29 Sep 2012 • 8 reviews • 4 followers
Akanoya is one of my favourite restaurants in Singapore and I have been there on several occasions with friends and family, until today, when I was told in no uncertain terms by Nakamura (who appeared to be the manager on duty), never to come back to the restaurant.
After our table had been cleared, our party of 4 sat chatting for at least 10 minutes before asking for the bill. Upon checking the bill, we discovered that they had charged us $48 for melons which had not been served. At this point, we indicated to the waiter that we were proceeding elsewhere for dessert, that they did not have to serve the melons, and asked for the item to be taken off the bill.
The waiter told us that this was not possible as this was part of a set and we were expected to pay for it. We disputed this because we ordered everything ala carte and no one had informed us of this “set” requirement. Further, the melons still had yet to be served.
The manager then came over and “explained” that this was a “Japanese restaurant” in a condescending manner – as if we had no idea what the customary practice in a “Japanese restaurant” was (We know what otoshis are – but this was on top of the otoshi charge). We told him simply that we had not eaten it and we did not want it, no one told us it was part of a set and it had been literally forced into our bill.
At which point, he said to me that he recognized me and that I should have known that this was their practice. I was a party of 4, 3 of whom had never been. Surely the restaurant could have informed each dinner party of such a “practice” instead of assuming that they can charge for whatever they intend to serve to the dinner table. On previous occasions, they had served the melon rather quickly and we had eaten it immediately prior to the bill – and as such, there had never been such a dispute and it was never clear to me that refusing the melon was not an option.
We reaffirmed that we were willing to pay for the rest of the meal, bar the melons, and told him that he could call the police if he felt that we were wrong in any way. He replied matter of factly that calling the police was not necessary. He said he would remove the $48 melons charge from the bill on the condition that we never come back to the restaurant – this came as a huge shock to the group given how minor this issue had been, and he could have simply acquiesced to what was not an unreasonable request.
Yes, Akanoya is probably one of the better rokatayaki restaurants in Singapore - but given their absolute disregard and disdain for their customers, and how they try to shove S$12 slices of melon down their customers' throats (I have no issues paying $80 for an order of taraba), I would recommend that folks take their business elsewhere for a more pleasant dining experience. Mr. Nakamura clearly has no business working in the service industry.