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27 December 2010

Food Misadventures at the Manila Ocean Park

After all the walking and sight seeing at the Manila Ocean Park, hubby and I got really hungry. We decided to visit MakanMakan (Makansutra) first. The first time we got there, they were still closed. So okay, we went and looked for something to snack on while waiting for them to open up.

Misadventure #1: MakanMakan Asian Food Village - 2nd Floor of the Oceanarium

We went back to the restaurant and we were seated at once. When we looked for the menu, we were told that they were out of copies. We had to wait for someone to finish looking at the menu and to order their food before we got our hands on it. It's a small thing, but worth mentioning.

The name of the restaurant included something that said Asian Food Village, so I was expecting a lot of Thai food. What a disappointment! When I saw the only page they dedicated to Thai cuisine, hubby and I said that it looked like a mere after thought. But even with that, we decided to go and order Chinese instead.

We called for a waiter and placed our order. I really wished they had the Thai Ice Tea, but they didn't, so I settled for the Singaporean drink Lemon Barley and hubby decided to just go with regular Ice Tea. We had to wait for five minutes for the drinks to be served. We still remained patient and waited for our food. Here is where the misadventure began:

Misadventure A: After we placed our orders, the waiters did not bother to put plates on our table. They made it look like we were supposed to eat from the serving plates when our food arrives.

Misadventure B: Hubby and I were talking and we noticed that food was being served all around us. Those who came in after us had their food on their table and ours was still missing. That's after 45 minutes of waiting for the food.

We called someone's attention and lo and behold! Our order slip was still with the cashier! Meaning that it was not forwarded to the kitchen so that the chefs can prepare our meal!

We asked for the manager and our food, but dang, the first waiter that we talked to didn't even attempt to call the manager, instead he went to the kitchen and placed our order. We had to call another waiter to call the manager for us. Our patience was running low then, we were hungry and frustrated.

So here comes the manager. We voiced out our concern, what did he do? He immediately agreed that we cancel our order! Customer service of this place SUCKS big time! He didn't even offer to resolve the problem. We were not looking for a free meal, what we wanted was for him to DO SOMETHING about the problem, sadly, he didn't.

Misadventure C: While talking to the manager, our food started arriving one by one. The YangChow rice looked as if it was hastily prepared. Rice was spilling from all sides and it looked PALE. The ginger onion fish fillet arrived a few minutes after and again, it looked hastily prepared! Not even worth taking a photo of.

Misadventure D: The food was being served on the table, but again, there were still no plates on the table. If we decided to stay there and eat, HOW WERE WE SUPPOSED TO EAT THE FOOD? ON THE SERVING PLATES? Gawd awful SERVICE!

Misadventure E: Again. we were not looking for a free meal. But when we said to the manager that we will cancel the order, he was LIGHTING FAST AND QUICK TO TELL US THAT WE SHOULD PAY FOR THE DRINKS! There was ABSOLUTELY NO ATTEMPT TO KEEP US THERE AND DO BUSINESS WITH US!

This really ticked me off. I know that there was just two of us and when compared to other groups which averaged at least four people, our business was smaller. But still, business is business. You don't screw up a couple's date with LOUSY service.

In the end, we paid for the drinks and cancelled our food without guilt. Tip, if you want to try MakanMakan, make sure that there's at least four of you in a group, you may get better service.

Misadventure #2: Pancake House, Ground Floor Oceanarium

After our bout with trying to eat at MakanMakan, we decided to go to Pancake House and fill our bellies there. A group just left their table and we decided to sit there. It was a great choice, it was near the windows and it provided us with a good view of the harbor.

Here are the misadventures:

Misadventure A: After seating, NO ONE CLEANED the mess on the table. We tried to get the attention of the waiters (of which there were only two, on a Sunday no less!). But it seemed that they were purposely avoiding us. We were there for about five minutes and not even the MANAGER cleaned or asked someone to clean our table.

Misadventure B: Hubby went to the washroom and on his way, he asked a waiter to clean out our table. He pointed to my location and I know for a fact that the waiter saw me and the mess that was our table. Here's the annoying part, THE WAITER CLEANED A DIFFERENT TABLE!!!

Misadventure C: After about ten minutes, I finally got a waiter's attention and asked him to clean the table. While in the process of picking up the mess, another table of customers called him to complain about their food. The food they served was RAW! What did the waiter do? Instead of calling the manager to resolve the issue, he abandoned all pretense of trying to clean my table and went to the kitchen to resolve the custonmer's issue, without asking someone else to clean the table for us! Anyway, after hearing that they served RAW food, I felt nauseated and decided to leave the establishment.

Misadventure D: While waiting for someone to actually start working on our table, I noticed that there was a mom (another customer) who was complaining about something. Her child was starting to throw tantrums, and guess what, he was HUNGRY! They were waiting forever for something to be served to them. And again, the manager was not doing anything to resolve the issue.

After hearing the complaints, I asked my hubby to get out of the place and look for another establishment. We ended up eating at another restaurant and we were hitting ourselves on the head for not going there in the first place.

We are not heartless. We acknowledge the fact that the holidays may have poured in more customers for all of the establishments in the Oceanarium food area. But, since they are from the service industry, they should have prepared for the influx of customers. Being understaffed is not an excuse, the establishments should have predicted this. It's the Christmas season for crying out loud. Families go out to celebrate the season!

Lesson learned, don't go to establishments which can't handle the rush. You'll probably get ulcer if you decide to wait for them to do business with you. One more thing, if the establishment has lousy service in one branch, chances are, they are lousy everywhere, same training right? And lastly, if the establishment does not want to do business with you, forget about them and NEVER do business with them AGAIN. No more trips to MakanMakan and any branch of Pancake House for us, EVER.