Monday, August 14, 2006

Crappy food and service in Singapore - MOF

Bad food and service in Singapore

I went to this restaurant with my friends before I left for the Europe trip. On that night, the restaurant was having a pre-opening night. We had initially wanted to go to Genki Sushi but had decided to give this new restaurant a try since there was a queue at Genki Sushi. After all, when we were looking at the menu by the door, the waitress was pretty friendly and urged us to give their food a try. It was a bad move to walk away from Genki Sushi.

The moment we sat down, we were asked if we want iced water. That was strange. I thought most Japanese restaurants would have served green tea. Then the iced water were served in glasses. Err... Not very Japanese again. Then we opened the menus. OMG... The pictures in the menu were so horribly taken that they looked like some kind of inedible food specimens taken from a lab. The food did not look colorful enough and the lighting were bad. So we just ordered (after some time needed to really deciding what to eat without looking at the pictures) and hoped that the actual food will taste better than how they look in the pictures.

The softshell crab and avocado sushi was the first plate that was served. And it did not taste right. There was no avocado in the sushi at all. All four of us could not taste it. So we asked one of the waitresses about it, but her reply was "Oh, yes this was supposed to be with avocado, but then we realised that avocado does not go well with softshell crab, so we took it out". What?!! So the menu was not updated even before the shop was opened?!!

Then the main courses came. The bentos sucked. The rice looked like Japanese rice because they were short grained, but they were also not sticky as well. Usually the Japanese bento rice should have some fragrant taste, but not in these bentos. The rice were bland and soft. Even worse than those we get from the mixed vegetables rice stall in hawker center. The cold ramen had a funny tasting sauce. Not miso and not shuyou, and tasted more Western than Japanese.

The lady boss sitting at the opposite table then realised that we did not finish our food, so she came over to ask for the reason. So we told her the cold ramen sauce was funny, and she said "Oh is it? Maybe because you're not used to it. This is a traditional Japnese sauce" Oh is it? The funny thing is that we had been to Japan and their cold ramen definitely did not taste that way.

Then we told her the bento rice was horrible, and she said "Oh the bento are not ready to be served yet! We're still testing out!" And so we the customers are the guinea pigs?

Then we told her the softshell crab and avocado sushi had no avocado, and she said "Oh you know why, because we realised that we could not get good avocados in Singapore. They're either too hard or too soft, so in order not to lower our standard, we decided to take out the avocado." Huh? Not one avocado in Singapore is edible?

Then we told her that it was strange that green tea was not served to us, and she said "Oh because we're trying to run this restaurant like a izakaya (Japanese pub) and if we were to serve green tea, typical Singaporeans will not order any other drinks. Which is a waste because we've got so many Japanese wines imported from Japan! And also, our green tea are on the way from Japan so we can't serve green tea now." A Japanese restaurant that does not serve green tea? Well...

Seeing that we were still unsatisefied with her explanations, she ordered the kitchen to serve us their star dessert. It was something that they were supposed to be good at - vanilla sundae with fried sweet potatoes and red beans. When the dessert arrived at our table, the sundae was already half melted.

And so the lady boss said again "Oh, we've ordered a very sophisticated machine from Japan and it is on the way to Singapore now. Meanwhile we can only live with this rented machine and that's why..."

So, hoping to make us happy again, the lady boss gave us a ten dollars voucher and urged us to return to the store after it had officially opened.

"Oh, by the way, Miniter Lee is going to be at our opening ceremony. And all other big shots too. You must come and try our food again!..."

Yah right.


Anonymous said...

Allow me to say a word of fairness. Personally i tried the food at MOF before and return as a happy customers always. They are newly opened for slightly more than a month only and i have been there with my family for as many as 6 times. Yes, they are new, and they tried extremely hard to explain to almost everyone browsing at their entrance that they are new and pleaded for a chance for passer-by to try their food. They even apologised for things that werent in place yet which is common for things to go wrong for any new set-up. For a local start-up with minimal financial power, i reckon they have done pretty well and i will continue to support them.
I lived in Japan, Tokyo, Osaka & Kyoto before and knew the japanese have different versions to their Soup Ramen & Cold Ramen. MOF's Seafood Cold Ramen is pretty authentic and i enjoyed ordering it. Maybe it didnt suit your taste bud only.
As for the ice cream, I am hooked to their Macha Imo - the little Japanese Sweet Potato with MacDonald's look-alike soft ice-cream. As a regular patron there, i understood that MOF did not use chemicals in their ice cream as it melts faster than usual ice cream. This is also the reason why i brought my children there so often. At least i knew the kids are having ice cream free from chemicals, artificial colourings & flavourings and also preservatives too. I happened to pass by when they were merely a few days in operation. And i remember a waitress explained to me their ice cream melts faster but as they were having a loan set ice cream machine due to shipment delay by ice cream machine supplier, she apologised for the half-melted ice cream being overly-soft. Being a discerning ice cream lover myself, i find their ice cream not the best but definitely an healitier option. It is easy to identify. The ice cream doesnt leave an uncomfortable stickiness on the throat after eating. I am trained professionally as a Lab Chemist therefore knew that the kind waitress was telling the truth that MOF indeed did not add in chemicals to prevent their ice cream from melting. For a simple kind gesture to allow customers to eat healthier, i think MOF deserves another try from you. Thanks.

Celestine said...

Sounds really ... Farni! .. haha that lady boss .. seems .. wierd too .. It's a pity that you got such a bad experience frm MOF .. I've never been there so I cant comment on the food there .. However... I hope This poor experience won't let you think that it leads to ALL other eateries in Singapore ..