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Review for Ban Heng Restaurant (Orchard Central)


Eatability rating

10 reviews

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Address: #11-01/02, Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, 238896
26 Apr 2014

23pqx Dinner so-so Food on 25Apr2014

we started with the list of chef’s recommendations above.
for me the best dish was the abalone. it was about or almost the normal good restaurant standard, not better.
the rest of the dishes were kind of below par or maybe i should say just ok. however everything is relative. the price of S$26.80 is i guess pretty alright for the number of dishes, 
the chilli crab was pretty ok though not spicy (as we were told by the servers).
the sharkskin soup was gluey like sometimes served in wedding dinners. i took <1/2 of the portion served.
the drunken prawn had nicely herb flavoured soup. the prawn was quite ok.
the frog legs were a bit below par say c/w the plump, meaty ones at ah yat turf city.
likewise the garlic steamed scallops with tanhoon. this should be a pretty standard dish if using live scallops, but somehow the scallop & garnishing were not tasty. 
the stir-fried scallops with asparagus was also an average dish. the asparagus were quite good in texture & taste. scallops were just average. like the frog leg, this dish was lacking in ‘wok hae”, which was surprising as the baby kailan dish that came later had very good wok hae.
the deep-fried soon hock was also quite average. the fishes were crispy outside, the inside were not moist & tender as the usually good ones at most restaurants, & the sauce were not so tasty as well.
the 1/2 seabass with spicy bean sauce was good. 
the roast duck was good too, flavourful but just a tad salty. compare this with the really good roast duck at noodle restaurant at centrepoint!
the 2 vegetables dishes we ordered were quite good, above average.
the baby kailan had very good wok hae.
& the spinach with superior stock was good. nice tasty stock.
the deep-fried tofu with thai sauce was much below par, both the tofu & also the sauce.
the mayo prawn salad was quite ok & refreshing though not a favourite with me.
the hae chor looks were not so appealing. the taste was just ok.
the braised goose was to me below par, which is kind of surprising for an establishment that started out as teochew restaurant 42years ago in 1972. it was not ‘pang” i.e. flavourful & texture was over boiled. my favourite is the braised duck at imperial treasure teochew restaurant at ngee ann city. 
overall, food, ambience & price were quite ok for such a get-together. ala carte buffet was quite convenient, one price, easy to manage for groups & don’t really have to plan or pre-order the food, pretty much order anything you fancy. we were mostly more interested in talking, with food as a good accompaniment, so i was not paying much attention to the menu too. it’s probably not a place i would go much or soon.
Average Spend
$31 for 1 pax
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awful, terrible, disgusting service by managers of restaurant

Had my family's reunion dinner at orchard central ban heng, ni swear i'll never go bk 2 another ban heng again cos of a terrible experience. I understood tat wet wipes r usyally chargable, n so r snacks before a meal.These r costs which r incurred if u use them n if u dont use them,they will remain unchargable.i gathered all the wipes n put them aside. The auntie without asking us,opened a wet wipe in front of us 2 wipe a spill on our table n this prompted me 2 clarify tat we dont intend 2 use the wet wipes.She checked with the manager n came bk 2 me that the wipes r already in the $398++ set menu we ordered n will not b charged extra.I also clarified tat the tea n plain water r all part of the set n she said they were all inclusive.We only used 2 wet wipes. When presented the bill, i was charged an extra $15 FOR TEA/WET TISSUE.We tot they cld hv made a mistake n called for the manager.A rude guy manager attended 2 us, so we told him his staff said the wipes n tea were not chargable.He rudely n loudly told me 2 show me who the staff was.I walked with him back to our table and asked auntie to clarify n she said the lady manager told her so.The guy said we shld know nothing is free n that in spite of the info given by the auntie, we shld hv read the prints at the bottom of the menu tat the price excludes other charges.I told him it was precisely we knew that such items r chargable tat we opt out from the start n only cos their staff said they were not chargable tat we used them.He actually said the auntie was not their staff! I said if she wasnt their staff then y did shd serve us n that she was wearing an uniform?He carried on insisting she was not their staff.I asked him if i was supposed 2 hv asked every single staff working 2 ensure the info was correct?How cld he hv even denied that someone in banheng uniform is not their staff when she had served us the entire night?I told him i will only pay for the bill if he wrote off what they shldnt hv charged or i will not sign my bill.He threatened 2 call the police,we told him 2 go ahead,n he walked off.i asked the auntie who was the lady manger who told her the info.I went to the lady at the cashier n asked her 4 an explanation, n she said the aunite conveyed a wrong msg..She tried to offer me another 10 wipes but i still had to pay for the extras.I asked her why i would need the wipes when i didnt even use the ones i had.She caved n asked if it wld be ok if she wrote off the extras.I told her i will pay for what i was promised. If i was made to pay for what i didnt want it wld be deemed like i was cheated.I hv already ordered a meal of $400++, what is $15 to me? It's just frustrating that the rude guy tried 2 make us look like fools.I asked the lady for the rude guy's name n she refused to tell. Managed to find out his name is Xiao Xin. Ironically, he is not as 小心 as his name should be, but definitely a guy with a small heart. After he threatened us,he hid in the office n didnt come out.


The service sucks! Don't go.

Booked a table for 11 last Sat 9-Jan-2016 for lunch. Arrived at 12:10. We were ushered to a table that was laid out for 6. I commented that the table looks too small for 11 of us. The manager (a young man) and another waitress insisted that the table is big enough for 11. We saw there were bigger empty tables and asked why we cannot be given a bigger table. The manager mentioned that these tables were already booked. The manager then rudely suggested that we can split to 2 tables. I said I am having a meal with my family and close friends. Why split us if you have bigger tables that were not occupied? Again he was rude when he said that it is normal to split tables. This really pissed me off.
 We sat down and ordered our food. Then realized that these bigger empty tables were prepared for a wedding dinner taking place in the night. They could have given their lunch time guests these tables and turn around for the wedding dinner after the lunch buffet is over at 3 pm unless they are so inefficient that they cannot turn-around for the dinner within 3 hours.
 The next thing that caused a lot of inconvenience to us as diners was the insufficient space on the table. We have to finish off the dishes or distribute the food so that the waiters can clear the plates before the next dish can be placed on table. We ended up rushing through our food. This made our lunch a very unpleasant experience of rushing to finish the food instead of enjoying it.
Next, we were told that we can help ourselves to the desserts on a common table. If it is a-la-carte buffet, then we expect to be served including the desserts. I don't think the restaurant will give us a discount on the service charges just because we helped ourselves to the desserts. The thing that upset us was that they took away the desserts quietly without informing us. This is most unprofessional.
 Overall, the experience we encountered was unpleasant from the little to no smile on the faces of the service staff to the rude and unprofessional responses from the manager and especially to have to eat our food in a rush and in such squeezed position. We won’t be patronizing this restaurant for a long time to come.

Giving them another chance

Had a really bad dining experience with their service at the Harborfront outlet a while back and almost swore never to return again. However, I relented after my friends decided on having dinner at the Orchard Central outlet. For about $30 a pax, it's quantity over quality. There were hits and missess. The hits: 
- Fried chicken wings
- Braised duck  
- Sweet and sour soup 
- Drunken prawns
- Abalone (1 serving/ pax)
- Fish (any fish as they probably would not be able to provide top quality, fresh fish) 
- Crabs (same as the above)

We gathered on a weekday night, thus the place was generally empty and the staff were attentive to our requests. Would advise to patronize the place on weekday nights, rather than on weekends. 

Worst experience ever.

Went there on a Sunday aftnn to cele my grandma's 70th birthday. 
1) Long queue at entrance with big families waiting to be seated. My gma was on a wheelchair. Customers in front of us waved & called the servers but all were ignored. Apparently we all had reservations & just wanted to know which table was ours. We had to phone our relatives who were seated inside & then entered ourselves. Nobody attended to us even when they saw us walking in. 
2) 1 waitress (grumpy old lady) came & asked what drinks we wanted (we weren't even seated down yet). She was shouting in mandarin "Sir! Sir! What drink u want! Sir!" As we were still settling down (we had 2 tables & it was squeezy for 21 pax so we were still shifting chairs & allocating seats for the kids), I told her politely to come back later. Her response "I VERY BUSY HORH NO TIME TO COME BACK LATER. I WANT TO SERVE ALL 1 SHOT NOW. SIR! SIR!" We just settled for hot tea to get her to stop screaming.
3) They kept on serving food over our heads & from my gma's side even though we asked them not to. My gma's wheelchair was at the most spacious side (obviously) so they kept serving from there & even said "My legs need to go in else I cannot put the plate down!" The waitress was MUMBLING & COMPLAINING NON-STOP about being short-handed while serving.
4) Brought gma to handicap toilet & it was locked. We asked some1 to open it & she said "Just use the normal toilet la!" We explained that the wheelchair can't enter that's why handicapped toilets exists. She replied "Go 3rd floor toilet can!" We had to make my gma walk to the normal toilet because she was urgent. She just suffered a stroke so she can't really walk.
5) They never once cleared our tables & changed our plates. We self-service all the way & kept walking to the counter to take new plates, etc. We also cleared our own plates (incl. the main dishes huge banquet plates) & put it on the counter & they then cleared from there.
6) They only refilled our tea ONCE. I had to get the pot myself & went around both our tables pouring for every1. That 1 time she refilled for us, she spilt the tea unto my plate & said that the pot was lousy. Yes she did not apologise for soaking my crab either. She merely said she'll change my plate, WHICH NEVER HAPPENED. 
7) What appalled us further was that when they served us the food, they passed it to us by hand instead of putting in down on the table themselves?! Attitude cos we didn't want them to serve from my gma side?
8) We asked for a knife to cut the bd cake, they kept pushing us here & there. We went to open their drawer to take a knife & clean plates & serviettes ourselves.
9) After singing the bd song, the MANAGER remarked in Cantonese "Like that we no need to sleep already lor, stay here so long." (we assume they nap btwn shifts?) He shouted across us to another waitress. Yes they were clearing up & shifting tables etc. but we weren't even the last customers!
FIRST & LAST TIME THERE. They ruined Ban Heng's reputation. 

Don't waste your money here

This restaurant gave me the worst ever experience.  Basically they have 3 problems.

1. Their food has lousy taste.  They can't even get some simple dishes right.

2. Their ingredients are not fresh.  The crabs were not fresh, the sea bass was not fresh, their scallops were not fresh.  

3. Worst of all, the attitude of their service staff.  They are plain RUDE to their customers.  When they talked to the customers, they talked like scolding the customers.  When we were there, we were the only group there, there wasn't a single other customer in the entire restaurant, so there was no such thing as shortage of manpower.  Even the most easy-going member of our group thought their service staff were rude.