Epicurean Dork •
14 Mar 2011 • 17 reviews • 0 follower
Eating out in Singapore these days and getting decent, quality food that's worth your dollar is about as rare as my being able to vote in a contested election. To that end, I avoid chain restaurants like a plague unless I'm really out of luck and the alternative is to eat at MacDonald's.
As luck would have it, my pfriend and I were downright hungry today at lunch. The menu's outside Japanese Gourmet Town looked decent and there was a particular menu highlighting certain items at 50% off on even Mondays. Today was an even Monday.
I decided to order a pork yakiniku hot bowl set and my friend wanted a "50% off" pork orkos and a Caesar salad. When we ordered, the waitress informed us that the 50% discount was for Ajisen VIP members only. Of course that was no where to be seen on the menu outside, but as with most consumers who have gotten use to deceptive and unscrupulous advertising practices in this country, we shrugged it off. My friend ended up ordering a pork katsu and orkos set.
Here's my lunch went downhill from here on out:
1) The waitress told us our food would take 15 minutes to arrive as the Orkos takes longer to cook. Sure enough we waited and the Orkos set appeared and mine didn't. As I didn't want my male dining companion to wait out of courtesy, I told him to start. Even though my set didn't contain an Orkos, it arrived 10 minutes after the Orkos set.
2) Right, so the set arrives and waitress sets down my bowl of salad. The lettuce is absolutely wilted, to the point that I can see brown edges on each leaf and no, it wasn't the brown dressing. I politely told the waitress to change the salad because I didn't want a stomach ache from wilted lettuce, to which she picked up the bowl and stuck her eye in it for a good minute before comprehending my request. Will not comment on the lack of basic English speaking standards at Singaporean establishments because that's a futile debate.
3) Finally, my "pork" yakiniku was a sad bowl of fat slivers. I wasn't expecting marbled Kobe cuts at a chain restaurant but this took the cake. The slices of "pork" were really slices of streaky bacon from the cholesterol-choked arteries of hell. After picking through each sliver, I managed to accumulate about 1 tablespoons of meat. No misuji, tontoro or tokusen harami mind you. Just plain cheap cuts of pork that even a goat wouldn't swallow. And I had to pay $14.80 for this.
In short, my experience at Japanese Gourmet Town was abysmal. Parent company Japan Food Holdings should do some quality control on it's stores, invest in some people who can speak English and hire some cooks who can at least do the Japanese some justice. You've definitely lost 2 customers.