21 Jan 2011 • 14 reviews • 2 followers
My mom kept telling me about this restaurant's (and this outlet's) days of glory, how she once attended a grand wedding there and how beautiful the whole place used to look, in its unique standalone building.
So, it being near to Grandma's home, we decided to visit Kia Hiang Restaurant for our CNY reunion dinner this year and thus made a reservation.
When we arrived that day, the restaurant was sparsely filled and the lighting gave one the idea that the light bulbs hadn't been changed since they opened for business over a decade ago. There were maybe 20 plus tables or more on the 1st level (I don't know what's upstairs) and only about 4-5 were occupied. There were several other empty tables left uncleared/half-cleared. Generally the place looked like someone stumbled upon an empty place that used to be a restaurant, did some simple cleaning and opened for business without any refurbishments.
My sister and I were the first to arrive, so we ambled in slowly, trying to see if anyone would come and take us to a table but hell no, NOBODY was in sight. We had to walk to the cashier counter at some corner and announce that we made a reservation. Upon mention of the reservation, the lady at the counter went "Table for ten right? No? Eight? ... oh OH! I remember, table for eight!". She pointed to a completely empty (save for the tablecloth) table by the window, "There! You can sit there," while remaining completely rooted where she was standing.
Fine, maybe understaffed, that's why tables weren't cleared and nobody was there to take care of the reservations.
(Now, the next paragraph contains some non-food-related review which some may find rather disgusting/untasteful but still I think it's part of a complete review :p So skip it if you think you don't wanna stomach it.)
I had to go to the washroom, and oh boy! it was TERRIBLE. The toilet stank, the floor was wet, the lighting sufficient but old-ly dim at the same time, and one of the two available cubicles had pee sprinkled all over the toilet seat. I had to go to the other one, which looked much cleaner but still very dubious! The toilet paper was placed on top of a bin, and the bin was placed at the front of the toilet bowl, towards its right. The sink was clean. I walked out immediately.
When I returned to the table where my sister was, there were now plates and bowls. That's all. No chopsticks, no wet tissues, no spoons no nothing else. Just plates and bowls which I believe used to look white but are now grayish. The tablecloth had stains on it. Nobody gave us any menu. I had to go ask for it, from the same cashier counter lady, now seated at a dining table strewn with restaurant paperwork. She conveniently picked up a menu from underneath the paper piles and passed it to me. I had to ask her if there was another before she gave it to me.
So for now, to summarize, we arrived, had to ask for a table despite a reservation, was POINTED (not led) to an empty table with a stained tablecloth, were subsequently given just plates and bowls and no menus.
It didn't take long.
I didn't even bother opening the menu after I got back to the table with them.
I simply sat down, stared at everything for 2 seconds, and went:
"This place makes me lose my appetite completely. Shall we go?"
Immediately my sister agreed, so we made our great escape!
(And we didn't even have an idea where else to eat our reunion dinner, with Grandma on her way with our parents. We just wanted to get out ASAP.)
And imagine... on our way OUT, a staff who was clearing one of the half-cleared tables actually asked us: