29 March 2008
The Award for the Worst Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur...

... goes to Sri Nirwana Maju, Telawi, Bangsar.


It's not characteristic of me to put the dump on an establishment, especially one that comes with much endorsement as the abovementioned atrocity. But seriously, I just hate this place now, with a passion. I used to like it, love it, even recommended it to friends... until yesterday, that is.

What happened was this. It was Saturday lunchtime business as usual at the restaurant. As KL residents would know, a lot of people frequent Sri Nirwana because the food is good. I don't deny the food is yummy. Some people argue that there are better banana leaf rice spreads around town but I've always loved the food at Nirwana, although they've gotten a bit dear lately (and once they messed up a simple Maggi goreng). Anyway, there were lots of people there, as usual. I got there at about 1:50pm, looking for a table, waiting for a friend. I got a table outside. Sat down. The previous diners' food scraps were still on the table. This is not shocking because the place was very busy.

5 minutes passed. Didn't see a waiter outside. The table was still not cleared. That was OK. I'm a patient person. Anyway, I was waiting for my friend. I was in no hurry.

10 minutes later. Still nothing. One waiter was serving a table of six diners two tables away. That's OK. They were there first. He saw me. I saw him. I gestured at the foodscraps, assuming that he understood that it should cleared. But he was busy I could see.

But then, I've had the mistfortune of being served by this particular waiter before. Or more like... not being served. The week before at around the same time... I had also waited for quite a bit before getting served. He saw me, ignored me, saw me again and ignored me and then finally told another waiter to serve me... even though he wasn't serving anyone else. Hmm... anyway that was in the past... I'm a forgiving person.

But just to make a point, I stacked the foodscraps in a pile on one end of my table.

15 minutes later. Two couples turned up, waiting around for tables. They got tables next to mine. They sat down. And this was when I completely lost it. Within two minutes of them sitting down, their tables were cleared and their orders were being taken. While two waiters were taking their orders, I tried to get their attention. Both of them looked at me, smiled at me, but completely ignored me nevertheless. One of them tried to get another waiter to serve me... but that other waiter also ignored me.

So, I don't know.

After 20 minutes of waiting... none of the wait staff even came to clear my table, let alone take my order... while other diners were served in less than 3 minutes... I was fuming... I'm still fuming now as I try to recall yesterday's events.

What does it take to get served at Sri Nirwana? Does one need to drive big cars? Or dress fancy? Or have white friends?

I don't know... and my friend being 20 minutes late didn't help at all... I wasn't expecting special treatment... I wasn't making any over-the-top demands. I just wanted to get the same service as everyone else.

I blew up. I yelled at the waiters in disgust and pushed some of the foodscraps off the table, which almost hit another diner's shoe - he got a bit pissed off at me. It was regrettable in hindsight... because I must have looked like some diva throwing a hissy fit. It was really quite humiliating for me... but anyone in the same situation would, I think, get riled up and blow a gasket.

Only then did I get served... but because I'd already lost my temper in public, and because the waiters were still smiling their donkey smiles... I got up and walked towards the counter, complained to the manager who didn't even apologise... and walked over to Devi's Corner and got served in less than a minute. (But please don't mistake me for Devi's Corner supporter... because I still think the food at Nirwana is better... but from now on, when I'm in Telawi area, I'll go to Devi's or Pelita, thanks.)

And there you have it, folks...

Maybe it's just me... maybe the waiters just loathe me... I don't know... maybe they just have some personal vendetta against me. I don't know...

Sigh... so, anyway, here's a huge continent-sized thumbs down for the service at Nirwana. I'm sure they'll continue to prosper without my patronage... but then again, I hope a rat turns up in one of their curries and they get shut down for good.

LOL... but that's just crazy talk.
Blogger chi too said...
maybe we can organize a 'serve jerome kugan and apologize now' candlelight vigil outside nirwana some day.