I just want to start off by saying that “nobody is perfect”. We all make mistakes from time to time. What is important is how one deals with the situation when a mistake is made. Don’t ever lie to cover a mistake. It makes things worse. Mistakes, once realized, must be fixed as fast as possible. More about that later …
A couple of weeks ago, the whole family went out to dinner at the Mui Garden in Richmond. I wanted to go there because I ordered the wrong dish during the visit to the other Mui Garden on Victoria and 43rd in Vancouver. In that post, I complained that Curry Chicken which they are supposed to be famous for was terrible. It seems that they have different curry dishes and we got the wrong one. Yeah, there was a barrage of comments on that post telling us (again and again and again!) saying “Hey Ben, you got the wrong curry chicken!”.
The O-C (obsessive compulsive) Ben just gotta go and check the deal curry dishes out or else he keeps thinking about it day in day out. Arkensen is more than happy that dad suggested Mui Garden when I told him “yes, it is in Richmond” and “yes, it is like a HK Style Cafe”. He knows that HK Style Cafe means they have salted fish and chicken fried rice.
The Mui Garden in Richmond had been here forever. They are located on a street called Firbridge Way which no one, including Richmondites, knows the name of. To many, it is just that little side street which connects No 3 Road with Minoru Blvd behind the London Drugs building. It is hidden from the main thoroughfare but yet many people knows of Mui Garden and where it is.
Parking here seems limited but there is a roof top parking above the single storey structure that the restaurant is on. You need to drive round the back and up the ramp. We did not even realize it until we saw that inconspicuous words on the awning.
The dining area is big and it is split into two separate sections. One of the sections is on the upper level overlooking the rest of the restaurant.
There is nothing remarkable about the restaurant. Very typical Chinese restaurant with booth seats and smaller square tables.
The restaurant was … packed when we were there on a Saturday night. We did not have to wait for a table though and were seated promptly.
Mui Garden is undoubtedly one of the more popular restaurants in Richmond. They had won numerous awards over the years. Everyone knows what they are best known for. It is curry dishes and Hainanese chicken rice. They do that very well.
Prices wise, they are not the cheapest in town. They are quite OK considering that the food is delicious. I guess they can price their dishes $1-$2 higher than elsewhere simply because these are award winning dishes.
As usual, you can click on the pages above to show it in larger print.
There are two dishes we wanted to try that night – curry and Hainanese Chicken Rice.
Since we already wanted to have chicken in the the Hainanese Chicken Rice, we ordered Curry Beef Brisket ($8.00) which a lot of people commented was good in the post of our last Mui Garden visit.
It is a simple dish – just rice and curry and beef briskets. Yellow and white, nothing green. They don’t bother about garnishes or making it a balanced meal. It is all about the curry.
The yellowish curry is mildly hot which also has some potatoes pieces in it. There are a lot of rice served and we felt that the ratio of curry jhup to rice is too low. Not enough jhup to drench the rice like we like to. So we had a ration the curry jhup or else we will be eating white rice part way.
The beef brisket seems to have been pre-cooked separately. We think they just pour the curry jhup over the meat before serving because the outer part of the beef does not feel “integrated” with the sauce. Not that it’s bad or anything.
The curry dish above came with a free choice of coffee or tea because it is a combo dish.
Arkensen ordered the usual $8.00. His ti-ti (younger brother) was not at this dinner and so he does not have to fight with him. Arkensen is a good natured boy and he almost always allows his brother his first choice. This dish also came with a free drink.
Arkensen said that it wasn’t really good. He said that there were not enough of salted fish taste and so it tasted bland. He was right.
The choice of our first dish were already made up days before. Hainanese Chicken Rice is what we will have. We were so looking forward to this a lot.
This is how every restaurant who serves Hainanese Chicken Rice must serve the condiments. This is as important as the chicken itself. This came first. delivered right after the moment we ordered it.
Serves to whet our appetite more … serves to elevate our anticipation.
To us the most important condiment is the grated ginger and green onion, not so much the chili sauce. Tip: if you eat Hainese Chicken Rice with Suanne, move this plate away from her. It happens to me every time … by the time I had my second spoonful of the rice, half of the saucer will be empty. And when I confront her, she always says that I don’t like it as much. That is beside the point right? Ist against fairness to consider it is all hers.
So if I was paying attention, I will move the saucer closer to me so that I can monitor the consumption.
We got half a Hainese Chicken. Half a chicken is $11.00 and a full bird is $21.00. So beautiful. I like the plumpness of the chicken which is a sight to behold.
Beautiful chicken. Look at it … it has the all important layer of jelly-like skin finishing made by dipping the chicken in ice.
It is so good and flavorful that we did not even care that the plate it came in did not have sweet soya sauce.
The chicken did not come with the rice. The rice is extra. We can get either order the plain steamed rice or the oily rice. We opted for the oily rice.
And this was the problem.
We waited and waited and waited. We asked one of the waitress and she said “it’s coming” and added that they are busy that night and that she will check for me. That’s fine.
We waited and waited and waited some more. We waited until we had finished the curry rice and the fried rice. And so we asked again, adding that we had finished the dishes and the chicken rice was no where to be seen.
Apparently they dropped the ball. The order was forgotten. The earlier waitress told me a lie that she will check but she did not. AND … they had the gall to lie to me some more that they had told us that it will take another 30 minutes to prepare the dish. We had waited for 30 minutes and now they tell us we need another 30 minutes more?
You see. I was not upset that they dropped the ball and forgot the order. Really I was not. What annoyed me was that they did not admit it. Instead in the confusion the waitress covered it up saying that we had to wait another 30 minutes on top of the 30 minutes we had waited for the dish because I wanted the oily rice. What sort of oily rice take 1 hour to make? She said she can serve me white rice if I want it immediately. I reluctantly agreed to the white rice.
The last straw was when I saw another table served oily rice 5 minutes later. That was IT! I called the supervisor over and asked for an explanation why I was told to wait another 30 minutes for an oily rice after having waited for 30 minutes more when I see other tables served the oily rice almost immediately. I gave them an earful. They knew I was not happy (hungry people are angry people).
They did not know what to do. They knew the waitress gave me BS. They did not say much. They did not do much in response. And I did not tip much in counter response too.
Actually I did not tip at all. And I know they expected it.
I am quite sure this does not happen to everyone who goes to Mui Garden. It just had to happen to us. The waitress should have checked when I asked the first time when it was apparent something was not right. And when a mistake is made, don’t make it worse by telling lies and try to wiggle out of the situation. Just fix it. It is not difficult. A speedy word of sorry goes a long way.
OK enough of my rant. :-)
Life goes on …
The total bill came to $32.20, sans tips.