Dinner with Entertainment

PL doesn’t eat much. A good thing. Low maintenance GF/SO/Fiancee/Wife.

My sister (I think) told me to stop referring to her as “low maintenance” as it may be considered derogatory.

I guess it would for anyone else. Not for PL and me.

But while she doesn’t usually have a preference for food, I have found that she does know how to appreciate good food. She just doesn’t complain about bad food (as in not well prepared or not good tasting, but not bad as in unsuitable for consumption). As far as she is concerned (I think), the food served it’s primary function of providing sustenance.

So over time, we have “discovered” a few favourite restaurants. Men-ichi (a ramen place) we like for the pickles. Prata Wala for the prata. Oasis for the chye poh omelette, salted fish, salted vegetables, Iron Chefs (at Shaw Balestier) for their All-Day Breakfast platter. Nanbantei. Akanoya. We ate at Soup Restaurant a few times and I think she liked it.

Anyway, we had dinner at Soup Restaurant this evening (Sunday), and as we entered, a woman shoved her daughter (?) back into the restaurant (she had stepped out because her husband (?) was looking at the menu outside) and told the daughter to keep their place in the queue. She then told the waitress, that they should join two adjacent 2-seater tables for her (party of 4). Obviously, she saw that we were just a couple (a table for 2), and was afraid that we would be seated ahead of her.

So the waitress noted that we were just a party of two, proceeded to join the two small, square tables for the woman, seated her party, and then brought us to our table just inside. There was a table for two, and over in the corner, a large round table for 4. Presumably that would have been the table for the woman and her family if she had not decide to take things into her own hands and demanded that the two small tables be joined for her. The large round table would probably be more comfortable than two small square tables joined in an elongated fashion against the wall.

Of course, she never knew what she was missing, so presumably, she never learn, “beware of what you ask for. You may get it instead of something better.”

PL placed the order for us, and she did it by citing the number of each menu item that corresponded to order chit. The waitress seemed bemused by our unorthodox system of ordering and read back the items corresponding to the number. I guess this would be consistent with PL approach – concise, precise, pragmatic.

After placing our order, we started on the steamed peanuts that was the standard appetisers for Soup Restaurant. And just because, I asked PL if she would like some pepper on the peanuts.

Sure, she said.

So I generously peppered the peanuts.

Then I noted the teenager at the next table was now peppering his peanuts.


Anyway, we had ordered a pot of the Soup of the Day – corn and pork ribs soup. The lady that brought the soup, also brought two larger serving bowls. Soup Restaurant’s standard place settings include a small soup bowl, but the lady who brought the soup said she brought the larger bowls as it would hold more soup, and would be more convenient. The larger bowl was also wider and allowed the soup  at the top to cool faster if it was too hot to drink.

We thanked her for her consideration.

And she added that if there were more people sharing the soup she would not have brought larger bowls as then there may not be enough for everyone.

That bit of sharing  was totally unexpected! 🙂

It is pockets of such personal interaction in service that tells me all is not lost in the service industry – that Singapore can learn to raise their service level. 🙂 And learn how to make their service, personal.

Unfortunately, Singaporean customers may not deserve better service.

Some demand service imperiously, as if it were their divine right. Wait staff are treated with scant respect, or even, it seemed to me, regarded as less than human. Others may be more courteous, but their requests are expressed “assertively” as if anything less, might be disregarded by the wait staff.

I don’t have many such “assertive” friends. Some are like that because it’s part of their personality. Some acquired their “assertiveness” over one or more “bad experience” with wait staff.

I try not to go out with them as their “assertiveness” can be… embarrassing.

Well, to each his own. PL and I enjoyed dinner tonight because of the silly antics of one kiasu Singaporean, one garrulous, thoughtful soup server, and one “incepted” teenager who henceforth may well pepper all his steamed peanuts.


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