Friday, February 7, 2014

Foodie Fridays - A not too satisfied dining experience at Fish & Co, Singapore

With DinoBoy starting primary school we seldom have any chance to dine in any place except for the neighbourhood food court and small eatery houses.  With the Chinese New Year break recently, me and sis decided to visit the water playground at Nex where the 2 little imps spent about an hour running around the water playground.  

We headed off to find food and ended up at Fish & Co. where we were comfortable seated almost immediately.  The kids were given a puzzle sheet each to entertain themselves, which we appreciate as this gives us some time to go through the menu and decide on the food.  However, the waitress forgot to give them color pencils, we waited for a while thinking that she will bring it to us soon but well it did not happened.  With 2 restless kids staring at the activity sheet eager to dive into it, they started to make noise.  I dug around my bag and was glad; at least for a while, to have found a pen.  2 restless kids with 1 pen... yupe you guessed it, they started to fight, each wanting to use the pen NOW. It made both me and sis very frustrated, I had to leave the table to hunt down a waitress requesting for the color pencils.

Peace was restored shortly *phew*

We were given an ipad to browse through the menu and place our order.  Maybe it's us; 2 "mountain tortise" aunties, but we find it difficult to navigate through their site.  We eventually give up and decided to order the safest food in the menu; fish & chips for the kids to share and a seafood platter for us.  We managed to put our food into the cart but got an error message when we tapped on the "Order" button and have to sort the waitress' help to placed our order electronically.

15mins later, our seafood platter was served, it was impressive and makes me hungry immediately but when I took a bite of the fish I was disappointed.  Not only the fish fillet has a strong fishy taste, it is also not hot, in fact besides the rice all the other food in the pan were lukewarm.  What a huge disappointment!  Sis mentioned that she visited their other branch (she told me but I forgot which one) and the food was not hot too.  However, I have to say that I like the calamari and the mussels in garlic lemon butter sauce very much. 

About half an hour after we placed our order, the 2 imps are getting more restless and not to mention very hungry but there were no sign of their fish & chips.  We would have share our platter with them but both were looking forward to their fish & chips.

We checked with the waiteress just to be sure that the Fish & Chips went through the system.  She went in to check with the kitchen and said "another 3 minutes more."  Well, it was served about a minute later and piping hot!

Now, it makes me wonder how they are able to serve a platter that consist of different seafood in 15mins but takes 30 mins for a single fish fillet with fries.  The logical explanation I can think at that time is that they pre-cooked the prawns, mussels, calamari and fish fillet and only heat them up when there is an order while the fish fillet for the fish & chips were done upon receiving an order for it.

Besides the above there were a few incidents that leaves me with a bad impression of the restaurant.

I have to hunt down a waitress to get ice water, an extra plate, some tomato ketchap and utensils.  I used the word "hunt down" because our table is at a corner, they failed to see our hands in the air and they are not in the restaurant when I needed them.  3 waitresses serving 6-7 tables with 2-3 customers at each table, it is not full house or crowded, I definitely do not think they are too busy.

We requested for our bill and about 10mins into waiting there were no sign that the waitress is coming to us with our bill.  Tired of waiting I went up to the cashier and you know about Murphy's Law right?  When you needed something or someone, they are always not available or not in sight.  So I waited (again) at the unattended cashier for some one to attend to me.  Again I have to mention that the restaurant is not busy, 2 disappeared and 1 of the waitress was chatting with fellow colleague (a kitchen crew) who is sitting at one of the table sorting out something, maybe its paperwork but I am not sure.  Eventually that waitress noticed me standing at the cashier.

While waiting for the waitress to print out my bill, I asked the waitress casually and out of curiosity if payment have to be settled at the cashier.  She replied confidently "Yes." without even taking her eyes off the cashier screen.  Then I expressed my dissatisfaction that the other waitress should have told us when we asked for our bill, instead of making us wait at our table for 10mins.  She looked up at me and immediately replied "Oh! You can ask for the bill to be sent to your table or pay at the cashier." before returning her attention back to the screen.  Errmm... so which is correct? 

I can think of various reasons for the level of services I received at the restaurant but why should I think of an excuse or reason for their tardy attitude?  Bottom line is I am not a happy customer because of that and they probably will not be on the top of my restaurant choice when I decide to dine out again.

Should I take this as a stand alone unpleasant experience and avoid Fish & Co. entirely?

Should I take this as a yardstick for my next visit to Fish & Co. (IF I ever want to)?

Disclaimer : I am in no way affiliated to the management of Fish & Co nor have been compensated to write about this.  All opinions are 100% based on my dining experience with them.

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  1. I notice this lousy service at several Fish & Co branches I visited too. They used to have much better service, and much better food quality.

    Nowdays, they have replaced the vibrant teenagers working part-time during their school holidays with FW who don't pay much attention to you, maybe that's how it is in their country. Even the store managers are FW now, so they can't identify with us on the service quality we expected to receive, or the service quality we used to receive last time.

    If you want better service at Fish & Co, try dining at Fish & Co @ Glass House - next to Park Mall, one of the remaining branches which the staff are still "high".

  2. Oh my god! This is real bad! I have not been to Fish & Co for a long time! The last branch I went was in Clementi Mall. Their service was ok then. I hope it hadn't dropped!

    As for "hunting down" for waiters and waitresses, I get my share at of such services at several restaurants, especially when we are at a corner seats. I hope restaurant services should make a a point to go round checking whether any services are required from them, especially so when they are not busy.