Last year we were in Bali for dad's birthday and he loves the place we stayed in Ubud so much.
And this year we went to a psuedo-Bali - in the form of a very unique restaurant called `Tamarind Springs' in the far off side of Ampang.
Dad and I went to visit it one afternoon a few weeks ago and fell in love with the Balinese architecture and ambiance. The restaurant uses lots of wood and the decoration was totally Balinese, but what's more impressive was that it's built amidst nature and green forest. Dad was joking that we're in Bali and so I suggested we should celebrate his 68th birthday by having dinner there!
Just a day before yesterday, I was getting worried because it has been raining like EVERY day especially in the evening! So plan B was go out to a restaurant in a mall - likely The Gardens at Mid Valley - if it rains. But voila, the Lord was good to us all, especially dad, as the sky was really clear yesterday evening having already had a downpour earlier in the day. So we set off as we planned.
The place looked quite different - in fact, the atmosphere was even better - at night. Mom was very impressed. We had to walk through an open walkway to the restaurant building (which consisted of three different restaurants - Indochinese, Italian, Malay/Thai). Since dad hasn't tried Indochinese cuisine, we went for that.
Well, just say the food - saved for the spring roll starter - was really very mediocre. So ordinary looking too that i didn't bother with photos! We were quite disappointed but at least the ambience was great.. I was a bit surprised why the place had so many people - but mainly are expatriots and foreigners. But dad said maybe that kind of cooking suit their palatte!
There was a small `hiccup' and I actually wonder why I'm still giving publicity to them - but again, my blog has such low hits so it doesn't make much of a difference I guess. You see, we were taken to a corner table which was actually very nice - only problem was the next table was a huge party of about 20 `Matsalleh' men - and they were having a merry time laughing and chatting very loudly. It really spoilt the atmosphere!! The waitor said they would leave soon but no, they didn't. we took our time to order food and wine and already completed our starter but they looked no where near leaving the place.
As I went to the washroom, I realised the other side (which was smoking area) was very empty saved for a few tables. So I requested us to be moved there. The waiters or captains were not very obliging but nevertheless said they would check it out and let us know. So we waited. And waited. Till I had to walk out to speak to them. I asked one of them (not the one I asked but he was just next to him) and he was so unfriendly and bothering rude to me - saying things like well, you have to wait because you gave us such short notice, bla bla.. and then he pointed to one table saying it was being set up - but it was not in that area I asked.
And when I asked him why, he said ALL the tables in the smoking area were reserved! Then I asked `at this time?' as it was well past 9:30pm and there were like at least 10 tables there! And he said: `yes, we must honour our reserved guests by keeping the tables till they come!' I sorta rolled my eyes and didn't want to argue on as I needed to tell my parents about the change of table..
But the more I thought it, the more unhappy I was. As we were finally led to our new table which was not that great cos near the stairs but not noisy any more, I told that particular waiter sternly and sarcastically that I would sit around till closing time and see whether ALL the tables were occupied. And if not, i will write to the management about this incident.
He kept quiet. of course, what else can he say!
Anyways, not letting this small hiccup ruin the night, we finished our food and wine and then proceeded to the Italian restaurant downstairs for dessert and coffee. The atmosphere was actually even nicer downstairs and mom said we should have eaten here! Well, maybe next time?
The set up, decoration and ambience of Tamarind Springs is really quite out-of-the-world, a beautiful haven to enjoy the nature in a luxurious environment.. however, the food and the service (of some particular waitor) at the Indochine restaurant - needs to be improved. FYI, when we left at 11-ish, still no one came later into that section where I requested to be re-seated!
Ahh.. nothing is perfect, aint it?