This restaurant is by far the best Chinese restaurant in Brisbane. I have been eating there for the last 15 years. The food is excellent. I know that because I am Chinese and a pretty good cook too. I always had problem with the decor but they did a bit renovation this year. Still very canteen like but I only go there to eat. I now have introduced a lot of people to the restaurant and what proper good Chinese food should taste like.
I am going attempt to objectively report a very infuriating experience. The waitress was a very diligent girl but maybe not the brightest and although asked alot of questions, missed a few important points. I ordered 1 Hahn Light, 1 Sechuan Lamb Hotpot (the menu said the chilli is addictive and highly recommended), 1 Orange Juice, 1 Tea, 1 Sharkfin Soup with Chicken, 1 Shallot pancake (which the menu recommended to order together with the hotpot), 1 steamed rice.
She was pretty diligent and asked me below questions. What tea would I like. I answered Oolong. Whether I would like 1 or 2 sharkfin soups. I answered 1. She said that this might be the large size bowl and doubtfully I said that would be great. She later came back to advise that she was wrong and the shark fin soup was indeed in a small bowl and asked again whether I would like 2. I repeated just 1 bowl is fine.
She was not sure which beer Hahn Light was so she brought out the bottle and asked whether this was the right beer before she opened. I entered the restaurant because on the outside there was a banner advertizing “火鍋″. Everybody in the restaurant was eating this hot pot dish that you cook on the table. I knew about it so I also wanted to have some. So I looked in the English menu and found a listing of various hotpots all with strong confident recommendation comments and so I ordered the szechuan lamb hotpot.
Firstly they brought out a relatively thick soup that had absolutely no remains of shark fin, I can only think it’s been on the heat for so long that the fin must have all melted. I think most people will agree that the best part about sharkfin is the firm rubbery texture, but in this soup not even a trace of it. I was disappointed as I have higher expectations when I am paying 15.90 for a small bowl of soup!
Next they brought out a stirfried lamb in a cold mini wok. Apparently this was what the szechuan lamb hotpot was. I complained to the waitress that I think this is not what I ordered and I explained that the dish I wanted was the one which you cook at the table as everybody else is having. She said that was what she brought was definitely the hotpot. In a couple of minutes a furious kitchen staff and an unsympathetic senior staff came out.
I complained that from the banner outside, every other table having it, there being no “steamboat” on the menu and “hotpot” translates exactly to火鍋″so is it my fault that I assume that the hotpot is the steamboat! The restaurant should not leave the shop’s signature dish off the English menu. The kitchen staff was shouting in Chinese and the senior staff coldly told me that what I wanted was the steamboat and that this dish was only to be ordered before 8:30 and it is 9:00 now (the opening hour is to 10:30) and that the steamboat is a banquet menu at 39/pp and therefore not on the Chinese menu either.
He blamed me for not having made sure when I ordered. I just did not feel like sitting down to eat this stir fry so had them pack it up and stood up to pay at the register. In a slight hope that the senior staff would offer me a word of apology or show signs of remorse, I complained about the terrible sharkfin as well but he answers that is how their shop always serves it.
No apologies, not even the slightest gesture to make amends were given. The senior staff was fixed on trying to protect every penny of business from me I was even charged for the rice that did not get served.