28 June 2007

Still around ...

Just dropping by here to say that I'm still around.

Work has been taking up a lot of time lately, and of course, there's life after work, which I enjoy immensely, thank you.

So, what's up, Moz ?

Well, there's been a bit of travelling around. And a bit of hard working late nights. I have some personal matters to see to, and I've also got some travel plans to look after as well.

All in all, it's really action packed, but in a boring, non-bloggable way. The most interesting bloggable thing was getting a job offer I find hard to refuse. However, not all things can be worked out in a nice, mathematical equation which balances everything. It doesn't work that way. Not all the time anyways.

Just want to throw out to my small readership - what's your price to relocate to a different country? If you got a job offer to go elsewhere, what would make you take it up ?? What would make you go? What would make you stay? This has been really fascinating to me and I'd like to hear from you folks what you think.

On the other hand, dad would be retiring soon ... very soon. I hope he'll have a good, restful time after his retirement. But knowing him, I won't be counting on it. Pretty sure he'll be runnning around meeting friends, doing his usual makan rounds and lots of gardening in the temple.

My creative powers are running low, hope you folks will bear with me a little ...

14 June 2007

No Oosh No Cry

How do you spoil a dinner experience in Singapore? Quite hard, actually. It's usually rare in Singapore for you to get your food coming really late in Singapore. I mean, we all have this impression that Singapore is really all about efficiency and getting things done. And really, it's all true. Except in this place called Oosh, at Dempsey Road.

If you visited their website, you'd see that it's really supposed to be this really posh place, a chill out dining experience restaurant.

I'm currently in Singapore this week attending some training, and thanks to the way the stars and planets line up in the sky, a few of my colleagues from other parts of the world are also down in Singapore. And because of such joyous ocassion, we couldn't pass up the chance to get together to chill out and have some good food.

But would you still be happy if these happened :-

Your menu took around 10 minutes to get to you, and that too only after you paged for service. Repeatedly. They have this wireless service paging device. You know, the ones where you have a little button you can press when you need service?

Your appetizer comes on time. But they don't clear the plate forever after we're done. And because the empty plates aren't cleared, how would the main course ever come? And 40 minutes or so after we finished, we had to buzz them again and again and again and again ... , before they came. The waitress cleaning our plates asked her colleague to "fire the food"

After about 1 hour, we started to get really hungry and became a bit more vocal. And started complaining to any waiter, waitress or supervisor who would listen.

After 1 hour and 15 minutes, we're told that it rained before we came, the kitchen was a mess, and we're basically screwed, but the food will come soon. Apparently, the food hasn't "fired" the food.

We finally summoned the manager. But a supervisor turned up instead and tried to talk his way out of it. Apparently, it rained earlier, a lot of people had to be moved indoors, a lot of food got held up .... wait a minute ... do we all look like fools? Or school children?

Finally, 1 hour and 45 minutes later, we got our food. Which was cold. And one of the mains never got to us. The poor colleague whose food never arrived, he ate some of another colleague's pasta.

After 2 hours, we simply cancelled the order that never came. And two of my colleagues went off to look for the manager.

That same supervisor, who earlier tried to lie his way away, now came back, with manager in tow, after the two of my colleagues had a talk with them, to try and make good. Boy, he could lie thru his teeth, keep a straight face, and didn't blink a bit. But no Oscars, mate - you still suck at lies.

He claimed the order for the beef steak never came. Yeah, right. The order was repeated to us. And we had very special requirement for the beef steak, which we repeated a few times. And because there were 5 of us, but we ordered only 4 mains, the waiter actually returned after a few minutes and asked if he missed anything.

He claimed the kitchen had a mess, and all food was delayed all round. Yeah, right. Everyone around us got served. And we did get our appetizers more or less on time. So, what's the delay ?

And our pasta was cold when it finally arrived. It was the worst pasta I've had.

Fuck, it was pretty obvious they forgot our order or messed it all up.

Honestly, if you've fucked up the orders, and you've fucked up the food, you apologize. And you make good. We weren't at a hawker center, you know.

And that supervisor tried to take us on a guilt trip, by telling us that if we really insisted, he could give us discounts by deducting from his own salary. Good try, mate. I don't feel any guilt at all.

In the end, we didn't have to pay for 2 of the mains, and got 25% off the bill. I'm not going back to Oosh ever again. And I'd recommend you do the same too. I felt they were let off too easily. If I were in Australia, I would have got the whole thing for free. Even Pizza hut gives you discounts when their pizza take more than 1 hour to get to you.

The ambience is ok, just like any other chill out place. The food is ok, not too bad. But the service sucks like hell. And the fucking supervisors try to lie their way when they forget your order. And the wireless service paging device doesn't work. You end up yelling for service anyways, because we would press and hold it for up to a minute at a time, and we'd be getting no service.

And after all that discounts, it's still 135 bucks. In hard, cold, Sing dollars.

Maybe Oosh had never operated at full capacity before. Or you should never visit Oosh after it rains. Or you should call an ambulance on standby before you go there, because chances are you'll be leaving in a stretcher with IV drips due to hunger.

We later went to Newton Circus. The hawker food we ordered all came in around 15 minutes, and for around SGD 30, the food was so much more satisfying.

So remember, this Great Singapore Sale Season, when you drop by Singapore, just give Oosh a pass.

If you're in Singapore trying to close a deal, don't bring your customer to Oosh - you could lose the deal instead.

If you're in Singapore meeting your future in laws, keep away from Oosh. You'll never marry your sweetheart after dining there.

Just give it a pass. I don't see why this place deserves your patronage. There are plenty of good restaurants elsewhere in Singapore.

No Oosh No Cry. Give me hawker food anytime over these losers.

09 June 2007

Notes from the road

Travel is beginning to dominate my work schedule again - I was in Bangkok last week (which explains the lack of postings), and I'll be in Singapore - this time there WILL be postings - for the next two weeks. That makes nearly a whole month away from home.

Bangkok was a blast ! No ... nothing like a real blast. Blast as in a great time. I managed to catch up with some of the places I really missed in Bangkok over a short Sunday, and boy, I really love it there in Bangkok. More than anything, it's the smiles that I miss.

I revisited Wat Phra Keow (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) - known as the Grand Palace to most non Thais like you and me. It did drizzle a little bit, which made me scamper for cover - because I was with my precious DSLR, but the experience was good. The ever on going renovation works meant that the Temple of the Emerald Buddha itself was enclosed in a zinc cover - so I can't photograph that. But some of the attractions, such as the kinaree, which was previously under restoration is now reopened, so I did get some decent pictures there =)

I got reacquainted with Wat Po, where the famous Reclining Buddha is housed. It's also the first University in Thailand. Again, there was a lot of restoration work in progress, which meant that there wasn't too much to photograph ... but I'm still happy to visit the home of Thai massage. But no, there wasn't any Thai massage this time around ...

And I revisited the rebuilt Erawan shrine, which had been destroyed by a mentally handicapped person some months back. Practically walking distance from my hotel, there was no way I was going to miss the chance to revisit this shrine. Smack in the middle of Bangkok's busy Ratchadamri intersection, people pray here for wishes to come true. And when it does come true, they have to come back to repay the favor, hiring dancers to perform for the Hindu Deity who granted the wishes.

And there's good food too - Thai food is never bad !!! =P. Inter Continental Bangkok rocks ! The nightly food plate is great !!! Fresh fruits, chocolate, and a selection of Thai snacks.

So the point is - for those of you who might have some reservations about visiting Bangkok - I don't see why not !

Onwards to Singapore - it'll be in time for the Great Singapore Sale ! And hopefully, there will be plenty of good weather and lots of good judgement against impulse buying. =)


On a different note, I'd like to thank everyone who's jumped over to my photoblog, moz takes photos, and supported the new site. I enjoy your comments, both positive and negative. No comment is a bad comment over there.

01 June 2007

Back to my roots ...

I've launched a separate blog for my photos ... moz takes pictures ... for my photos. I hope you all will hop over to read it every once in a while, and give me some constructive feedback. I just thought it's more appropriate to put larger pictures and more picture / technical commentaries on a blog of its own.

After all, some of you did complaint that this has slowly morphed into a photoblog. I don't really mind that, actually, but after some thoughts, I see the merit of having a photoblog. I hope you folks will support the new blog - it means a lot to me.

I've decided to go back to my roots on this blog ...

To some people, it appears like Moz has been morphing slowly.

Well, when you hit 30, your life will change. What's life without changes? I am happy with who I am currently, and have no plans to be any different. And as my blog persona reflects the real person I am, I guess it can't be helped. But I've decided to go back to some of the earlier roots that gave this blog some early character ... whatever character means !