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Restaurant - took us for a ride

Sydney, Australia
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581 posts
58 reviews
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Restaurant - took us for a ride

This is my first report on our 5 weeks holiday of Europe/UK via Singapore, and our first stop in Singapore presented probably the only disappointing moment of the whole holiday. We thought we would make a visit to China town for a meal, and after walking along a few streets looking at the various restaurants, decided on Da Dong Restaurant because of its external appearance - wrong decision. We were ushered upstairs and asked if we could sit near a window which overlooked the street, but were told those tables were for more people (there were 3 of us) but considering no-one else came upstairs whilst we were there....and the table they sat us at was right next to a storage area where the staff had to keep brushing past us to get to. That wasn't such a big deal, but added to the way the waiter (and I would summise, owner) treated us it made for an unpleasant experience. He wanted us to order a few dishes and we share, however we indicated that my daughter and I only wanted a light meal. The waiter kept insisting on us ordering certain things and indicated portions were small, which we said no to, he acted distracted by an earpiece when we asked prices of things, didn't want to understand at times, then said at the end - fried rice (turned out to be seafood fried rice and my daughter and I don't eat seafood), the mixed vegetables I ordered consisted of bok choy only......I could go on, but we just felt when we got the bill, we had been wripped off. So I would definitely stay clear of this restaurant if I ever return to Singapore. When you are in a foreign country you accept when you order something and it isn't quite what you thought and you don't enjoy it.... but in this instance is was purely the waiter pushing and pretending he wasn't unterstanding us when it suited him - you almost felt he was on commission!

Singapore, Singapore
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11,002 posts
24 reviews
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1. Re: Restaurant - took us for a ride

If I am in your situation, I know I have a choice to stand up & walk out of that restaurant, even if I am seated. U might think that rude, but I prefer to give my business to place who deserved it and I can eat happily.

The ear piece, is probably those communication device, many restaurants are using nowaday to communicate with staff in the restaurantt (eg: the kitchen & etc).

Remember, good decor doesn't mean good food and unfortunately many pple (including Singaporean) got tempted by it. This also doesn't apply in Singapore restaurant only, it happen everywhere. I for one, love eating in those place where it's like a hole in the wall type.

Just today i drove past Chinatown & saw 2 group of Tourist (American looking, well could be from somewhere else) walking past that famous coffeeshop (non aircon; on the corner of Keong Siak Road)where delicious congee was been served and pple seating at table that was on the walkway. Imagine, they just walk past it by looking at wat others are eating & drop into a real lousy restaurant few doors away.

Anyway, remember you alway have a choice i any decision you make.

Cheers

Singapore
3 posts
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2. Re: Restaurant - took us for a ride

Yes, I agree.

Business should be given to people who knows how to do business.

When I was in France, the waiter told us the same thing when we requested for a seat near the window (sea view) and was impolite as he seated us elsewhere.

My friend asked if we mind dining elsewhere as he's not happy with the waiter's attitude so we got up and left.

Sometimes, the locals like to "rip" the foreigners/ tourists since they are unlikely to return.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
581 posts
58 reviews
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3. Re: Restaurant - took us for a ride

Yes, we should have got up and left - with hindsight - but the main problem was when the food was brought out - not what we thought we had ordered - it's a bit hard then - and then the cost - not what we had thought. It is very hard for a tourist to have any idea what the food in a restaurant is going to be like - there were plenty of people sitting in the downstairs part of this restaurant, so that was a good indication - so unless you have had a recommendation from someone, you do go in blind and yes I know it is not exclusive to Singapore, but that was the only place we were unhappy with in 34 days of travelling and eating out (other than our own bad choices of dishes we thought were going to be something and were something else). Anyway, you put it down to experience and learn from it. LS

Singapore, Singapore
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11,002 posts
24 reviews
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4. Re: Restaurant - took us for a ride

Hi Gblyn

I takes some experience to learn the essense of the goodness ^__^.

U Can alway check thie Blog for some idea of good food in Singapore (Like I alway do, believe only about 80-95% ^__^) and make the decision

ieatishootipost.blogspot.com

Written by a doctor who love eating.

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Singapore
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1,440 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: Restaurant - took us for a ride

Actually, I think they are trying to get mroe business from you without telling you or asking you what sort of fried rice you are asking for. Normally, they would ask, but I guess in your case, it might be a case of they are not happy with your request... so be it and just assumed that its not hios fault since you didn't specified. But this is wrong to me, it should not be the case.

My suggestion is, in future, better ask in specify details the kind of food you order, at least, what are the ingredients before ordering. That's is what I usually do especially when I am not sure or have no toehr choice to order something which I don't really like or know about.

Da Dong used to be is a household name i Chinatown. Mainly served by elderly who had grown old together with the restaurants. However, its history and its no longer the same Da Dong that I know. It had undergone some changes and bosses too. Just that the name had been pass on to these people.. I had not eaten at all many almost 20 years with them. Point is, too many people whenever I walk pass that area. Anyway, I don't mind giving good food as I don't like to queue or wait because my children can't wait.

6. Re: Restaurant - took us for a ride

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