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We're out of Fried Bananas


fud
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Three of us went to Tropika (on Cambie) for a little pre-birthday dinner to enjoy some Roti. We were seated pretty promptly and aside from one of the chef's specials which was realy salty and served with iceburg lettuce, the food was pretty good. At the end of our meal the waiter asked us if we wanted dessert. I had been waiting for this moment....fried bananas with ice cream!

He brought the menu and as he dropped it on our table said "we are out of fried bananas and ice cream". I was deflated. Beaten. But hey it happens right?

After paying, another waitor started violently cleaning the tables saying "thank you, bye, THANK YOU, BYE BYE. BYE". Oookay....I guess we ought to leave.

We got home and were talking about how rude that waiter was. I tried to defend them by stating that they had a line of people so they were trying to move us so they could fill the table. Regardless it was rude how he handled it. Then it occured to me. Do you think they told us they were out of the dessert because they wanted us out of the restaurant?

It was a joke really but one of our party was really interested in investigating this possibility. She called them and ordered fried bananas and ice cream. They said they had it and would have it ready in 15 minutes. She actually went to pick it up (just in case the person on the phone didn't know they were out).

So they lied. They very obviously wanted to get us the hell out so they could put more warm bodies in their seats. I'm totally flabergasted. This whole thing has really left a bitter taste in my mouth. I mean if they really wanted to move us out why offer the dessert menu at all?

I will certainly never return to that particular restaurant. Ever. It's one thing to tell us that they are out of a particular tasty dessert and it's another to lie about it to get us out.

Edited by fud (log)

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Funny, we were there today for lunch and service left something to be desired, also. Terse is how I'd describe it. But nothing close to your experience! It was our first visit and we quite enjoyed the food - house chicken, rendang and nasi goreng. We'll return (and order the fried bananas, too).

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wow, i'm flabbergasted! although i don't doubt that it happened in the least. i do love their singapore chili crab though :biggrin:

it's common to be hustled out the door at asian restaurants when it's really busy, but that's the first time i've heard of that particular technique. maybe try banana leaf next time? :wink:

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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it's common to be hustled out the door at asian restaurants when it's really busy, but that's the first time i've heard of that particular technique. maybe try banana leaf next time?  :wink:

I've been rushed out of restaurants of many nationalities (was it something I said?? :laugh: ). Bad service is bad service, regardless of the cusine or nationality.

Has it occurred to anyone that the server in question may have been mis-informed on the availabilty of the bananas? I'm not denying the possibilty that the restaurant lied (although that would really surprise me. I dine at that location at least once a week and the service averages a 7/10) but to assume that was the case because they wanted to rush someone out is presumptuous and a little narcisistic IMO.

A.

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Has it occurred to anyone that the server in question may have been mis-informed on the availabilty of the bananas?  I'm not denying the possibilty that the restaurant lied (although that would really surprise me.  I dine at that location at least once a week and the service averages a 7/10) but to assume that was the case because they wanted to rush someone out is presumptuous and a little narcisistic IMO.

It occured up until we asked him why another table seemed to have Bananas and he said "oh yes that was the last one". The possibility was then further refuted when my friend picked up the bananas from the very same waiter (who did not recognize her).

I will admit that it may have been a one of occurance (if they average 7/10 for you) but I certainly don't consider myself presumptious by nature.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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I haven't heard of this particular technique, either, when it comes to getting a table to leave the restaurant so that another turn can be made.

On the other hand, I have seen an item "86"d temporarily in an evening, and then brought back to availability, after an employee made a grocery store run to get ingredients or did the necessary prep, so that is a possibility.

And then again, I have seen servers who have been rude when they are having an off day, as many other people do in many other professions. I usually don't read a lot into it when I get bad service, which is something I see, occasionally. But if a place repeatedly has bad service, at that point I usually weigh how much I really like to eat their food, compared with how much trouble it will be to eat there.

Oh, and the standard way to get a table turned and get people to leave is to ask, "Is there anything else I can get for you?" instead of offering to get them dessert, or coffee, or anything specific. It works very well on everyone but those diners who came out to eat specifically to get a dessert.

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Did the waiter know of your interest in fried bananas prior to giving you the dessert menu. Is that the only dessert that takes time to make?

How much time was there between leaving the restaurant and calling in the order? Having worked in the food industry, I have witnessed firsthand the evershifting tides of ingredient availability. Besides running off to the store for a particular ingredient, it's not uncommon for items to get temporarily misplaced in the walk-in. It usually starts with either a busy or lazy employee who does a cursory check and says 'nope, were out,' only to be followed by a more conscientious individual who performs a more rigorous search.

As far as the acceptability of lying... Although I normally go to great lengths to please every customer I come in contact with, I have, on certain occasions, encountered exceedingly rude customers with such outlandish requests, that, rather then tell them to go f themselves, I've replied "let me go ask the chef." I then went into the kitchen, stood there a few seconds, came back and said "I'm sorry, but the chef says 'no'." If a customer is rude but the request is simple, then that's no problem. If the customer is really nice/apologetic and the request outlandish, again, I've gone above and beyond to fulfill their needs. But rudeness combined with outlandishness, nope, I'm not going to go the extra mile for that customer. In instances such as that, I think lying is okay.

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I will certainly never return to that particular restaurant. Ever.  It's one thing to tell us that they are out of a particular tasty dessert and it's another to lie about it to get us out.

Did you phone up the manager or owner and give him your two cents? At the least, you'll feel like you've gotten something off your chest. At best, the restaurant will have a chance to rectify its mistakes and possibly makes things up with you. Or at least explain to you if there were unusual circumstances that led to what happened.

Although I realize that it's probably too late to find out if there were any extenuating circumstances.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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I'm sorry you feel you were lied to. Heck, it might even be true. But sometimes, as much as I love eG and all that it stands for, sometimes things just go too far. If I actually owned the restaurant in question I'd be horrified to read a thread on a message forum that'll be here in print until the end of the world as we know it, accusing my restaurant of lying to a patron, and this being the first I'd ever heard of it.

I think you should address the manager. Having worked in restaurant kitchens myself I can assure you likely one of 3 things happened:

1 - As scott suggested, the bananas were temporarily misplaced.... happens all the time.

2 - Your server was a twit and treats patrons like crap.... the manager would like to know about it.

3 - (And this I suspect is most likely) Things were so backed up in the kitchen, or the deep fryer got overturned accidentally, or the banana guy hurt themselves and was out of commission for a bit, or whatever the case may have been. This happens a lot too, and it's just easier, when you know you can't produce a dish for a patron in a timely fashion, to just tell them you're out in hopes they'll just order something else that's easier or quicker.

If you like their fried bananas so much you were looking forward to them all through dinner, I think you should most definitely go back to that restaurant.

This next bit, however, is totally unacceptable:

After paying, another waitor started violently cleaning the tables saying "thank you, bye, THANK YOU, BYE BYE. BYE". Oookay....I guess we ought to leave.
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Did the waiter know of your interest in fried bananas prior to giving you the dessert menu. Is that the only dessert that takes time to make?

No he didn't and I was reflecting on this. I believe it probably is the only one that takes time to make.

How much time was there between leaving the restaurant and calling in the order? Having worked in the food industry, I have witnessed firsthand the evershifting tides of ingredient availability. Besides running off to the store for a particular ingredient, it's not uncommon for items to get temporarily misplaced in the walk-in. It usually starts with either a busy or lazy employee who does a cursory check and says 'nope, were out,' only to be followed by a more conscientious individual who performs a more rigorous search.

15 minutes (the call was placed enroute back home). But the concept of something being misplaced and then having the kitchen just state "shit we're out of bananas! Stop the presses!" is in the realm of possibility.

Some good comments and I decided to wait till the next day to call the manager about this incident. Although I feel relieved my complaint was heard I got the impression that he was kind of surprised but got no indication that there was any plan of action. What I got was "oh. well I didn't know we were out of bananas but you got them when you ordered them over the phone. Oh that's good. Thanks for calling."

I think maybe my server was a twit. I wish management paid more attention to people who actually take the effort to point out problems they had.

I admit that my statement about never returning was a little unfair (especially before calling the manager) but I was a little 'in the heat;. Regardless now I am not and I'm not sure I will go back. I wasn't looking for a free meal but I was looking for an acknowledgement of something happening and perhaps a promise to look into it.

I can totally understand the 'bad customer' thing. Sometimes you need to meet bad customers with bad service to get them out. I guess what really got me was that we got the shove out the door shortly after leaving a fairly generous tip (after all at the time it wasn't their fault they ran out of fried bananas right?)

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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I've definitely noticed some of the Chinese restaurants i frequent are a little rude about hustling off diners. I *hate* it when the waiter materializes to snatch my empty dish off the table as soon as I've lifted the last bite of whatever I'm eating to my lips or delivers the check 5 minutes after the entree. I'm a regular at several of these places and I notice that it's usually a problem with one or two specific waiters. They are usually happy to see me, so I must conclude that the hovering waiter is just performing his idea of efficient service and is totally oblivious to how annoying I find it.

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Fud, I'm not sure how much additional time/energy you want to put into this, but if you feel that the manager failed to sufficiently address your issues, I'd see if you can obtain the contact information for the owner and write/speak to them.

Also, if you do have any further communication with the restaurant, I would bring this thread to their attention. It will give them a chance to give their side of the story (if they have one), but, more importantly, I think it will give them a better perspective as to the extent of your disappointment.

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Fud, I'm not sure how much additional time/energy you want to put into this, but if you feel that the manager failed to sufficiently address your issues, I'd see if you can obtain the contact information for the owner and write/speak to them.

Also, if you do have any further communication with the restaurant, I would bring this thread to their attention.  It will give them a chance to give their side of the story (if they have one), but, more importantly, I think it will give them a better perspective as to the extent of your disappointment.

I think the investment of time and effort is directly proportional to just how much I liked the food/experience there in the past. I don't think it was so good to warrant any more effort on my part but I appreciate the feedback from people who seem to be part of the industry. A lot can happen 'in the back' and who knows why people do the things they do. I mean border guards can be wonderful or evil depending on their mood. Human nature I guess.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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