Hungry Ma Ma •
07 Feb 2010 • 1 review • 0 follower
In general, one should expect restaurant food quality and service standards during CNY and wedding dinners to be slightly off, but Kia Hiang has really set a new standard for terrible service, terrible ambience, terrible value for money and worst of all, the food was putrid. We made the mistake of going there, and just want to make sure nobody else does.
Let's start off with food. We were advised by the waitress to take their set menus, which ran from $328 for 10 people to $1088 for 10 people - she said that they were better value for money, even though we had wanted to order a-la-carte some zi-char-like dishes as we have not been to the restaurant before. So we ordered a $428 set menu that had lo hei, sharks fin, bbq cold dish, chicken, fish, beancurd, crabmeat, dessert. I would say that this meal was at least $500 over-valued. Yes, even if they paid me to eat it, I would have to factor in drinks for the table to get rid of the excess MSG.
So they started us with the lo-hei. We had told the lady not to pour the full bowl of oil 3 times, but when she did the pouring, she poured it all in. We asked her to take it back, and she told us she couldn't, and that it was "good fortune" to have more oil. Next, the bbq cold dish came. To put that dish on our plate, the server put her plate down, used the plate to push aside the lo-hei dish that people were still eating, and then set the plate down noisily. We asked for drinks, and it took them half an hour to pour a glass of barley, another half an hour for them to find out for us that they didn't have any coke zero. Yes, you're right, it's typical zi-char at the hawker stall service standards employed here. Actually, it's worse... I'd serve my dog his food with a bit more finesse than the staff at Kia Hiang. We had refused to pay the service charge, but there was nobody to raise this issue with - they just stared blankly at us, and expected us to move out quickly out of the restaurant.
The food was terrible. The BBQ cold dish tasted like rubber, the sharks' fin was nothing but starch, chicken broth, and some pieces of crab meat. The crab-meat dish they had at the end was simply abysmal - some old crab meat they mixed into chilli crab paste and threw some man-tous in them as well. To add insult to injury, we were all quite thirsty after the meal. Either it was because their service of tea was so slow, or it was because we were too busy trying to shout at the top of our voices to hear one another. Or it was because they had too much MSG in their food. Go figure.
It seems that the restaurant, too, has realised that it is so bad that they have decided to serve predominantly tour groups (patrons only need to eat there once, so who cares). While we were eating there, there were two 80-strong tour groups that ate there with us. We were really silly - next time if we go to a restaurant and see a convoy of tour buses at the entrance, we're cancelling the meal.