Friday, June 26, 2009

What is Good Service?

What is ‘good service’ at a restaurant? Time and again, many people have asked me this question. Having been a food panelist for more than 12 years, this is a question you will never escape from your friends.

I must say that it is very difficult to isolate what elements are brought to the table by the waiter and what can be attributed to training and the house style. For example, I've had very good and very bad service at the same restaurant……… then how do I rate this restaurant?
In cases like that, I feel like it's the waiter that brings everything and therefore it becomes clear there is little training. Some people want to be "friends" with their waiters; others just want the person to efficiently deliver the food and clear the table. How a waiter approaches and chats up a table could also be part of the house style.

At Pete’s Place, the staff is there at every juncture, almost appearing like magic; they seem to know when to approach the table. And they know when to make themselves scarce. In this case, it's clear that they are not only veterans but adhere to a certain style.
The Rtiz, I guess has a rigorous training program for its staff. The staff has a certain approachable demeanor that's consistent regardless of who is working your table.

In addition, good service staff does special things to accommodate the guests that might not necessarily be strictly classified as service, but gives the overall effect of making the customer feel special. If diners are sharing appetizers or a dessert, the waiters volunteer to split the portion. If it is rains, the customers are asked “Do you need an umbrella to go to your parked car?” Babies get a bit of attention. The elderly get special attention. Pregnant ladies get attention and soon you find out that everyone is treated well equally – that’s good service.
At Spice Queen, our service staff is well trained and we get lots of accolades all the time.

I'd love to know where you've had the best service, and what made it special.

SPICE QUEEN – My Restaurant!

Do you know I have a restaurant? It is the SPICE QUEEN, located at Race Course Road, in Little India of Singapore!The theme and d├ęcor are in keeping with all things simple, chic, modern and inviting and I wanted it to be a great place for the young and old to relax, eat and drink and leave the place with pleasant memories. The theme is “Indian spice” and therefore I do have lots of Indian dishes and some Asian dishes with the Indian spice influence. We serve uniquely Singaporean Indian cuisine, South Indian and North Indian cuisines. Well, I do have an assortment of pakoras – you may think it is no big deal and that it is only a pakora…….but I developed this pakora batter mix! So if you are ever eating at Spice Queen (I fondly call my restaurant SQ) and you like our pakoras, you can buy our Pakora Mix and make the pakoras at home!! Phew! I forgot an important element – the Tamarind Sauce that is sold with the pakoras in the restaurant. It is ‘simply irresistible” as one customer said.Then I have this classic Singaporean dish called the Belachan Chicken. It is chicken wings marinated in spices and shrimp paste and then coated with a special flour mix and deep fried. You are wondering where the “Indian spice” is in? The secret is our Green Chillie Sambal that is served with the chicken pieces. It is a sambal so good that you may want to eat it with everything else…..and you can buy our marinated chicken pieces to fry it at home at your own convenience and buy a bottle of green chillie sambal too! Just ask our good service staff. Talking about service staff, do you know one of our customers actually wrote in our Guests Book “the service we get at this restaurant is better than that from a famous 6-Star hotel in Singapore!” Well, you must come to my restaurant to experience good service.
Wait, I have one more starter – the Tauhu Telor. It is not the usual Indonesian style tauhu telor. I use egg tofu and the secret sauce is what makes our customers ask me “what is in this sauce?” and in case you are wondering what I told them – “try guessing” Everyone has an idea of what a briyani is. I love briyanis too but then I never wanted to indulge in too much briyani because of the way it is laden with saturated fat. At SPICE QUEEN restaurant, we cut down the saturated food and give you a very light briyani, whether it is chicken, fish, vegetable or mutton (OK, mutton has a bit of saturated fat but you know, we have most of the visible fat trimmed)As for the seafood, our best seller is still the fish head curries – we do have the Assam Fish Head, which is Indonesian inspired and the traditional Indian Fish Head curry. The Assam type does not have any curry powder in it but the Indian fish head is made of good quality curry powder that we sell. As Spice Queen, I do believe that I should only use some of the best spices available. We can also cook you a fish slice in Assam gravy or fish gravy if you do not like fish head.Mutton in thick gravy is one popular meat dish of the restaurant and try the Mutton Methiwalla, very Punjabi dish with fenugreek leaves.The vegetables are cooked ala minute – it means we cook after the order is taken. That means you don’t get soggy, discolored over cooked vegetables that are bad for health at our restaurant. We have enough food in the menu that is suitable for the vegetarians too.
Oops…..I forgot to tell you!! My favourite in my restaurant is the Cheese Podi Naan! Fluffy naan stuffed with cheddar cheese and spicy sesame powder – you must try this and must eat it hot!I also have a selection of yummy desserts. Sshhhh…….I don’t want to tell you about it. Read about it in our website and see pictures of the seductive desserts.

More details about the restaurant –
Spice Queen
24 & 26 Race Course Road
Singapore 218548

For enquiries and reservations call - 62552440

We are opened every day except Mondays and from 11.30 am – 3.30 pm and 6.00 pm till 11.00 pm.