I would like to share with you all my experience , which was perhaps the worst dining experience I have ever had, in China and abroad. And I do mean the absolute worst experience I have ever had in nearly 40 years of dining.
When dining at a Western restaurant, especially in China, one has certain expectations, such as service quality, food quality, etc as their is a premium on price. In this particular case, on April 3, 2013, between 12:00 - 13:00 I was dining with my friend. I ordered the Seafood pasta, which comes with spaghetti, mixed seafood, and tomato sauce. A reasonable expectation is that I could have a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to go on top of it. When I asked for it, I was informed that it would cost an additional 10 RMB (on a 40 RMB pasta dish). I asked if there was anything she could do as I found this ridiculous, and she tersely told me that this is what they charge and that although you can get cheese on your pasta at other restaurants, at this restaurant the pasta does not include any cheese.
My request, in my mind, is completely reasonable, and charging 25% of the value of a dish for a sprinkle of cheese is quite ridiculous. But more importantly, the attitude towards me was rather off-putting. Ultimately I did not eat the meal I ordered as I felt it was not to my satisfiaction. When the bill came, I told the waiter I would pay for the one meal my friend ordered, and the coke i drank, but not the pasta. Thus I laid down 70 RMB of the 110 RMB total bill. We went to leave and they said I could not go and I had to pay the full bill. I said if they wanted me to pay they can call the police to handle it and I would be next door buying DVDs.
Ten minutes later, the police showed up and we had a discussion. In the end, the waiter gave me my pasta to-go WITH the cheese (as the police officer told them to add the cheese) and I settled the bill by adding another RMB 40 to the money I already gave.
Ultimately, the staff was unwilling to do anything to compromise over a very small item (cheese)in order to make the customer happy and enjoy their meal (cheese is something very much expected when ordering a tomato based pasta - at least it is my expectation) and the staff did not even try to "do right by the customer". In the end, i received the Cheese and the pasta to go, thus nothing was accomplished by their attitude EXCEPT for the fact that they have lost a very long term customer and I am now writing this review.
Maybe it is policy not to provide a sprinkle of cheese on a tomato based pasta dish at their organization, but the way in which the staff handled it was, in my opinion, not very appropriate. If they had tried to come up with some amicable way to solve the issue I would have been open to it. But instead they were unwilling to do anything because I "...did not order cheese pasta" and told me I just had to pay. In the end, they called the police to settle the matter and still ended up giving me the cheese. Thus they ruined a very long term client's relationship (I had been going their since it first opened and I frequent the other restaurant owned by the same person) with their organization and as i thought they did something to my food, i didn't eat it, so in the end I also had to go some place else for lunch. It was a lose / lose situation.
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