First up, I was grumpy because it was a long day, and it had been a blazing saddles afternoon. Secondly, earlier plans of going to the supermarket to grab a couple of things to make dinner with was quickly thwarted by one glance at the bloody checkout queues.
So, a quick dinner was sought at the nearest place which still had seats left – being mindful that it was a Friday night.
As you may well know, there are several local ‘brand’ eateries, and one of them is ‘Cedele by Bakery Depot‘.
Cedele’s been known for a while for their fine sandwiches and hearty soups, but it’s also been known for not having consistency in the quality of their food across their many branches.
It was at Great World City’s branch of Cedele that I decided to plonk myself down for a quick meal, and where I saw on a banner a brand new menu featuring new hot meals like pastas and grilled stuff. ‘Hot Meals’, I think the banner header said.
So, I ordered a Hot Meal Set Meal, Menu B, for $16.50, which comprised an iced lemon tea, a vegetable soup and a roasted garlic and mushroom spaghetti.
The iced tea came first, and being the thirsty camel I was last night, I took a long sip of it before realising that the surface of the tea had specks of coagulated oil. You know you have to send the drink back, and you kinda expect the waiting staff to look either annoyed or bemused, or even puzzled because they can’t see what you’re seeing.
Not at this branch of Cedele, folks! The waiter looked worried and concerned! He took the tea back behind the counter and showed it to his colleagues, who then looked into the container of pre-made lemon teas, and discovered that the whole batch had oil in them.
Meantime, this crisis had spread beyond my table because another customer had also ordered iced lemon tea. The same waiter came and asked him whether he’d be ok ordering another type of drink, because ‘there’s something wrong with the iced lemon tea, sir’.
I observed the action stations behind the counter, and saw that they had isolated the problem – oily knives used to slice the lemons. Another staff member started furiously washing the knives, and they threw out the whole batch of tea.
Then my roasted garlic and mushroom spaghetti was served, and I tucked into the pasta with much gusto, only to find that the damned thing was damned motherfucking cheebye hot. As in spicy, you know?
But never mind ler, because I was starving, so I ate the whole thing and got up to get near a toilet in case the pasta burned for a second time.
But before I did, I asked a staff member if the ‘Hot’ in the ‘Hot Meals’ menu meant spicy. He said, ‘No, only the ones with chilli’. But I said mine was spicy, and the menu didn’t say it was. He said, ‘oh yah, it’s got some chilli in it’. And I said, ‘No, it was fucking hot!‘, and he said, ‘Oh, I am so sorry, you can talk to the service staff about it, but I’m so sorry’.
Now, it might not have been the most satisfactory answer you’d want in this situation, but credit is due for their attitude and tone of voice in dealing with a customer whose mouth is still burning from chilli flakes. You know? I might have overturned a table or smashed their cash register or something.