Jul 18, 2010
The Bad Experience in The Line, Shangri-la

**This post is only for those who interested in the reviews, cos it darn long! ^^

I went for a buffet @ The Line in Shangri-la Hotel with my group mates for the purpose of doing a very lame F&B report. This report requires us to go to 5 star hotel and I think the teachers are utterly crazy. They tot all the HTM students are rich people? I have been investing a lot of money in this course since year one. And I just can't understand why this school is so cruel; making us spend money and and making used of us to earn!

Anyway, the buffet is a great disappointment. I expected a lot of good stuff since it's a 5 star hotel. In addition, I heard and seen of a lot of good reviews from friends and through internet. After the trip, I have a lot of bad comments on the buffets. Just the food comments fills up one page plus. However, I am astonished that I wrote so many comments but only see less than 20% of it in the actual report. O.O Since it's not in the report, then I should blah it out here..to advice everyone before going. Note that this is only draft of my report, haven't put it in proper sentence :P

Service

We stand at the entrance for like approximately 2mins, waiting for the host to approach us and greet us. She didn’t care about us till I approach them and tell them that I reserve a table. The host is pretty but don’t look friendly and did not smile genuinely. She seems like looking down on students like us. The staff gives me a feeling that they didn’t like to talk. They just work silently, not much emotion. They did not ask if we want any beverages from the bar. No warm conversation, no simple Hi with a smile on the staffs’ face.

Immediately when I sit down, I expect someone to put the water for us. I waited around 5mins till someone suddenly appear and pour the water into the glass. The service staffs are very efficient at the beginning, always refilling water for us and keep on clearing our plates.

However, I think the service staff seems to be too efficient that they just clear your plates without asking you for permission or without noticing that there is still something in the bowl. A good example: Jun placed that bowl of miso soup on the table and decides to go to the food station to get more food. He told us to stop the staff from clearing his soup. When I was chatting with my friends, I saw the service staff approach and I was about to stop him. But he is so efficient that he cleared soup bowl without asking me. I think the service staff is the major cause of food wastage!

Then when it is around 1.40 pm, their efficiency slows down. The plates piled up at a point in time as the waiters did not clear them fast enough! They didn’t clear our table even though there are a lot of empty plates on the table already. They didn’t refill water for us till we requested.

I told the service staff that there is change in my water, so I request to change another glass for me. But it ended up that he didn’t come back with a new glass and I am so thirsty till I drank my friend’s glass of water. Damn disappointing. After we took the ice cream from the dessert section, we cannot find dessert spoons and we call for the guy to give us three dessert spoon. That staff took a long time to take the spoon and by the time he came to our table, the ice cream is half melted.

Food

Before we went for the buffet in The Line, we heard of a lot of good comments about the wide variety of cuisines that The Line provides from friends and the internet. The Line is recognized as the “Mother of all buffets” and it is famous for the whole selection of cuisines they displayed. Based on prior research, the cold seafood bar have featured endless rows of succulent oysters, clams, mussels, crabs, lobsters, pretty little servings of appetizers in shot glasses; sushi & sashimi and all kinds of greens. However, when we reached there, we are quite disappointed with the seafood bar. Decent range of cold seafood, but the variety is not as extensive as we thought at first. In addition, we did not see baby lobster nor clams on the bar as portrayed on the internet. The amount of crab legs they displayed on the bar is insufficient, especially when the crab legs are so small. Besides, they did not replenish the crab legs once it is finished, making the seafood bar so awkward with only mussels and prawns left on the bar. Moreover, there are limited choices of sushi. Furthermore, the selection of desserts that they provided is extensive and exquisitely arranged. However, we think they focus too much on cakes. There are too many types of cakes on the dessert station. We are quite happy with salad bar as they provided so many choices of combination, instead of just plain vegetables.

The seafood was a great disappointment and it is definitely not as fresh as others we have tried before. Everything on the seafood bar looks fresh but some did not taste fresh, especially the mussels. It is a good concept that their oyster is freshly shucked in front of you upon order to ensure freshness. This is definitely an eye opener because in other buffets, the oysters are all already shucked and placed on a bed of ice. Thus, these oysters in The Line are definitely fresher than fresh as the chefs shucked the oysters for you on the spot. However, it is not tip-top fresh with clear seawater dripping out. The prawns are firm textured and taste satisfactory, but not very fresh. On the other hand, the sliced raw salmon look and taste awesome. Salmon belly, tuna & octopus are served freshly sliced upon request. Even though I dislike eating sashimi in the past, I tried one after my group mates highly recommended this raw salmon. It taste so good, fresh and of high quality. Its texture is so delicate and smooth. Hence, we ate many slices of raw salmon that day.

In addition, the sushi does not look appetizing at all and it is not up to our standards. The sushi is too firm and hard, and it is not loose enough to fall apart in your mouth. The taste of the ingredient on the sushi rice is not fresh, not of high quality and does not taste good too. For example, I took a Tamago (egg omelette) sushi but the Tamago does not taste sweet at all. A good Tamago should be sweet and is not to be overcooked, thus it is not too chewy or too salty.

Furthermore, the taste of the sweet and sour cod fish dish is inconsistent. At first, I took some and I found it quite delicious, no fishy smell, thus recommend it to my friends. He took some in his subsequent trip but the cod fish on his plate taste differently. Its fishy taste is strong and disgusting.

Moreover, the salad tastes good and refreshing, like what you expected. Nevertheless, the duck meat is extremely difficult to cut and tough. I cannot even tear it apart with my teeth and the meat is too dry and very unappetizing. It is also tasteless. Similarly, lamb meat taste is hard, taste powdery and not fresh. Last but not least, the satay tastes okay but hard. It is totally a different story from what I seen in the internet; “Satays that were tender and slides off the satay sticks effortlessly with a gentle pull.”

Additionally, the desserts look good and tempting. Some desserts taste good, for example the crème bruclee and the “floating island”. However, some desert taste awful. The cakes do not taste fresh too. Overall, we think the quality of the deserts is satisfactory but not up to the standards we are expecting :(

Other comments

Little signage. I don't even know there's a grilling station and the raw seafood could be cooked! I also hate the short stairs, so troublesome and dangerous as we have to climb up and down to get more servings.

Overall

I would not expect something like this from a 5 star hotel. Absolutely disappointing! Now I know all the photos are deceiving T-T

To see the photos, please go to my Facebook! Here upload too long la~~

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