Some time back, I went with my pal, Steven, and one of my trainers, to Hai Di Lao at Clarke Quay. It’s apparently fully booked most of the time, unless you go for an early dinner, for instance.
I was curious to find out how this place draws the crowds. The answer is simple: the impeccable service.
A waitress constantly hovered near our table to attend to our needs. The staff are also generous with their compliments, and they were happy to call us “美女” and “帅哥”. It always makes me feel uncomfortable when a PRC man or woman calls me 美女. Case in point – the other day at the MRT station:
Me: (engrossed in the fb newsfeed on my phone)
PRC lady: “美女”
Me: (Giving her a look that asks “What do you want? My money or my phone? Or both?!)
Turns out she just wanted directions.
Dinner that evening at Hai Di Lao was passable. Two soup bases (tomato and chicken), lotsa meat, a fruit platter, some vegetables and the bill came up to S$122 for 3 pax. There’s also a fruit buffet corner where you can eat all the fruit you want.
Too bad I didn’t get to experience the free manicure. But we were given plastic ziplock bags for our handphones, warm towels, cloth to prevent splashes onto my bag, wiping cloths for handphone screens (which the guys took home).
I’m not exactly impressed with the quality of the food. It just ranks as ‘normal’ to me. But if you order some noodles, a guy will come by your table and stretch and swing the dough around your head like a super long whip, crafting noodle strands out of it while you wonder if the dough touched your hair, or the floor, or the back of that chair. Clapping is optional.
If you’d like to impress a visitor with the awesome service standards in Singapore, then head to Hai Di Lao. If not, just eat anywhere else. 😉
Address: 2nd Floor, 3D Building, River Valley Road, Clarke Quay,Singapore
Tel: +65 63378626 / 63378627
Opening Hours: 10.30am to 3am (yes, 3am! Supper for you?)