Chikuwa Tei is the reincarnation of Far East Plaza’s Wasabi Tei, where the chef was notorious for yelling at errant customers who didn’t know the restaurant’s unspoken rules. The chef has mellowed considerably, but it was the service that was beyond the pale.
But first, the food. It was rather decent all round, and rightly so especially given that the prices have gone up by around 20% since they moved from Far East. The chawanmushi was chock-a-block with savoury ingredients. I had the famous chirashi don: the sashimi was both fresh and satisfying, though I found the tuna a little tougher than I like. Then again, I’m not usually a big tuna person anyway.
The service, on the other hand, was pretty shocking. Our friends only arrived 10 minutes before us, but they were positively fuming by the time we got there. The hostess had apparently given them a very unpleasant time over whether or not they had a reservation, even though (1) we had rung up twice for our a reservation and (2) the restaurant was nowhere near full. It got to the point that the chef – the same crusty one from Far East Plaza days – stepped out to intervene.
And throughout our meal, that hostess (who also waited tables) was extremely abrupt and brusque to the point of rudeness. Very memorably, she’d stick herself bodily between two of us sitting side by side to plonk a dish on the table, and announce its arrival loudly right into our ears midway through our conversation.
Since the food was good but not earth-shatteringly so, I rather suspect that we won’t be back for another round with that waitress…
9 Mohamed Sultan Road, #01-01, +65 6738 9395