Warisan Cafe @ The Royale Chulan – Two-Star Experience at a Six-Star Hotel
My friend, I-Vee and I were at the Royale Chulan hotel yesterday for the Malaysian International Dance Championship, and after the prize presentation, we decided to have an early dinner at the in-house restaurant.
We went to Warisan Cafe which is inside the six-star hotel, which unfortunately had service which was far from six stars.
When we arrived, we wanted to sit at a table which had a couch instead of at the table with chairs; however the two empty tables that had the couches hadn’t even been cleaned up yet. So we allowed ourselves to be led to a table which had chairs instead.
We had to wait for a while before I-Vee finally managed to flag someone for the menu. Mind you, it’s not that they were unaware that we were there; after all, we were directed to our present table by a waitress.
And even so, we found that the staff were more focused on cleaning up the two tables that we initially took a look at, instead of handing us the menu.
We placed our order, and then waited for our early dinner to arrive. We whiled away our time chatting and/or playing with our phones (we were actually too tired to chat) before finally impatiently wondered what was taking our meal so long.
I didn’t actually check the time because for once I wasn’t wearing my watch, but judging from the Plants vs Zombies game I was playing, it was probably more than 20 minutes before our food arrived.
I-Vee had ordered tenderloin steak, whereas I ordered the rack of lamb. And as we picked up our fork, we suddenly realised that it was only accompanied with a spoon and a butter knife.
I-Vee hailed the head waiter and all she did was hold up the butter knife and gave him a look. Fortunately he did know what she was referring to, because he promptly called a waitress to get steak knives. I couldn’t really hear what he said, but there was something about “if they are not at the back, get them from…” and I couldn’t make out where.
And it was another five minutes before the waitress appeared through the front door (she had gone out through a side door) with two steak knives. By then I had eaten all my accompanying vegetables and mashed potatoes as I had been pretty hungry.
The food was not excellent. I would say that the quality is acceptable, but not excellent. Because the restaurant is in a hotel, they charge extremely high prices; the tenderloin steak was RM55 and the lamb was RM60 – before tax. If the food quality matched the price, I wouldn’t blink an eye. But the thing is, I’ve had much better food at other restaurants at a fraction of the price.
In fact, I-Vee’s steak was still very raw although she asked for medium. Halfway through, she sent the steak back for further cooking, and when it came back, it was not much better. And in I-Vee’s words, “Six star hotels would usually rearrange the vegetables on the plate to make it look nice.” That’s based on her experience of six star hotels. Her plate came back looking the same way she sent it back. Personally though, I’d probably prefer it that way because it means no one (theoretically) touched my food.
Anyway. After we ate, I-Vee called for the bill, and that again took another five minutes before she flagged another waiter for the bill, who said that the bill was on the way. When it finally came, we didn’t have enough small bills and had to put larger bills – we didn’t want to wait for change. And true enough… it took a long time before the change came back. The waiter who returned the change explained that their “system was down”.
Right. That would certainly explain why everything was so slow then. Including the handing of the menu and the appearance of steak knives. (insert dripping sarcasm here)
This is not to say that the service staff were not polite. They are polite as most staff are in the service industry. It was just not six star service. The price and star rating hardly justified the service we got.
I think the only people who would eat there are hotel guests, or like in our case, are already there and just need something to eat. I would certainly not bother to go out of my way to this restaurant in this hotel for a meal. I have been to much better places closer to home with far better food and better service, at a signficantly lower cost.
Warisan Cafe’s official website: http://www.theroyalechulan.com/warisancafe.php