Spat out

I had an unpleasant experience on Saturday over coffee at the Hilton. We had ordered some of the hotel's world-famous cheesecakes to go with our coffee, and were settling down nicely to gorge ourselves further after a heavy lunch.

Cof­fee was served with some com­pli­men­tary choux pas­try. Being the greedy per­son that I am, I stuffed an entire pas­try into my mouth. There was some­thing wrong with the taste of the pas­try. So I said to Naomi “there’s some­thing wrong with the pas­try”, to warn her that there was some­thing wrong with the pas­try. But of course, I con­tin­ued chew­ing into the pas­try, and very clev­erly swal­low­ing some, hop­ing for the taste to go away.

It didn’t, so I said again, “there’s some­thing wrong with the pastry”.

I must have said it three times more before my brain finally decided, “there’s some­thing really wrong with the pas­try”, and I spat what remained of the pas­try onto my saucer, nurs­ing a resid­ual burn­ing sen­sa­tion in my mouth.

A wait­ress came over and I mum­bled to her, “there’s some­thing wrong with the pas­try”, and added, “there’s a burn­ing sen­sa­tion”, “maybe there’s deter­gent or insec­ti­cide in it”, “I think you should get some­one to taste it”.

The wait­ress said some­thing to the effect of “I’ll get you some other pas­try”, or more likely, as is the Sin­ga­porean way of say­ing it, “I change the pas­try for you”, before tak­ing the remain­ing pas­tries on the plate back to the bar counter, where she sniffed at it, opened the box from whence the pas­try came, and took the box of pas­tries to some backroom.

An eter­nity must have passed before some­one who looked like a man­ager (I for­get his Ang Moh name on his nametag) came over to ask how things were, and I explained all over again about the some­thing wrong with the pas­try, and he went over to the bar counter, and from where we were sit­ting, looked like he was inter­ro­gat­ing the wait­ress and bar staff about the errant pas­tries. The box that con­tained the pas­tries was pro­duced out of the back­room, but which was now empty.

From where we were sit­ting, it looked like he was ask­ing where the rest of it was, and how come they threw it away with­out find­ing out what was wrong with the pastry.

A sec­ond eter­nity passed before the man­ager came back with a bot­tle of liq­uid which he explained could’ve been the cause of the taste. It was some sort of flavour­ing he said the chef could’ve used in the pas­try. We had a spoon­ful of it and decided it didn’t have the same burn­ing sen­sa­tion we had come to know.

Over my repeated mut­ter­ing that “there’s some­thing wrong with the pas­try”, Naomi finally and very sen­si­bly said to the man­ager, “well, there’s not much you can do about it now that you don’t have the pas­try to taste it”, and we left it at that, even though I was quite upset that the wait­ress didn’t do any­thing about our complaint.

Or so we thought.

The wait­ress came over again with a plate of a dif­fer­ent type of pas­try, only for me to say some­thing agi­tat­edly to the effect of, “I don’t want any more pas­try or cookie, I want to know what’s wrong with the pas­try I ate!”

But unless they took the trou­ble to sift through the freshly strewn trash where they must have dumped the pas­try, there really was noth­ing we could do but accept the apolo­gies of the very indus­tri­ous man­ager (he sniffed the box that con­tained the pas­try and looked like he was going to lick it) and his waiv­ing of the price of the cheese­cakes which we under­stand­ably didn’t eat any more of.

And wait. To see if I had poi­soned myself with the some­thing wrong pastry.

It’s Tues­day, and I haven’t felt any worse yet. I might just rise from this chair and walk into a wall, but it doesn’t look likely to be caused by the pas­try now.

If there’s any­thing to take out of this expe­ri­ence, it was the manager’s sense of urgency and imme­di­ate tack­ling of the mat­ter. If there had been pas­tries left in the box, I have no doubt he would have taken a taste of it, putting him­self at risk of becom­ing the mum­bling idiot that I was.

Even after it was quite clear that there wasn’t much that could be done except wait to see if I had been poi­soned, he came back to our table sev­eral times to apol­o­gise, and even men­tioned that he under­stood that we would’ve lost our appetites for the two slices of world-famous cheese­cake we ordered.

If only all the other staff were as dili­gent as he was, we might have been closer to resolv­ing the mys­tery of the some­thing wrong pastry.

Tech­no­rati Tags: <a href=“http://www.technorati.com/tag/food” onclick=“javascript:_gaq.push([’_trackEvent’,‘outbound-article’,‘http://www.technorati.com’]);urchinTracker(“/outbound/www.technorati.com’);” rel=“tag”>food, <a href=“http://www.technorati.com/tag/service” onclick=“javascript:_gaq.push([’_trackEvent’,‘outbound-article’,‘http://www.technorati.com’]);urchinTracker(“/outbound/www.technorati.com’);” rel=“tag”>service

Tagged with:
 
  • http://claudia.limedsign.com clau­dia

    Good thing noth­ing seri­ous hap­pened. Should really do some­thing about the ser­vice stan­dards in Sg. With so many big things hap­pen­ing soon, ser­vice qual­ity train­ing should be con­ducted. IMHO.

  • http://claudia.limedsign.com clau­dia

    Good thing noth­ing seri­ous hap­pened. Should really do some­thing about the ser­vice stan­dards in Sg. With so many big things hap­pen­ing soon, ser­vice qual­ity train­ing should be con­ducted. IMHO.

  • http://blankanvas.bypatlaw.com Pat Law

    You’re too kind. I would’ve screamed my lungs out at the wait­ress for being such a peabrain. How’s your stom­ach feeling?

  • http://blankanvas.bypatlaw.com Pat Law

    You’re too kind. I would’ve screamed my lungs out at the wait­ress for being such a peabrain. How’s your stom­ach feeling?

  • http://miyagi.sg Mr Miyagi

    Tummy’s upset from other things now.

  • http://miyagi.sg Mr Miyagi

    Tummy’s upset from other things now.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.