Tuesday, 9 May 2017
Lousy Old Street Bak Kut Teh SG Review
Sun 7 May is the last time I'm eating Old Street Bak Kut Teh.
We gave this brand of Bak Kut Teh many chances. And I don't blog about things unless I have to.
1) They hire foreigners. Rude, crude, uneducated, sloppy, untrained foreigners who lack refinement in customer service.
2) No QC to their service or products.
3) Fluctuating standards. Everytime we eat there, we don't know what's going to go wrong.
4) Careless staff who do whatever they like at the expense of customers & see nothing wrong with it.
No wonder the outlets are always empty of customers.
We used to eat at ARC. The staff are always chatting in their foreign language while working. Thai? Burmese? Very irritating to hear them. They shouldn't be in Singapore. Why does the company even hire them?
The female staff are rude. Once when we walked in, one plump woman rudely called out that they were closed. No "excuse me". Nothing polite in her words. Didn't even say "Pls come back tomorrow". So rude, barbarian. This staff is sometimes at ARC & sometimes at Suntec. Always has a shit face. Unsmiling. Female or male staff are all the same.
When we ate there for a few times, we had to wait for her to stroll over to the cashier & she never even thanked us. Once I was so pissed, I said out loud that she didn't even say thanks. That was the last time.
We went over to Suntec outlet.
Unfortunately, even at Suntec, the staff were problematic. Various service problems since the first time we were there. These problems occurred at different times:
1) Coffee forgot to serve after all the food arrived.
2) Dough fritters (You Tiao) suddenly very hard. When I asked, the female staff said it could have been over-fried. I said we have ordered this on previous occasions & it's been soft. I said hard dough is not nice to eat. She agreed & just said she'll inform the person who fried it. No discount as compensation. Nothing.
I asked whether the dough fritters were yesterday's? She insisted that it was not & "not to worry". We never ordered the dough fritters again.
3) 1-1 ribs soup promotion after 5pm. Once we happened to be there before 5pm & the staff intentionally did not remind us that there was no promotion before 5pm. I say intentionally because usually when we are there after 5pm, the staff will helpfully tell us about the 1-1 promotion. Even though they see us regularly there, they don't even remind us that it's not yet 5pm?
4) Ribs soup arrived tasting very shockingly flat & bland. What happened? Elderly female staff was walking around with a kettle of refill. I called her as she was coming by. I said, "Is this the wrong soup? It's like water. Is this soup meant for Mee Sua instead?".
She said, "Oh, it's the new recruit. He must have used the first round of soup that hasn't soaked up the flavor yet.".
I was thinking: Did he use the soup when the meat is still raw??
I asked, "Is this soup Ok to consume?".
She said, "Yes. Just that the flavor isn't there yet. Here, try this kettle soup".
By then, I had already finished the ribs. She poured the kettle soup onto the bones in my bowl & encouraged me to try the "correct" flavor.
i) New guy isn't trained? The whole day, what has he been doing? Nobody supervise? The whole day serve water-soup? This was already after 5pm.
ii) New guy isn't an excuse for a mistake this big. The ribs soup is the most important signature item. How can the staff just say it's a new guy & serve water-soup?
iii) No discount or any compensation whatsoever. The woman just explained & strolled away to presumably inform the new guy in the kitchen.
5) The last straw was on Sunday 7 May. What's that light green string (about 3cm long) among the salted vegetable that I am eating? I fished it out with my fingertips. Looked like thin plastic string perhaps cut from around the salted vegetables before cooking. Do you know what happens in my stomach if I ate that? Is the Old Street company going to take responsibility for what happens after I eat it?
I called the male staff who was at the cashier after he was done with a customer.
I said, "What's this? It's in my salted vegetable bowl.". He looked at it & said, "Oh...". He apologized with "Bu Hao Yi Si" in Chinese, which means "I'm sorry".
He asked whether it came from the pork ribs or salted vegetables (when I already told him earlier). He then took away the salted vegetables bowl (that we already ate some), pinched the string off my fingertips & left. He returned a minute later with a full bowl.
I asked about the string again, "What is it?".
He vaguely explained in Chinese, "It's a packaging string.".
This is the last time we are eating Old Street.
[To companies: If you require a mystery shopper to check on the performance of your staff & outlets, I am for hire. $30/visit. Upon entering a store, I automatically observe everything related to service, layout & management. You will receive an honest appraisal with suggestions on improvements. Pls contact by leaving a message in comments.]