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Soup Encounter July 10, 2012

Posted by gurkhason in food, service.

Since I had my first soup meal at The Caltex House (now Chevron House), I like it in an instant.  Unlike the very carbo loaded meal that we have, soup meal seems to go easier on the stomach and easier to digest.  Even then I can still get full from a soup meal.  I was delighted when The Soup Spoon opens an outlet at Tampines Mall.  Although I don’t frequent it often (due to economic reasons more than anything else), but I like that there is this choice if I want a healthier option.

Soup spoon has a special monthly theme that adds variety to its standard menu.  This month is Italian.  I tried its Florentine’s Midsummer Night Beef Stew.  In the first taste, I didn’t like a powdery taste resembling the Five Pagoda Powder which I use whenever I have gastrointestinal upset.  I guess it must be the herbs.  Nonetheless, the soup is rich in ingridents such as white beans, carrots, leek, celery, mushroom and beef!

To even out the rich tomato taste, it is perfect to have a Ceaser Salad to complete the soup meal with.  I love the cruncy cruttons and the sundried tomatoes.

Mostly, I enjoyed my experience in Soup Spoon because they gave me a very cosy and home liked feel.  The outlet in Tampines is the same as they have a long bench that allows patrons a communal eating experience.  Most of the time the soup taste very home cooked too.

Regrettably, my most recent experience at Tampines Mall outlet has turn out to be such a disastrous.  When I ordered, the staff fumbled with my simple order of soups and added set meal each for my friend and I.  My friend had wanted a Falafel with Hummus and myself the Ceasar Salad, however we were served two ceasar salad instead.  Because we used a cut-out coupon of 1-for-1 soup, we thought the set meal comes 1-for-1 too.  However when my friend asked for the wrap, we were being denied.  What’s most fustrating is I was told I changed my mind about my order and did not order the Falafel with Hummus.  How could I have not?  It is a name I had trouble prounucing and make such deliberate attempt to do so at the counter.  And to rub salt to the wound, the Management Trainee that served me over the counter told me he has a witness that I ordered 2 salad.  I definitely did not!  The staff further assert that he repeated my orders and I confirm it.  While it is true I may not have truly listened to his reptition of my order, but seriously who does?  How often can a simple meal of two goes wrong?

Anyway the Soup Spoon doesn’t have much variety of choices to begin with and the basics of a counter/cashier staff is being able to react quickly to changes of customer’s orders.  Moreover, I felt rather insulted by his adamant refusal of his fault and points everything to me.  Where’s the mantra that “Customer is Always Right?”.  It is quite upsetting that I am marred by my experience that I never feel like ever stepping into the Tampines outlet again.

It’s cliche to say that as our nation progresses into a more hospitality and service focus industry, we really need to step up on the training of service staff such that they know that a paying customer should be served with respect and dignity.  Not blatant denial of own’s fault and pointing the accusing fingers at the customer.  This definitely is not world class service that we come to expect…. even if it is just a simple and low budget soup fare, because ultimately what drives the good service is really the central principles and philosophy of providing with a good one.



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