An Asian family had been seated behind us. From the start you just knew it was going to be rough going for the waitress. The man at the table wanted a bigger portion of soup than the menu supposedly allows for. And there seemed to be some confusion on the drink orders. A virgin strawberry daiquiri was ordered at some point during all this interaction. When the drinks came back to the table their was some confusion as to if the drink contained alcohol or not. The son asked the Dad several times if it was ok to drink. At one point the Father did taste the drink. I couldn’t hear what the end verdict was. All I do know is our waitress kept assuring these customers that she had in fact placed the order properly and if there was an issue it was the bartenders fault. This seemed to be a pattern for her. As Cheryl pointed out it was interesting how our waitress used similar excuses as she did with us when this family’s food was having problems making it’s way to the table. At one point she came out to explain there had been some discussion between the kitchen and management that the man would have to pay extra for the larger portion soup. He didn’t have a very friendly reaction to this. Jennifer stepped into this situation and diffused the problem.
This had all taken place mostly after we had received our main course. Cheryl chose the chicken and shrimp which she enjoyed. My selection was the shrimp bamboo pot which I did not enjoy one bit. Because of the ingredients I didn’t expect a ton of flavor from this dish. What I had expected was to get a rice dish with a decent amount of shrimp. Now maybe my expectations were out of line. Maybe this menu item was being served in a traditional way. Honestly I’m not sure. All I can say is if you want sticky mid-size shrimp with tails still on them and a ton of rice to follow. Then this is the dish you should order. Many restaurants do this and I’m not sure why. Maybe it is cost effective or the chef is wanting to be visually appealing with an art sculpture. All I know is I will pay extra and prefer all my seafood dishes that have rice or pasta have shrimp with no tails. So my evening consisted of sticky fingers do to the sauce coating the shrimp and having to de-tail them to eat. I hadn’t figured on no more shrimp or flavor existing within the rice. So after eating my eight shrimp I was left with a good size bowl of rice on leaves. Maybe this was user error. In my opinion this is just another not very well thought out culinary offering. No one ever thinks about the experience of the customer when they create menu choices.
So after some time I give up on my never ending bowl of rice. I can say this left me feeling very sad for those who have nothing but plain rice to eat on a daily basis. During my meal I even made a comment in relation to this. During much of this experience the waitress had become somewhat scarce. Busy dealing with other issues I’d guess. The busboy came around to collect the plates. I asked him if he could in fact give me a to go box for the rice. It should be noted at no time during the evening did the waitress feel she should have to clear the table. This is exactly the opposite experience we had the night before. If one of our waiters on Friday night saw something that needed collected they asked and then took it away. Our busboy on Saturday night was prompt in getting back to us with what we needed. A bit later our waitress just showed up with the bill. She never asked how our meal was or if we would like desert. The meal ticket was just offered up to Cheryl. We had to let the waitress know we wanted to try out some deserts. I honestly don’t think she wanted us at the table anymore. This is the one thing that no restaurant should ever do no matter what. Making a customer feel unwanted or rushed is a good way to lose repeat business.
The deserts we decided on were the sweet passion berry duo and mini cookie dough egg roll. Where the multiple dipping sauces were with my mini cookie dough egg rolls is beyond me. What came out to me was a plate with a small to go box that had mini egg roll shaped items placed in a spilled like form outside of the box. The only dipping sauce offered was chocolate sauce. This was basically what the cookie dough inside looked like. It did not taste like chocolate though. The sweet passion berry duo faired a bit better. Although I did not see a mix of berries surrounding the mousse. I saw chocolate covered strawberries. Which luckily I was offered up to consume. Cheryl and I both enjoyed the mousse though which was a bit of a berry mix. I only had a couple of bites since this was her desert. Normally we don’t do desert often. But it seemed as if everyone was raving about the desert offerings. So on both nights we visited the Ginger Asian Bistro we wanted to give some of these items a try.
When the check for the evenings meal ended up back at our table the waitress hovered above Cheryl as she filled out the receipt for me to sign. I’ve never been to any restaurant where I have seen this occur. In the end I don’t think she was happy with the tip she received. I’ll give a bit more detail on this later. But honestly after the night of service we had she should be more than happy to be getting a 15% tip. Truthfully it wouldn’t have been without reason to go lower or not give anything at all. Which is exactly what many people would have done. If she hadn’t been as friendly or seemed like she was trying to get things done right I wouldn’t have felt bad leaving nothing for a tip. Granted I don’t think this was just a one night issue. While I don’t wish anyone to lose their job. I’d honestly be surprised if she last much longer if customers are walking out or always having problems when she takes care of them.