Tuesday, 26 April 2016

XXXL Brunch


This was last Saturday. The Saturday after my disappointmentThe Sunday after, I left a comment on their Facebook page.

Ampersand by Culinary Rebels updated their profile picture.
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Phong Hong

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Phong Hong Hi guys! Yesterday evening I came (party of 3) just after 6pm. There were no other customers and your tables were set for bigger parties. Understandable as it's expected to be a busy night. We were shown to the bar seating which was not suitable as we were going to order lots of food, so we decided to leave. I just felt that you could have given us a table (since it was early and your place was yet in full swing) and we would have been done before 7:30pm. Just a thought guys. Small parties make good customers too. Cheers.
Ampersand by Culinary Rebels Hi Phong Hong. Thank you for leaving a comment for us. We're truly sorry for your experience. We hope you'll make a visit to ampersand again, we shall make sure we have a table reserved for you and your dessert will be on the house. Please accept our sincere apologies again.
Phong Hong Thanks guys for your response. Of course I will make another visit. I had dinner there on Friday (the day before) and Saturday was my second visit (though disappointed). Your gesture on the table reservation and dessert is very much appreciated. I will be back smile emoticon
Ampersand by Culinary Rebels Thank you so much Phong Hong. We do hope to serve you again. Do drop us a message or call for your next visit. We'll reserve a table for you.
Phong Hong Thank you, guys!

I must commend the team at Ampersand for their handling of the situation. It was my very pleasant experience on my first visit that made me write to them. Or else I would not have bothered. Seeing that this restaurant is still in it's infancy (less than 6 months in operation at the time of writing), I fell they deserve a chance.

Had that Saturday been my first visit, I would not have returned. First impressions count for a lot, don't you think? In fact this is the reason I will never go back to Kompassion because they turned me and my partner away on our first visit. No, they were not fully booked, we were early and we could see that they were not fully occupied. We were told point blank that since there were just the two of us, no table was available.

So when I suggested brunch at Ampersand, my brother readily agreed. We settled for the XXXL Breakfast which consists of scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, a tomato relish, grilled mixed mushrooms, hashbrowns, double cooked potato, German bratwursts and Lebanese bread.

These were all served on banana leaves like this.


We were given individual plates of course, to make it easier to eat. 


I love this big breakfast! Every component was so tasty. Since there were 3 of us, we ordered the serving size for 3-4 persons. Small eaters can opt for the 2 persons serving. On a good day (if we were very hungry) I think bro and I can demolish the 3-4 person serving. Serious.

Photobombed by my bro.
My auntie did not eat much as she took some "kiam pheah" (cream crackers) in the morning. And she did not like the scrambled eggs because they were creamy and soft. She likes them firm and well done.


My auntie soon declared that she was all full up and couldn't eat anymore. So the team of Phong Hong & Bro did the cleaning up.

Habistttt....
For drinks, I had the iced Americano while my brother had the Flat White.


He loved it so much that I got him another one.

My auntie selected the Cafe Mocha, which was also very good.


Knowing us, our stomachs are bottomless pits. So we had space for desserts. We shared of course.

This is the very pretty AMPS Indulgence.


On the left is the Mini White Chocolate Fudge Cake. At the center is the Valrhona Chocolate Brownie. And the grey blob is the Black Sesame Banana Ice Cream. Those yellow blobs around the plate is lemon curd. It was very sour.


We enjoyed this dessert. It was lovely and I won't mind having it again.

Photobombed by my auntie.
Next up was the Killing Me Softly which took some time to come to the table.


The cake on top is a Valrhona Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake. In the glass is Kapiti Vanilla Ice Cream and some crispy bacon. 

To eat, you stab the cake with a knife like so, to release the warm gooey chocolate lava which flows slowly onto the ice cream (killing me softly, get it?).


This, I tell you, is so decadent. The warm chocolaty cake with the ice cream was simply heaven! I shared this with my brother (auntie had only one taste) and I did not get any bacon (tsk! tsk! hah..hah..), only one tiny bit. Well, you can be sure that I will be ordering this dessert on my next visit.

I had actually forgotten about the complimentary dessert and I was pleasantly surprised when I took a look at my receipt the next morning.



The Killing Me Softly was on the house and the fact that they waived the more expensive of the two speaks volumes. Thank you Ampersand and special mention to Ray (the chef, whom I initially thought was a college kid temping tables on my first visit hah..hah...) for the wonderful service.

32 comments:

  1. Hahaha, er... well well... yeah, nice gesture, free dessert to apologize and whatnot. But their reply to your FB comment, it is basically screaming "Kick up a fuss and we will reserve a table for you with free dessert!"

    That, to me, is not a good long term solution. What about future early bird customers? Will we be relegated to the bar again until we leave a comment on FB? Or they will fix this oversight of their staff? :/

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    1. I'd like to believe that have taken note of this incident and that the staff would be trained to exercise discretion. Last Friday evening, my partner and I turned up (only 1 table was occupied) and the server led us to the bar. I was like, oh no, not again! Luckily Ray was there and he told his staff to "let them have the table first". That's the difference between staff and management.

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  2. Good to hear that they made it up to you :) The XXXL brunch sure looks like a feast.

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    1. Yup, they did! It was a feast all right and I would love to have it again :)

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  3. Wahhhhhhhh!!!! Nothing left on the leaf! If you had licked it clean, they could have used the banana leaf again for the next group of customers. Eeeeeee!!!!! Muahahahahaha!!!!!

    Interesting way of serving the molten lava cake too.

    Yes, I do know that some places - if you are not happy with something and you email them giving them the details, they will give you something free on your next visit, unlike here. That's the way to do business, will help keep the customers coming back.

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    1. Hee..hee..hee... Well, to their credit, they have won a loyal customer. I'll be back there often if they keep up with the great food and service.

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  4. Wahsehhh, got free dessert the next visit.. Yay! Worth to drop a comment on their FB hor.. Usually, I can't be bothered with commenting in FB and all, but this time, ok wor, they took note of it, and give free desserts timm.. I love team PH+B (Phong Hong+Brother).. I like to see smooth+clean plates, in this case, leaves, haha.. Eh, me alone can finish 1 leave of big breakfast la, serious..

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    1. I took the trouble to comment because I really like this restaurant and I wanted to get the message across to the management. I hope that future customers will have a good experience there.

      Wei...you sure ah you alone can finish all? hah..hah..

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  5. Glad everything turned out well in the end. Nowadays, many restaurants do this when there's a Facebook complaint. After all, a free dish doesn't cost than 'an arm and a leg' and they'd rather do that than lose a customer (I've experienced this before too).

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    1. Well, I was happy and I hope that they picked up something from this incident. I hope that everyone who walks through their door will get a good experience.

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  6. Goodnesssss! Looking at how this bottomless stomach eaters invaded the restaurant, really tickled me. Muahahahaha
    So it was a bad start with a happy ending lah and you got the "killing me softly" on the house. You must be smiling ear to ear now.

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    1. You can say that I am a very happy customer who will return for more good food :)

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  7. So you made a reservation on this visit so that's how they know it is you and so gave you the free dessert though you have forgotten to claim it?

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    1. Yup, I was impressed that they remembered the dessert :)

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  8. Good that they make it up to you on the next visit.... If i happen to be very hungry, i can eat a lot, hehe...

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    1. hee..hee..next time can come join me :)

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  9. PH, all well ends well!! Just like the movie.. phew... I am sure you will be visiting them again and again... :)

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    1. Yes, I will be back many times hah..hah...

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  10. Waaaaa! I love the breakfast!

    And nice of them to reply and take note of your views. :)

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    1. Yup, I was very impressed and happy :)

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  11. What a name, Killing me softly, haha

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  12. Haha, very interesting plating wo!!

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  13. I think they would rather compensate with a free dessert than lose a loyal customer, that is the way to do business

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  14. Hi Phong Hong,

    At least that the restaurant is "killing you softly" to compensate their slow service??? LOL! Good that they are doing something about it :p

    Zoe

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  15. Good that the management knows how to win back their customers. The free dessert to compensate. It would be a good idea to call up to place a booking instead of walking in to avoid another repeat of the unpleasant incident.

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    1. Yes, to be on the safe side, it's best to book.

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  16. Hmm...big breakfast on banana leaves ~.~
    The desserts look interesting though

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