|(Pic taken from TimeOut Dubai)|
Mother: "We hear the chef has come from Zheng He's?"
Waitress: "Yes! Shanghai!"
Mother: "No, no.. Zheng He's from Madinat!"
Waitress, "Yes! Shanghai!"
So apparently the Management thought they were hiring for a restaurant in China Town and didn't think the woman needed a language skill beyond Chinese. When we finally tried to order, we kept requesting the lady write down what we wanted as my Mother and Brother in law are vegetarian, my sister's on a diet and my nephew is fussy. Despite asking her 5 times to put it on paper, she kept insisting she'd remember, only to later bring out a dish that we hadn't ordered but had inquired about. The food was average, the cutlery strange and my soup spoon looked like a baby spoon which would probably take me half an hour to get through my bowl of soup. The service was slow and they took fifteen minutes after bringing out the main course to bring us plates, which meant our food was pretty cold by the time we got to try any of it. Oh and during this 15 minute wait, they decided to come out and talk to us about the dish we hadn't ordered (but they'd brought anyway) despite us repeatedly telling them to bring our plates first! Anyhow, the food was average and not exactly value for money. They didn't seem to think so though, as my Mother's card got swiped twice over and if it hadn't been for the SMS notifications she gets on her phone, she'd probably have headed home not realizing she'd paid double for a very average meal. They took another 10 minutes to try to figure out what had happened and bring her another slip of paper to sign to void the transaction.
After all that drama we were happy to be leaving and going home and had decided while we wouldn't return to the Chinese restaurant, we may decide to try the Indian restaurant there which seemed quite full as we were walking out. We handed our tickets to the valet which took 15 minutes to bring my sister's car, and 15 minutes after that showed no signs of bringing mine. After the half an hour wait, my Mother and I started to lose our heads to the valet drivers over there who seemed extremely clueless and didn't know what was happening. The valet desk was a MESS with keys and papers lying everywhere and they kept asking me for the smaller portion of my valet ticket which they hadn't given me in the first place. I even posted a pic of the Valet desk on my Twitter account as I was shocked to see how badly organized they were. Another 2 ladies were standing there yelling their heads off as well as they'd been waiting since before us and hadn't gotten their cars either. After another 10 minutes of yelling my Mum and I decided to go down with them into the parking lot to see what the problem was. Turns out they couldn't locate the car. We scanned their entire wall of keys for my car keys to no avail and were informed then they finally found the car but not the keys. The Valets seemed annoyed and pissed off with us and, apart from one apologetic soul, seemed irritated by OUR presence. The Manager of the Service was Filipino, the Valet drivers Indian, and there seemed to be lack of communication there as well, not only because of the language barrier, but because they had no walkie talkies or devices to be able to speak to each other. So if one guy went down one level in the parking lot to find the car, and one went up to the main entrance of the Hotel, 2 others had to be dispatched after them to find out WTF was going on. Not smart. Anyhow, long story short, one hour later they found the keys and the car, and when I was yelling at the Valet while getting into my car, he decided to slam my car door on my face. Oh and the poor ladies waiting for their car? The drivers had screwed the car up which had stalled it in the middle of the lot and it wouldn't start. Thank God I was able to get out with my Vehicle working fine!
On reading the restaurant review on TimeOut Dubai they didn't seem too impressed with the restaurant either, but have made no mention on the service in the rest of the Hotel. They probably won't be going back to Shanghai Chic but I don't think I'll be going back anywhere in or around Ibn Battuta Mall or Hotel anytime soon. I remember another friend telling me a story about how the valet driver in that very same Mall was using my friends car (a Rolls no less!) to transfer people from one part of the mall to another, as he'd been told by my friend that he'd return in 2 hours but was back in 15 minutes. I don't know what Valet company both the places employ, but they might want to rethink their strategy!!
If you want GREAT Chinese in Dubai, go to Zheng He's at the Madinat for a great meal that is slightly expensive, the Shang Palace at the Shangri La for something in between and Nanking in Bur Dubai for the BEST Indonesian and Indian Chinese for an amazing value for money meal! And most definitely give Shanghai Chic and the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel a skip!!