Sunday, August 22, 2010

Breakfast Blues

Eastwood City where my wife and I reside continues to be a vibrant blend of condominiums, businesses, shopping and entertainment.  As a long awaited additional tourist attracton to this mixed use community, a  high-rise hotel, the Eastwood Richmonde,  is scheduled to start  its guest operations in September.  The hotel restaurant, The Eastwood Cafe, is already open and starts serving at  6:00 a.m daily.

We were looking forward to this option as there were previously no upscale restaurants in Eastwood that open before lunch.  We are early risers, and we fancied that we might enjoy an excellent hotel breakfast experience similar to what  we enjoyed many years ago when we stayed at what was then the Century Park Sheraton (now the Century Park Hotel) in the Malate District of Metro-Manila.

So last week we decided to treat ourselves and walked over to the Eastwood Cafe shortly after they opened for the day.  We  were the first ones there and figured that being the case, getting decent service would be a slam-dunk.  We placed our order and waited to be served... and waited...and waited. When we finally asked what the holdup was, it turned out that either the kitchen forgot to tell the server that our food was ready, or the server forgot to pick it up.  It doesn't matter who dropped the ball, because when our breakfast finally arrived (minus the coffee that I had asked for!) both meals were cold.  Further,  my order, french toast,  was undercooked. So we sent the whole thing back to be reheated (and in my case, replaced--which it wasn't.)

By the time that everything was finally ready, my wife and I were both out of sorts over the long delay and really couldn't enjoy the food.  And because this was a hotel dining room, of course the bill of fare was higher than it would have been in a comparable stand-alone establishment.   When we complained about our experience to the hostess, she just smiled and said that they would try to do better "next time", without so much as offering the courtesy of, say, comping a portion of the check.  I also completed and turned in the customer survey card that came with the tab, leaving my phone and email address to see if we would get a reply. Not surprisingly, that didn't happen.  Next time? Yeah, right.

From now on, if we want to go out for breakfast,  we may as well go to  the local  Jollibee or McDonald's.   At least at those places we won't have to worry about paying for more than the food or the service is worth.

Oh, BTW, I don't know why there's no longer a Sheraton in Manila, but if the Eastwood Richmonde manages guest lodging the way it does its food service, this hotel may also not have much of a future.


Anonymous said...

Typical problem for here. I used to think having travelled the world over that McD's was at least one refuge I could count on but even that is untrue of the ones here. Most times at least one item I try to order is "unavailable" and several times even coffee was out at BREAKFAST! Such is life in the "island paradise".

Secular Guy said...

Right. As I pointed out even the better establishments continually trip over their own feet here.

Lowering one's expectations is demeaning because we wind up getting less than what we're entitled to. But because inefficiency is so prevalent here, I guess we just have to pick our battles.