"Great food. Great taste. It rocks." --- that's the tagline Rocks Urban Grill and Bar at The Sail in Marina Bay uses to promote itself.
But as far as Gin Nee Goh is concerned, it sucks. This was after she was told off by the owner of the restaurant, Roxan Villareal, for cancelling her lunch booking for seven people yesterday.
Apparently, he did not care to listen to her reason for making the cancellation, which was made 30 minutes before the appointment.
After the scolding she received, Gin Nee wrote the following email to the restaurant to complain:
"I would like to provide feedback on a very negative and disapppointing encounter with your restaurant. I had made a reservation for seven people at your restaurant and unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances as a result of last-minute unavailability amongst the lunch party, had to cancel the reservation about half an hour before we were due to turn up for lunch.
"I had called the restaurant at the very first opportunity to cancel the reservation so that the restaurant would be able to release the table.
"During the call, I also apologised (very sincerely, I must add) for the cancellation. In turn, I received an extremely rude response rebuking me for cancelling last minute, and telling me I should never make another reservation at the restaurant with my name, and that I am not welcomed ever to dine at the restaurant.
"I am sure restaurants face frustration and inconvenience when customers fail to turn up at the last minute but this I believe, is part and parcel of operating in the restaurant industry, and should never warrant the customer having to suffer such a rude response.
"This, I also believe, applies even to the highly acclaimed restaurants. Also, a restaurant situated in the financial hub and being one of the options for client lunches should be flexible enough to understand that professionals like us very often do not have control over our own schedules and inevitably get called up for last-minute meetings etc which ensue in client lunches then getting cancelled.
"The treatment I received was highly unprofessional (despite the effort I took to actually call the restuarant to inform of the cancellation) and is the worst experience I have ever encountered with a restaurant, be it dining with clients or on a personal basis.
"So now that my client lunch is rescheduled, I would need to make another lunch booking, but I would definitely take your advice to never ever step into your restaurant again. P/s: There is no lack of good restaurants in Singapore where I am certain I would be more than welcomed."
Instead of getting an apology for the appallingly rude encounter, Gin Nee was shocked when she received an email respomse from the owner Villareal himself, all written in caps no less:
"AS THE OWNER AND PERSON THAT REPLIED TO YOU YOU SHOULD BE ASHAME OF WRITING SUCH
"THE RUDE ONE OBVIOUSLY IS YOU . BECAUSE OF SUCH BEHAVIOUR RESTAURANT IN THIS LOVELY CITY WILL HAVE TO BE MORE CAREFUL AND ASKING FOR UNREFUNDABLE DEPOSIT . GOOD LUCK Yours faithfully, Roxan Villareal".
To this, Gin Nee coolly replied: "Truly disappointed that the lovely people in MY lovely country have to put up with an attitude like that. It's a good thing we have choices. Such un-lovely attitude has no place here. Would strongly recommend that Mr Villareal tries a new dish - humble pie."