After I went “oh wow” over the Terence Cao effect at his Restoran Selayang (or Kuala Lumpur Roast), I was dying to go back again at the first opportunity
To run into the hunk again of course (fat hope that springs eternal) and more realistically speaking, to let mum have a taste of the char siew and noodles that I so raved about.
But the curse of the second visit struck again, just like my second visit to Tin Hill along Bukit Timah Road.
I was back at the Mediacorp star’s noodle shop a couple of weeks after the first visit. Of the actor or his friends, there was no sign. It was early lunch time and I wasn’t particularly hungry but mum and maid were.
Maid and I joined the short queue for the noodles. Then disaster struck. The stall had run out of sauce dishes and we had to wait for them to be replenished.
By the time my turn came to order, the auntie (well, actually she’s a lot younger than me), didn’t entertain my request to have the sauce served separately. She simply said she’s never served the dish like that be4; the male “cook” beside her endorsed that.
When I insisted and didn’t show any sign of leaving, she decided to given in. But the noodles that were dished up were a travesty compared to my first experience.
There were no vegetables and no wonton. When I protested, her bland answer was that “I’d been given more char siew”. And they had run out of vegetables.
If my mum hadn’t been waiting, I would have taken a firmer (some might say, meaner) stand. But as she was, and as she doesn’t take kindly to “scenes”, maid and I took the trays and went back to our table.
Thereafter maid went off to scour for her own preferences, probably grateful she didn’t eat pork and so didn’t have to suffer the indignity of being served whatever Restoran Selayang’s helpers felt like dishing out.
Just compare this (left) with what I was served (below) when the charming Mediacorp actor served me himself!
So what do I conclude after this? While creating good first impressions can be a great business strategy, unless there is effort to maintain that impression, it can leave a bad taste in the mouth for those making a return visit. In other words, counter productive. Might as well give a bad first impression!