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  • The Storyteller

Teatime at Shangri-La: The Best Thing is...

.....the ambience. And by that, I mean the design, the high ceiling and feature wall of green plants, the abundance natural light, the soothing cream tones of the furniture and carpet, etc....


As for the service, I shall relate it here and perhaps this time round, the reader shall decide on the Service Bank for this teatime experience.


At the hostess stand, we informed the lady we had a booking and gave our name. There was no proper greeting to welcome us to the lobby lounge, nor use of our name. The exception was the male employee standing nearby who recognised my husband and addressed him by name. (This team member is actually from the Origin Bar but was helping out at this outlet today.)


The hostess turned to inform this colleague our assigned table number and handed him the teatime set menu at the same time; but just as he was reaching out, she took it back without further explanation and turned away. Recovering quickly from his puzzled expression, the male employee walked us to our table.


As we were sitting down, I noticed a medium strand of hair tucked within the neatly folded fabric napkin and I alerted the employee about this. He apologised and promptly removed it as well as the small plate on which it was placed on.


Another of his colleague came by to pass him two menus - a big one. for a la carte orders and the smaller tea time set menu. As he was about to present these to us, he promptly noted a large stain on one of the menus and removed it swiftly.


When we were ready to place our beverage order, I enquired if they had roasted green tea. The waitress didn't seem very confident when she said they had jasmine tea. (Does that mean they don't have green tea?) I then asked for hot chocolate and while the order was accepted, she returned shortly after to inform that it was not included in the tea set, and remained silent standing next to us. Okay.....(Think, what would the guest be expecting at this moment?) It was only when I asked what else was included that she replied hot Milo was an option, so I ended up ordering this drink.


We had a square table with four plush high-back seats and there were two ready covers for our reservation. One was facing the spacious lobby, while the other had the view of the..... large pillar right in front, seriously limiting the view of anything else. We decided that I should move to the opposite seat for a much more pleasant visual experience. And I have to say, WHAT A DIFFERENCE IT MADE! Now I was able to admire the lovely garden wall feature and soak in the nice atmosphere. It felt as if I had been released from some confined space and as if my heart was lighter!


The three-tier pastries and snacks, as well as our drinks were served promptly. The food was alright - nothing to rave about and to be honest, very forgettable. We decided to order an a la carte dish to top-up and I had my eye on the carrot cake dish. It's been a while since I had this and suddenly had craving for it. So, imagine my disappointment when the lady informed me that they are "out of stock" for this dish. Once again, no further information/recommendation/alternative put forward. Our second preferred dish would have been the beef noodles. Thankfully we asked first what else was not available, as the same waitress said the carrot cake and beef noodles were both "out of stock". So we gave up ordering anything else.


When it was time to get the bill, a waitress came by to do the necessary scanning on our mobile device. Almost immediately after, another staff came to present a regular bill for signing (in order to close off the bill/account in the system, I believe). We continued sitting there for few moments, wondering whether everything's been concluded as we had a taxi arriving in four minutes....


Service Bank: Where are the deposits and withdrawals?


Reflective thought: Think about the little details that could enhance your guest/customer's physical comfort and put them in a good position to admire your beautiful surroundings. On the other hand, what are the compromising factors?


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