To see the full review with pictures, go here. Apparently El Patio has been around since 1985! The colorful signboard and fonts and our hot weather were all very good at creating the atmosphere. We started with some tortilla chips with salsa and ordered a side of their queso con chile, a really tiny glass bowl of nacho cheese which you can get from Bel Monte Latin Supermarket. It was the perfect portion for two. Not hard to make either, if you just crack open a can of nacho cheese. I was expecting something more like Chili’s skillet queso. Next up were the fajitas in soft tortillas. They are really stingy with the sour cream, salsa, and guacamole, like any Singaporean Mexican restaurant. The fajita chicken was sizzling on the skillet and always makes everyone in the vicinity want to order the exact same thing. It smelt amazing and tasted amazing, although I would have liked more vegetables in it. For some reason we decided to also order a side of their chicken wings. They have some fancy pants name in the menu which I forget but that managed to successfully tempt me to order them. These were really, really good. Even better than the Malay fried chicken wings across the road in the hawker centre! I would definitely come back, but I want to try Cha Cha Cha first, which is 2 doors down. The only downside here is that they don’t seem to have any lunch specials, whereas other restaurants have been reacting to La Nonna’s 1-for-1 pizza or pasta with their own lunch deals! So the food here is a little pricey for Mexican food, I think we spent somewhere between $50-$60 for lunch.
On 13th Jan 2013, late evening, My sis n her hubby were looking ard for nice place to chill & watch soccer after a heavy dinner. They settled at El Patio & ordered drinks from the mgr. The mgr told them that they had to order some food, appetizer or main. So they DESPITE being very full from dinner, ordered chicken wings. After drinks were served, the mgr then tell them they had to order $15 per pax. Only becoz the couple wanted to continue watching soccer & had started on their drinks & some nachos, they ordered more food. After which they checked with another customer next them if they ordered $15 per pax, they were shocked to discover they did not ordered $15 per pax as claimed by the mgr. what was shocking was the "terms & condition" of ordering $15 per pax was not highlighted on the menu, neither during the initial order. My poor sis was forced into ordering so much food when she couldn't even finish the chicken wings she initially ordered. This is unexpectable service in Singapore!
I have been here a couple of times. The food is regular Tex Mex nothing outstanding. The service is terrible. I tried to book a table for a Saturday and she gave me so many instructions and conditions that I decided not to go.
The staff is sullen and discourteous and smug that they are so busy. Not a pleasant experience!
Having tried Cha Cha Cha next door, El Patio's competing neighbor, I wanted to try El Patio and thought my birthday was a good time to try with all my friends with me. I made a reservation for 18 people and the lady on the phone was curt and seemingly unatentive when she asked me the standard questions except for what time I would be there. When I told her 6:30pm, she said, "tsk, okok 6:30 ah".
Still, on the day of, I get a call from the estblishment at about 6:15 as I was on my way there and they claimed I had a reservation from 6pm.The staff were the usual boring just doing their job type, god forbid they have to bring you extra salsa. They were nice enough to bring plates and new forks with my cake though.
We were seated indoors where the air-con is pretty useless as they have no door, the decoration was very cosy mexican like.
The food was pretty good. I had a buritto and a enchilada plate. I really don't like the cheap bean paste in i think was the burrito (wheres the meat?!). Everything else was fine. A lot of my friends got the fajita hot plates which they liked and compared to a "tex-mex zi char hot plate".
All in all, it was a pleasant experience, but for more "WOW" to my taste buds, I think I'll stick to ChaChaCha (which I did go to for my 4th birthday dinner. hehe)
I believe most of us would agree that 2 main contributing elements to a good restaurant are well-prepared food and good service. Unfortunately El Patio has failed rather miserably in both aspects.
Having heard positive reviews on the Mexican food at El Patio, my friends and I made reservations for dinner last Friday. We were being held up at work thus called in to enquire if we could hold our reservations for 15mins. However, we were flatly rejected and told that they could only hold reservations for 5mins. We thought that the policy was in place because they were full house or had many people on the wait list.
We decided to try our luck and rushed down to the restaurant at around 745pm. However, it was rather empty. As compared to the restaurants around it, you could say it was definitely quieter with less occupied tables.
We placed our orders and were given a few rounds of the complimentary tortilla chips. The chips were stale and lack crispiness. I was a little disappointed with that. Then i tried their homemade guacamole. It was substandard and definitely did not taste fresh. Which is queer as it was stated on the menu that they are freshly made at 530pm everyday.
Halfway into our meal, the only male server came to inform us that we were to leave by 930pm. We were taken aback by his statement. He stated coldly that they were having regulars coming in at 930pm so we had to give up our seats to them. He further "explained" coldly that they make losses on weekdays and weekends are the only times whereby they could earn money. That was exactly what he said. He did not offer to shift us to the empty tables (there were empty tables near us at that point of time). He plainly chased us away. And he further "supported" his cause by stating that the other tables occuped by couples were easier to handle as they could be shifted elsewhere easily.
The server went away after making his statement and we were prepared to order more dishes when he came back and repeated that we have to leave at 930pm. Obviously we were unable and not willing to order additional dishes to rush to finish. We might as well go for fast food instead.
Does this mean that as a paying customer, I should rush through my meal so as to allow you to take in customers because you want to maximise profitability? I am to pay service charge for such rude servers and nonexistent customer service?
The absurd and horrible service totally turned us off. On another note, if the food was up to expectations, maybe the overall experience would not have been so awful. However, the food we ordered - mixed combo fajitas were not fantastic too. The meat were overcooked and the guacamole was not fresh. And of course, we were unable to give them a second chance to redeem themselves by trying the other dishes - we were chased away.
We proceeded to settle the bill and asked the server if there were another credit card discounts. Without even thinking, she gave a quick and affirmative no. I had to ask her a second time to check with her colleagues. She finally came back and said there was.
I personally have never experienced such customer service. It is beyond appalling. They do not treat us with respect. No greetings, not smiles. I will definitely not patronise this restaurant ever again.
I was there with 2 friends for late dinner last night and the experience there was pure nightmare!
Food was okay. One can easily find similar quality Mexican food elsewhere in Singapore.
However, the service was really terrible. There wasn't a single smile on any of the service staff's face. In addition, I have never come across any waitress in my life who have asked me in a curt manner "Are you done?!" when wanting to clear up the dishes at our table. I believe as a customer, expecting some basic service courtesy as "May I clear the table?" is reasonable.
The worst of it came when my friend accidentally caused a 20 cent hole in their table cloth with a cigarette butt when attempting to put off the cigarette with a tissue paper after the waitresses ignored my friend's request for an ashtray twice. The owner demanded us to pay USD80 for the cloth and refused to reach a compromise on the compensation amount. Paying USD80 for a cloth that was being used many times and can continue to be used because the restaurant uses a white paper to cover the cloth, sounds pretty much like an extortion to me! Even the police was being called upon to settle the dispute!!!
Simply unbelievable!! I don't believe this how someone should run their business and treat their customers in a service industry.
Would we ever go back again??? I don't think there's even a need to answer the question!