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Down about dumplings…

By CleptaK - 21 March 2008 25

This evening I decided to pop into my old favourite, Godori, in the city for a quick feed. I ordered a small serve of dumplings as I wasn’t that hungry and, mainly, because I didn’t want to be out for too long. The dumplings took some time to come out, say 10-15 minutes (note I’m judging this by Godori standards as they’re normally incredibly fast) and I noticed that there was some too-ing and fro-ing with the order and bringing out the condiments and cutlery. Two groups of people who came in after me were also served first and their orders were considerably larger. When the order did arrive, I noticed it was somehat larger than five pieces (maybe 7-8), but I didn’t think too much about it, putting any increased servings down to the delayed service time.

Now, I’m a slow, slow eater. I was starting my fifth dumpling (I would have been eating for about 10 minutes) when one of the staff members came over. She loudly said in front of other customers “Did you order small dumplings or large?”. I immediately told her I had ordered small, upon which time she glared back at me. I was a bit stunned as it had taken them some time to realise they had given me too many dumplings. She was still standing there so I asked if she wanted me to pay $5 for the extra food ($10 is the price for a large serve and it includes 10 dumplings) and I proceeded to get the money from my bag. She then mumbled “it was our mistake – don’t worry about it”.

I was so embarrassed I immediately downed my spoon, got the $5 in change (I didn’t have any other money on me at all), handed it to the waitress and expressed my embarrassment. She then smiled and said “Oh, thank you for this [the money]!” I left the small eatery quickly, vowing to not go back for a long time, if ever.

I know I’m more sensitive than the average bear, but is it just me or does anyone else think the staff member was a bit rude? I love the food from that place, and it’s so clean. I just feel a tad awkward now…

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
Down about dumplings…
staria 7:13 pm 21 Mar 08

I actually had the most fantastic dinner at Sabayon last night. Sure it was a bit more than what I would usually like to pay, but it was for a special occasion. The food itself was delicious, if slightly small serves (for the price), but getting a free canape before the entree and sorbet before dessert along with friendly and attentive waiters it was simply a great night out. I think my friend and I were there for 3 hours, eating and catching up. We didn’t get a hurry up, even after I’d paid the bill and we sat there for a little while longer before leaving.

If only I could afford to do it more often!

Mr Waffle 5:11 pm 21 Mar 08

Thanks for the reference to the “worst restaurant” thread, made for a good read.

The thread brought up an interesting point; what are peoples ‘rule’ regarding waiting for food?

I had dinner with the folks at the Italian restaurant in Kaleen last year, and the waitress completely forgot to process out order (which they only realised the second time we asked about it, the first time we got “it’s cooking now”, which was completely untrue). We saw them panic at the counter and put a rush on it… ever since then I’ve been a lot less tolerant of slow service.

CanberraResident 4:04 pm 21 Mar 08

Maelinar, mystery diner hey? Sounds … well … mysterious.

Apart from your talents Maelinar, I think it’d be great if the restauranteurs in Canberra were aware that there is now a professional critic living in the community. Might get them to raise the bar a bit? Someone like that dude on “The Chopping Block” but without the pooncy voice. Someone who’s happy to pay for their meals, dine here, there and everywhere, and perhaps do a write-up in the Canberra Times or some purpose-built cuisine critic website or forum on a weekly basis?

Hhhmmm … food for thought (excuse the pun). Might try out the dumplings for starters … bwahaha – another pun! Stop me somebody.

Hasdrubahl 4:00 pm 21 Mar 08

Best way to get a free meal. Bloke I knew at Uni dined our for free for a year, by telling restaurants he was a food critic for the local paper.

Never a crit published. Nor even written.

-Not that I’m suggesting Mael’s into that caper, of course…

Mælinar 3:51 pm 21 Mar 08

CanberraResident – I’m the closest I’ve found.

I do the occasional review on RiotACT, and I’m also a mystery diner.

If you want a Canberra recommendation, just stick to the restraunts that are named after some kind of food – you can’t go wrong with Ginseng, Sage, Salt and Pepper, so on and so forth.

CanberraResident 3:42 pm 21 Mar 08

I just utilised the “search” function on this site by typing “Canberra worst restaurants”, and sure enough … there it was … a mighty long thread dating back to May 2006. Funny read.

Does anyone know if there’s a food critic in Canberra? Any write-ups in any local Canberra magazines or newspapers? I reckon it’d be a great job. Hhmmm. Might even start critiquing myself.

RuffnReady 3:19 pm 21 Mar 08

I’m surprised you paid the extra. It wasn’t your fault and they shouldn’t even have questioned it once the plate was in front of you. Poor service.

You must be a conflict avoider to be feeling “awkward” about it – they are the ones who should feel awkward.

pierce 2:25 pm 21 Mar 08

I’m a Godori fan and I’ve never anything short of great service (and food) there

Thumper 2:25 pm 21 Mar 08

I’m just wondering how anyone can eat so many dumplings?

jemmy 2:21 pm 21 Mar 08

I am sorely tempted to post the link to the Chopper “Harden the F*** Up” video, but since I am Mr Tact I won’t. Sorry, but why on earth do you feel awkward? They made the mistake. I don’t get it. Is this a Venus & Mars thing?

Absent Diane 2:17 pm 21 Mar 08

its one reason i love going to asia.. you just get superb service.. and it got me thinking how badly we treat our tourists!! but even in aus when you are forking out a bit of cash for a service you still get treated like shit..

Hasdrubahl 2:05 pm 21 Mar 08

If she mumbled “it was our mistake – don’t worry about it” and then “smiled and said “Oh, thank you for this [the money]!”, then I think you got off lightly.

Waitpersons I know, would have just grabbed your plate and whisked it away – even as you were about to spear yet another dumpling.

-I suspect there’d been some fracas back in the kitchen, and she just wanted to check what you’d ordered.

el 11:58 am 21 Mar 08

(Customer loyalty is worth more in the long run)

el 11:58 am 21 Mar 08

Agreed with everything Ant has said.

Shit service is RAMPANT in hospitality these days – it’s almost shocking to actually get GOOD service, after becoming accustomed to the standard ‘no-care’ attitude displayed so frequently from these shitty establishments (there was an extremely long thread on ‘Worst Canberra Restaurants here recently).

And yes, the waitress was rude. If she/the kitchen made a mistake, then they should just suck it up and wear the cost of the extra food (which probably amounts to around 60c worth of ingredients).

ant 11:46 am 21 Mar 08

Sounds like a pretty embarassing experience, yes. Sadly, that kind of behaviour seems to be the norm now, as hospitality places can’t compete in the current labour market as the pay is too low, and scrape the bottom of the barrell. You know the good places, as their staff are great! They are out there. Family-owned and run places are also so different, as the people there have some ownership and aren’t feeling disposable.

We had a disgraceful experience at the Yacht Club the other week (owned by Southern Cross club now). Ordered garlic bread, some entrees, and some mains. everything came out in the same rush (although in bits, bread and a main. Then some entrees, then more mains). Servers were kids who plainly didn’t care about anything much. We asked for some condiments, which never arrived of course.

And people who say “tell the business” plainly never have tried that! You get a defensive, combatative attitude. It’s highly unpleasant trying to give feedback to a business.

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