Looking for a place to have a Japanese dinner, I decided to pay a visit to En Japanese Dining Bar at UE Square.
To start, we had the Sashimi Moriwase ($38.80) which consisted of red snapper, salmon, tuna, yellowtail and octopus. Three slices of it. What was amazing was that I found out at the end of the meal that we had a 50% off that dish.
From the grill menu I tried the Wafu Steak ($17.50). Unfortunately I found the meat to be too chewy. I also tried the Tsukune ($9). The chicken balls were huge tasted quite "beefy" if you ask me - too thick.
The carbo dishes though were quite good. The Wafu Spaghetti ($12.80) was a huge portion of cod roe spaghetti - quite creamy. The Garlic Fried Rice ($10.80) is really big and has a good level of "wok hei".
Overall, while food has its ups and downs, the service unfortunately did not make the mark. The (limited English speaking) waitress got my orders wrong - with orders like the steak and the ice lemon tea not recorded. That unfortunately marred the otherwise so-so dining experience.
When I called in to enquire about using Groupon vouchers on a weekend, because it wasn’t stated : Reply was that It can't be used. (NOTE: He does not mention that we don't accept them now or you need to make advance booking)
Nevertheless, we visited the outlet with a reservation (see below). And when I was making payment at the counter, (as I felt full and decided to take a short walk instead of waiting for the staff), I saw a few sheets of Groupon vouchers (1st pc: exactly the one which I wanted to purchase) beside the cash register, I asked if these coupons are being used today? Reply from cashier was positive. He even double checked with another staff, and confirmed it.
During the call, I requested to make a reservation as I still wanted to visit the place. I wasn’t being prompted if I wish to take an Indoor or Outdoor seating and I assumed that it will be indoors which will be the de-facto standard in most restaurants. Seats outdoor or bar counters will always be prompted before confirmation.
Upon arrival, the staff informed that most of the indoor seats were reserved 2-3 weeks ago, and mine was short notice. I have no other comments and asked to be transferred asap.
Conclusion: Honesty of staff: “You don’t ask, I won’t inform. Nothing’s wrong, you can’t fault me.”
Felt disappointed x 2.
Food was good, value for money. Staff’s helpful though service was slow at times. It was a warm Saturday evening, took 10 mins to serve Ice water. And during meal, 10 mins after ordering, to serve a bowl of plain rice. Garlic rice was tasty and Beef lion was succulent and tender.
Restaurant was only 40% filled.
The overall rating of hungrygowhere for this restaurant should be 0 or minus!
My Singaporean friend (who has lived in Singapore for over 3 decades) and I agreed that En Japanese Dining Bar is the worst restaurant in Singapore, in our perspective.
We would advice our friends/colleagues/clients, please please please do not visit En Japanese Dining Bar to avoid tremendous disappointment. En Japanese Dining Bar is run by En Group, which also runs En Grill & Bar (at UE Square), Z’en Japanese Cuisine (at UE Square), Monster Curry (at ION Orchard and NEX Serangoon), Monster Curry Junior (at 313@Somerset), Tokyo Pasta Mario (at 313@Somerset).
I don't normally write a complain, because I believe in being grateful for the food that we have eaten. We have never complained publicly about any other restaurants before, but I feel that our experience today is worth sharing with a wider audience.
What had happened?
My Singaporean friend bought a groupon voucher for En Japanese Dining Bar (UE Square), and invited me for our last Japanese dinner together in 2015, before I am flying on 31st Dec 2015.
We arrived on 30th Dec 2015 at ~ 6pm, so that we could quickly have our dinner and I could pack my luggage.
The restaurant was almost empty! Please see the photos: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwsWe5YyZWnVUV8tUlFXQkdYblE/ and https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwsWe5YyZWnVT2NGWElseHg3YkU/
If there were many customers, we could entirely understand that they had to reject us.
Later, after we left the restaurant. My friend called the restaurant trying to reserve a table at 6pm.
Waitress answering the call: Yes, you can come if you don’t mind to sit outside.
My friend told the waitress that he has groupon voucher and she changed her mind, the waitress said that there is no table.
The manager and the waitress (on phone) told us that there were not enough food prepared for us at ~ 6pm onwards (the operating hours of the restaurant), unless we came back on the same evening at 9pm. This is illogical; the reasons they gave were contradicting! How can we trust them on our food? Customers may wonder that they are only willing to serve customers with Groupon voucher with leftover food!
If entreprises/businesses are running a promotion e.g. through Groupon, they should do their best to use the promotion to win customers, instead of losing many more customers or doing reputation damage. If the enterprise can no longer handle excessive customers, they should stop promotion, instead of unethically dealing with customers, like we encountered on 30th De 2015 ~ 6 pm.
I bought a Groupon voucher and went there without making a reservation, as the voucher did not state reservation is needed. The place was near empty when I arrived, but they turned me away, saying the place was fully booked for the day.
I suspect they have some sort of discrimnation against Groupon voucher holders. To confirm my suspicion, I went away and called them to make a reservation. I asked if I can come over now, and the waitress said yes there is a table for me. But when I told her I am using Groupon voucher, she changed her mind and told me that the place is fully booked.
Made a reservation at 9pm and was lead to a table next to the toilet when told i am using Groupon vouchers. When asked if the two corner tables were available since i had an infant with me and we were in the way while they serve food, the male server (pinoy) said they were reserved by others at 9pm. By the time we finished our dinner after 10pm both tables were still empty and there were only 1 other table occupied in the entire restaurant. They didnt even bother to serve ice water till we requested. Spent more than $100 fo 4 here, but I think I would have a better evening at any food court and end up happier. Service is pathetic now and greatly disappointing.
Service: Service standard was less than moderate, and here's why: service staff's face changed as soon as we informed her that we were using a Groupon voucher. Subsequently, substandard service was provided to our table, but unsure if this was her usual service standard anyway. Separate menu on recommended dishes was given ONLY, informing us that the Groupon is only for these 20 items. No drinks menu, even though non-alcoholic drinks can be redeemed. No ala carte menu either, in case we would like to order other items. Definitely lack of product knowledge for this same staff, where we were enquiring what comprises of the skewers set. She replied "chicken & veggie". Only when we were deciding against ordering that dish, did she open up the menu and flipped back and forth looking for the right page and pointing "this, this.. And this". By the way, her "chicken & veggie" translated to shitake mushrooms, chicken wing, yakitori chicken, green chili/peppers, chicken balls. Food/Drink/Value: For the mentioned "chicken & veggie" skewers, it cost us $19.90 and we didn't even finish that. Lok-lok from Johor Bahru at $1+ per skewer taste so much better than this. Sashimi salad was good, at around $16.90. Sashimi bits were more than expected, a variety of fresh sashimi, such as salmon, tuna, tako. Beef carpaccio (half portion) was heavenly, too, at around $11.80. Soba soup (half) was okay only, at $7.80. Soup was nice and flavorful, but the noodles reminded me of the usual Chinese yellow noodle taste. Wagfu beef steak.. was way too rare in the middle, and that cost us about $18.80? Soda + juice drinks at $7.50 each, tasted more sprite than juice. Note that all the food items are on their "recommended dishes" menu. Not so recommended from me though. Apologies for no photos, but photos will be way too deceiving. Everything LOOKED so nIce, but failed us at the taste part. Ambience: Average. Limited indoor seats, so only left with outdoor seats. Was seated beside a table with a man smoking a pipe. No issues with changing of tables for us though. Without Groupon, I doubt I'll re-visit the restaurant due to the price of the dishes and the quality of food. Same goes with Groupon, for the lack of service and still lack of quality food served.