Awana. A-don’t-really-wana blog about Awana. Mainly because I don’t usually like blogging about negative experiences and well, last time I blogged about bad service, the place closed down! Granted, it wasn’t because of me that they closed down – it was because of the bad service, clearly!
Anyway, in my don’t-want-to-blog-about-Awana-ness, I’ll summarise my experience in three dot points:
- The food is actually pretty good ~ yay!
- But it cost a ridiculous £50 per person ~ boo.
- And the service is atrocious ~ double boo.
That’s my review and now I can talk about other stuff!
Throughout high school and university, I worked in various establishments and did a myriad of jobs to enable myself to be independent as much as I could be. My jobs ranged from sales assistant at Cue to a medical receptionist and my very most favourite, I worked at Baskin Robbins making ice cream cakes! *happy memories*
The job I spent the most time at though was managing the floor at Han’s Cafe, a chain of Asian restaurants selling pretty darn average food. Average as it may be, Han’s Cafe, especially the huge branch at Carousel Shopping Centre attracted thousands, if not tens of thousands, of customers each week. And dealing with all of these customers day in day out for years taught me one very important secret to the success of customer service:
The customer is always right.
Sometimes this can be called:
Don’t argue with the customer.
Either way, it means the same thing.
Believe me when I say we had some ridiculous cases of customer complaints. The most common would be people who’d eat their entire meal and then complain it was terrible and wanted a refund. Or another free dish. We had loads of people who ordered stuff and when they saw what it actually was, claimed that’s not what they ordered.
We had complaints about food, drinks, service, timing, ambience, pricing, menus ~ you name it, we had it. But we were trained to never argue because trust me, in the greater scheme of things, we are still making a nice penny from them, refund included.
So. The staff at Awana apparently had no such training. We had not one, not two but three incidents with them in the one sitting, which is three more than there should have been.
1. Panu ordered a gin & tonic, but was brought a gin martini. He said he didn’t order a gin martini, but the staff insisted that he did. They didn’t put up a huge argument here though, and made him a gin & tonic.
2. I ordered a roti canai as one of our starters and what came out was a chicken murtabak. When I said I ordered the roti, the manager (!!) insisted I ordered the murtabak. Now I know – I guarantee you – that I didn’t order a murtabak because I don’t even like murtabaks normally and honestly? “Murtabak” sounds nothing like “roti”. He insisted and insisted that yes this is what I ordered and even when he seemed to have accepted that maybe I didn’t order it, he still insisted we ate it, saying that the murtabak is delicious and probably better than the roti. We ate it. It wasn’t as nice as roti.
3. When we received our bill, Panu had been charged for some ridiculous 10-year aged gin which he didn’t order. Again, we pointed this out, again we were told this is what we ordered. By this time I was exhausted from trying to argue with these guys that we just gave in, but they did correct the bill albeit a little sourly.
I want to find something nice to say about Awana, and the most I can say is that the food tasted pretty good. I really enjoyed the fish curry with okra and aubergine and the sambal kangkung was just delicious.
As for dessert, the dadar was lovely and I was crazy looking forward to my durian roti canai only to be disappointed by the absolute lack of durian. And I’m not even being harsh – my Canadian friends who’ve never had durian tried it and they couldn’t taste it. I mean really. If there was any inkling of durian in there, they would have tasted it. And gagged, probably.
After all of this hoohaa, we were slapped with the bill for over £50 per person. I mean, for Malaysian food which – yes comments on my last post on Plum Valley argued fine dining vs good food vs how much you’d pay etc – but for this food? The standard of this food isn’t above what’s served at Kiasu or Sedap and the fact that they add a tiny piece of lobster to the kuay teow doesn’t mean anything. I’d rather not have it.
So there you go. I kinda sorta blogged about Awana anyway.
85 Sloane Avenue
Chelsea, Sw3 3DX
0207 584 8880