Search and You Shall Find in My World

04 May 2010

I don’t know or so said the waiter from Handuraw

I’ve been to a lot of restaurants, carenderias and unusual dining stalls all over the country and outside of the Philippines and one thing that annoys me most is a waiter or a server who does not know what he is about to serve. I believe staff like them should be fired immediately or else they would do more than harm to the establishment.

I would take consideration when that staff is from some unknown carenderia where dining (or just eating at their place) is a risk you should take as part of the bargain. But mind you, that is not always the case. Most carenderia staff knows by heart what is the name of the food on display, and even know how they are made.

I met once that kind of staff in Naga City who even told me the ingredients and how Bicol Express should be made, offering me to write them so I could try cooking them. I should say that that staff should have been given an excellent grade like the ones they do in Jollibee or KFC.

Today, I am invited by a friend to join him for late lunch at Handuraw. I asked him we find another place since the last time I was there, the place looked like a tame version of a strip club. The lights were so low I had a hard time reading what was on their menu. The waiting staff did not offer a flashlight or a torch to justify their low light drama. And I had trouble looking for them since they were nowhere to be found after you order or after serving them. Unlike other restos of their kind when just a turn of your head a staff is there asking you if there are problems.

But since he insisted that Handuraw is the nearest from his place and he is paying, I accepted the invite.

In view of the fact that I was really hungry and nursing a bad hangover from last night’s drunken episode, I was considering their rice toppings. One in the menu caught my eye. It said Vegetable Meat Teriyaki. I asked the waiting staff what they meant by vegetable meat and what meat if there is any, since I am very concerned with anything pork on my food.

I was shocked when he replied: Wa ko kahibaw Sir kay pinalit ra na namo sa gawas. (I don’t know Sir because we just bought them outside.) I was imagining the food cart outside of Handuraw selling fish balls and I don’t eat them much more buy from them.

My expectation from Handuraw who is known by many as a distinctive restaurant and owned by aficionados from UP, dropped so low. I never expected “distinct” meant that their staff is ignorant of what they were selling.

Which reminds me that the last time I was there a foreigner was pissed with a staff and I thought it was just a matter of cultural difference.

Now I know.

I think the Handuraw management does not know what is going on so I called up the attention of another staff even if the owner, Ms Becky Smith is four tables away from us, and informed her what happened. The staff we called apologized.

And based from stories some kitchen staff told me, the ones you heard about how they take revenge on irritating customers, I still ordered. No longer interested how was my food, I just gobble them up just to satisfy my gnawing hunger pains.

I miss the old Handuraw in Mabolo.

(Above pic is the tuna sandwich I ordered the last time I was in Handuraw. The sandwich was very plain and could have been made better.)

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