The Chinese have a saying that no matter how old you are, there will still be things that amaze you. I think we must have been amazed or just too shocked at discovering that our dinner of steamed crab came with mud that we did not kick up a fuss like any other disgruntled or disgusted customer might have. I put the pieces of crab that had mud on them on a small plate, walked over to one of the restaurant’s wait staff and requested that she kindly get the mud washed off the crab, please. If you’re wondering which restaurant this unfortunate incident happened at, it was Yi Jia South Village Seafood Restaurant at Citimac (MacPherson). Apparently, that’s just one branch, and not the main outlet.
Thankfully, we did not order Black Pepper Crabs. I wouldn’t have been able to spot the mud otherwise. And I might have licked it off together with the black pepper sauce. (>_<) We ordered steamed crab because it’s actually overlooked too often as a great choice of cooking method for crabs. Had such yummy steamed crab at VLV Singapore previously.
Here, we have the crab that’s washed and with some more egg white added to it, returned to our table. I chickened out and didn’t dare to eat it. So my lovely dining companion did. 😀
If you’re wondering, no, there was no discount on the meal. Apologies were rather halfhearted too. Waitress says she warned the chef. And much later on, a rep from the company (could be the lady boss) wrote to me to say both the waitress and the chef received what she called a “last warning”. Why did the waitress get a warning though? I’m puzzled.
“Hi Grace! We are so sorry of your bad experience in our restaurant. We have reprimanded the chef as well as the waitress in not handling your case properly. We have given them last warning and to follow strict cleanliness on the food served. Hopefully you can come to our main branch so that i can make a replacement for it. You can look for [redacted]. She will handle ur case. Thanks & God bless…”
“Thanks for the reply. Pls do visit my main branch coz the main chef is there and many of my customers who dined there really loved our food. Again, so sorry and I do hope to meet you and say my apologies in person. Thank you…”
From her responses, it appears to me that the food’s only great over at the main outlet, and people supposedly love the food there. Come to think of it, the family seated at the table next to us actually sent their prawn dish back to the kitchen and asked for the prawns to be de-shelled and the sauce to be less spicy. I should have picked up on the warning signs. Especially when that same wait staff I returned the muddy crab pieces to had been complaining to her colleague about how unhappy she was to be working here.
I do think that (1) The company should have some sort of protocol for staff to follow when something nasty is found in the food served to diners, e.g. 50% off the bill together with apologizing profusely, maybe? And (2) staff should be made to feel fulfilled (and definitely happy) about working here – that’s something Daniel Ong mentioned in his talk recently. Happy staff will take care of your customers, and make them happy too. Unhappy staff will turn customers away.
Truth be told, I’ve prepared crab dishes before and I know how tedious it is to clean crabs properly. There was once I even used an old electric toothbrush to ensure all the mud and dirt is removed! 😀 Still, there were only a few tables with diners that evening, so serving up mud crab with mud on it is just… unacceptable.