Just because the food is expensive doesn't mean the place is also nice. That was my conclusion after a dinner at The Tinder Box in Banilad, Cebu.
Being done with a refreshing massage and after attending mass for the feast of Saint Rita, my Indon friend and I went to Banilad to try the food at The Tinder Box. The place is cozy and bright but we chose the inner room for smokers because the seats there were leather and looked quite comfy.
The waiter asked us if we wanted a nice ambiance and showed us upstairs to the bar called Z. It was dark and too noisy and a kind of weird place to have the ambiance the waiter told us about. I don't know if it was an insult or he was just kind not to show our faces in the light (LOL) but I did not like it there because the place looked like it was ready for some Halloween party of some sort and I am claustrophobic. So we came down and ordered our food.
The waiters seemed very excited to welcome us at their door. In fact, two or three greeted us there BUT when we were seated for our dinner, they were nowhere to be found. Or maybe they were just busy at the door. It would take some time for our plates to be cleared not until we call them and have them clean our table.
Unlike in Anzani, that excellent restaurant in Lahug, the waiters there would give you a personalized service even if you showed up late in the evening and without a reservation. Here at Tinder Box, no waiting staff have ever smiled us back despite a limited crowd. And we were there just past 7 in the evening. That means the staff were not that tired already.
Compared to Anzani, The Tinder Box does not have the ambiance worth the pay. Sorry I have to compare the two restos because they have the same price range. Meaning? Expensive.
Dinner for two with a bottle of rose wine costs P3,000++. For the total dining experience, I would like to give them a generous grade of 6.