Monday, November 9, 2009

Awful Olio

I’ve always like Olio Dome for its nice beverages and sandwiches, and long before the days of burgeoning eating spots around Singapore, my friends and I would hang out at Olio Dome around the various shopping areas for a nice hang-out session, so I was naturally very excited when Olio opened its doors at Shin Kong Place in Beijing two years back.

We’ve been there a few times, to sometimes feast on Singapore staples (not very authentic, and not exactly cheap too), but never with Rosabelle. Since we’re on a mecca to bring her out every Saturday for lunch, I’ve been on the look-out for kids-friendly (read: clean, and especially have a no-smoking policy, and strictly enforce it, as well as not have clientele who are likely to be a Grinch when it comes to kids) and nice places with suitable food for our eat-outs.

So on last Saturday, off to Olio we went, and as usual, the place looked pretty empty – good, at least we won’t have other diners to disturb, and the service should be more focused on us, right?


First off, they brought a standard Ikea baby child that was dirty with grime and food stains – I had to use quite a bit of toilet roll and hand disinfectant to give it a good scrub-down (Olio should pay me for doing their dirty work for them). When I mentioned it to the waiter, he was apologetic, but walked away, leaving me to continue the cleaning. How dense can he get… And then, I had to actually ask them for children’s utensils – tsk tsk – which was the standard Ikea bowl, cup, and saucer, but with disposable cutlery – yikes.

Then, they took forever to give me my cup of boiling water (which I use to disinfect my food scissors and her cutlery with), so much that Wayne had to go to the bar counter to ‘self-service’.

When we ordered the food, the wait staff was sniffling (H1N1 alert!!!), and did not have a clue what their ‘Soup of the Day’ was. (When I was a wait staff at Coffee Club during my pre-University days, it was standard routine for all wait staff, whichever shift they got on, to know what the foods of the day, e.g. cake, main course, soup, were.) He said he would find out and get back to us…and obviously we waited, and waited…and waited till the soup came.

He served us the orangey-looking concoction, and when I asked him (again) what this soup was, he said he would get back to me (my goodness, triple roll eyes!!!). And so… in the end, we were enlightened (the wait staff as well) that we were having carrot soup, and Rosabelle drank about half an Ikea bowl of it.
She also snitched bits of Wayne’s Hainanese chicken (and some rice) and baby cabbage, and my main course of salmon and roasted brinjal, finishing off her meal with a golden kiwi that I brought along.

Throughout the meal, we had to clear our own plates to make space for the mess on the table, and get our own cutlery, as it was more effective and efficient that having to holler to the lone staff behind the bar counter (or another clueless one milling around).

My goodness, I feel immense shame that this is a Singapore restaurant, and am really surprised that they can still survive on so little customers, and such bad service. As you can imagine, the food also wasn’t that great. But luckily, and importantly, Rosabelle had quite a filling meal, so that was mission accomplished for us, haha!

After the last few eat-outs, I decided to get her a pullover bib so that I did not have to panic about food stains on her pretty, 'going out' clothes...
And this is her classic expression these days when she wants to make a slight fuss and grimace whenever she does not get what she wants (fake crying, so naughty...).
Now, in search of the next restaurant for this Saturday… I must make sure they have more, and not so ‘duh’ staff at hand…

Still on food stuffs, I bought strawberries for Rosabelle yesterday, seeing that she's past the one-year safe age, and given that it's high in Vitamin C. It's still not really in season yet, and costs RMB35 for a small box (!!!), but after spitting out the first bite-sized piece, she ate about 3 small strawberries, and after lunch today, ate another 4 small ones after rejecting it the first few times.

These days, we are still keeping up with the Vitamin C dose after each meal to aid in iron absorption, and have been trying to be creative in the ways she downs her iron supplements. A few days back, she was just keenly drinking from the syringe, then taking it like a shot from the measuring cup, and yesterday, after exhausting all options, I cut a straw short and let her suck it from the measuring cup. Sigh, tiring for us, but it seems fun for her as she experiences new ways of downing her rust juice!

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