i’ve read quite a number of rave reviews of Antionette, and really wanted to try out their cakes and tea. and since the Mandarin Gallery location is so much more convenient compared to the original Penhas road branch, we decided to plan our afternoon tea date there today 😀
in short though, i had a really shitty experience at the place. mostly about the service though i see that on hungrygowhere, there isn’t any issue apart from the waiting time. so i shall have a disclaimer first to say that this opinion is mine only. maybe we were just unlucky today
firstly, the waiting time: i really did not expect to wait 1 hour to be seated even though we were told that a table would be ready for us in half an hour. i suppose, unfortunately for the three of us, it was difficult for them to find us a table in that very specific layout of the restaurant with all their matching tables and different-patterned vintage chairs that only match best with even-numbered groups. nonetheless, it still felt really shitty to have people come in later than us and being seated first. and as the service staff kept bypassing us to invite the other customers in, there was no explanation whatsoever as to why we were not being seated first even though we were first in line ):
haha apologies to mag and sl for having to wait so long because i really really wanted to try this place. if it had been any other, i would have stalked off the moment they told us we’d have to wait for half an hour.
in the end it wasn’t the waitstaff who brought us in, but Chef Pang Kok Keong (owner of Antoinette) himself, who was very nice to inform us 5 minutes before that our table would be ready shortly, while the rest of his staff didn’t give two fucks about us for an entire hour before that.
second problem was when we ordered tea. sl told the waitress that we wanted to have the caramel tea in a pot, and three cups. she said ok, and then served us 3 pots of tea wtf! of course, i informed the waiter that we had only asked for 1 pot of tea and 3 cups, thinking maybe she heard us wrongly. but he just flatly told us that “this restaurant doesn’t do any sharing of tea. one person, one pot” ))):
$9 for a pot of tea leh, and i drink 3 cups until my bladder want to burst also cannot even finish! why cannot share??? it didn’t occur to us to do something about it then but surely the waiter could’ve offered us the option of canceling the orders for the other 2 pots (probably not cos he knows we’ll just share it from the same cup) or asking us to switch them for other flavours to sample instead?
sigh. overall, they just gave us the impression that they were not really bothered with us. instead, diverting their attention to the needs of regular customers or the bunch of high-flyers who were at the restaurant to sample a menu of pastries that they were going to order for some company function. needless to say, those people were escorted into the restaurant first before us even though we were waiting there for an hour already, hence the bitterness ):
when asking for the bill. the young waitress just completely forgot about me and instead served the next table with the bill. when approached again, she seemed to recall being asked before and immediately went to get it. again, no apology for the lapse in memory.
HOW NOT TO BE SIAN YOU TELL ME?
really ruined my whole afternoon tea experience, which is supposed to be a relaxing time off from memorizing 25 drugs.
ok now i will talk about the cakes, which were their only redeeming factor. but not enough for me to want to come back and be snubbed…i’ll just go to the Penhas road one next time bleh.
when i was served this, i was instructed to burst the metallic red blob on top first. as i was poking at it with my fork, it reminded me strangely of a miniature silicone breast implant. hahaha, at least that was until the raspberry coulis started oozing out of the blob. then it looked like a burst implant LOL!
obviously named after the restaurant because its their signature pastry, it contains earl grey, milk chocolate mousse, and a rich chocolate biscuit right in the middle of it.
well it really is! and after the whole ordeal of the bad service, i was just thankful to have this to enjoy and making the trip somewhat worth it (:
highly recommend it on your next visit here!
suelynn had this very elaborately-decorated cake. a mini boob on top of a boob HAHA!
tried abit of it and it’s not bad! had quite a nice mix of salty and sweet.
and this cute little yellow pudding-like cake belongs to mag!
abit too sour for my liking hahaha, especially after eating a couple of mouthfuls of the rich and sweet Antoinette.
the Caramel tea was very light, and wasn’t as insanely sweet as the flavour suggests. i only wished i hadn’t had to pay for a whole freaking pot of it because my utility margin kinda maxed out on the 2nd cup. after that it just felt like having to finish drinking the bottle of vodka we paid for before heading into Zouk.
i wonder if anyone else has had a similarly bad experience at Antoinette, or even any of those other atas places that seem to suffice on a constant stream of customers because of their reputation for good food, and not their good service.