I visited Tampopo at Liang Court, one of the better ramen restaurants, last night. With eagerness, I awaited the arrival of my order of Deluxe Hakodate Ramen. I was disappointed to receive a bowl of lukewarm ramen with cold slices of char siew. The bowl of ramen was sent back to the kitchen and the young server returned with a bowl that was slightly warmer than the first. I explained to the server that the ramen should be served steaming hot. The third time the bowl of ramen was delivered, I was gratified to see steam rising out of it and was anxious to start my dinner as one of my dinner companions had almost finished his. Then, the server, an older man in shirt and tie said, “If this is not good enough, then you cannot have ramen here.”
I was stunned. From hawker centre to fine dining restaurant, I had never been issued an ultimatum by a server before. There was no explanation from the staff for the lukewarm food that was served initially and no attempts at service recovery. This cannot possibly be its Managing Director, Mr Takagi Takaaki’s idea of providing “the perfect dining experience in every aspect”( Managing Director’s message on page 2 of the menu).
So, thanks for the memory of many pleasant meals at Tampopo in the past. I will not be returning any time soon.