what is wrong? The menu says “chocolate mousse with vanilla ice cream.” Where was the ice cream? This time, I asked the manager and told him, “This is the worst dining experience in all my life.”
He said, “I’ll get you the ice cream.” At this point, there was a change in his tone. In the beginning, he was rude, now he was apologetic. Seriously, sometimes, you have to get angry to get people to pay attention.
I said, “You don’t understand. I don’t care about the ice cream. It’s the bad service; it’s the bad food. Everything here is so bad.” And all he kept stammering was he would change the dessert.
We decided we didn’t want any more dessert.
When we asked for the bill, my sister asked the manager, “What are you going to do about the situation?” I didn’t want to ask because I am proud, and I was also waiting for the manager to make amends on his own, take the initiative. The fact that we had to ask shows how bad the service is. After my sister asked, then he said he would give us a 20% discount and offered us tea and coffee.
Before he left, one friend said to him, “Thank you very much. Your service is very good.” The rest of us kept quiet and threw dagger-stares at that friend.
After he left, she asked, “Isn’t it true that his service is very good?”
Now, I was very irritated at her. I said, “NO, didn’t you see his attitude at the beginning? It is only at the end when we got angry was he apologetic. And he didn’t offer the discount. We asked for it. What kind of service is that?”
I am usually very kind in my reviews. Even the bad food gets an ok review. But this dining experience has left a bitter taste in my mouth. Seriously, Hoongy, the #1 reviewer on HGW, recommends this place? What is he thinking of?? Have some standards, for goodness sake. There are two other restaurants at the Jewel Box. Try them instead.
I still wish Chubby Cheeks were here to share the bad experience with me. And the romantic view. Weak, I am.
109 Mount Faber
Sun – Wed: 930am – 1am
Thu – Sat: 930am – 2am
Band on thu to sat.
Rating: 1/5 stars (for great ambience)