Read this article about MBS conference woes in the Straits Times this morning. Recent news about the Integrated Resorts have been focused on whether they were allowed to open too early, before everything was in place. It is like a software company releasing beta versions of applications and passing them off as public release.

A similar incident happened to me over the Labour Day weekend. Initially, we wanted to have breakfast at Old Town Coffee in Playground @ Big Splash. When we arrived, the place was full and the only table left was alfresco, and in the hot sun. Since, the car park there had a 30 minutes grace period, we decided to go somewhere else. After much deliberation, we decided to try Killiney Cafe at Marina Square. On our way there, we drove past Suntec and a new Old Town Coffee outlet near the Promenade CCL station caught our eye and we decided to try that instead. A decision that we soon came to regret.

The first impression I had when I first stepped in was that the place was new, even the high chairs from Ikea were white and shiny, definitely not the state they will be in after being in use by toddlers. We signaled to the staff that we wanted to order and were informed by them that we had to fill out the order form found on the table. So, we started filling out the form with our orders, which consisted of two breakfast sets. When we passed our order to the staff, they informed us that the sets were not available on weekends and public holidays. This was stated on the menu and not on the order form. Anyway, we proceed to change our orders. I ordered the Tom Yum Mee Siam and an Iced White Coffee, while my wife ordered a Nasi Lemak Special and a milk tea for herself. We also ordered some kaya toast and 2 half-boiled eggs (Omega eggs, according to the menu) for the boy.

To our dismay, the manager came back 5 minutes later to inform us that they had no more eggs left for the half-boiled eggs. Mind you, this is at around 10am in the morning at a restaurant supposedly specializing in serving breakfast. The first thing that popped into my mind at that very moment was to rebutt “Can’t you get some at Carrefour (which was just next door)?” There was nothing much we could do except to forgo the eggs.

The breakfast itself was disappointing. The Tom Yum Mee Siam tasted like instant Tom Yum soup cooked using paste and hot water, with bee hoon, 2 crab sticks, a few slices of fish cake and some strands of vegetables all thrown into a pot and left to simmer. Definitely not worth the $5.50 price tag. The iced coffee was much better. It was nice and fragrant and didn’t taste watered down like some iced coffees tend to taste. However, the serving was small for $2.50 and left me wanting.

Though I didn’t try the Nasi Lemak Special that my wife ordered, I found it strange that they actually served half a plain hard-boiled egg with nasi lemak. And the egg was so overcooked that the yolk was hard to the extent that it didn’t dissolve when I tried to scoop some of it into my Tom Yum Mee Siam.

Our ordeal didn’t end there. After we finished the breakfast, I brought the boy out first because he was getting restless. When my wife proceeded to the payment counter, she was informed that they didn’t have any form of electronic payment set up, not even Nets. There was no notice of this at the entrance or at the counter. And the staff didn’t even inform the customers when we first stepped in. Thankfully, we have the habit of carrying a bit of cash and the total cost of the breakfast was not that high. It would have been embarrassing if someone was dining alone and did not carry enough cash to pay for the meal.

We are definitely not going back to that outlet in the short term until they have sorted out all their logistics.

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