Touch…

We may go and grab a bite to eat at a coffee shop – we order something, get served, eat and leave. If it is nice, we may come back again but it is usually very impersonal – I don’t know you, you don’t know me. If the food is really good, we may go back again and after a few visits, the people may be more familiar with us and may start to smile or greet or even carry on some small talk with us and sometimes, we may not even need to order – they know exactly what we want. Now that we have moved to a whole new level and are getting a bit more personal than before, we may feel more comfortable going there and would go again and again and again.

I cannot understand how people are willing to go and queue under the hot sun (or in the rain) to go and buy something and then stand or squat around to eat. That is so ridiculous, if you ask me – adding insult to injury…and at times, they will scold you even if you ask one question too many! More often than not, what they sell is grossly over-rated. Ok, it’s good but nothing can be that good as to subject oneself to such humiliation and utter disrespect. Maybe it’s this thing about young people today – they see it as a whole package and think it is a whole lot of fun. Going through the motions and getting to eat what everyone else is praising to the skies give them a sense of achievement, sort of.

Likewise in the cafés and restaurants, I do not mind paying a bit more for a nicer ambiance and better, friendlier service. Some places have nice decor, service is good but on the whole, they are cold and impersonal. I may want to go again if the food is really that good but I think I would prefer going some place that makes me feel like home, warm and welcomed. But of course, what is good for the goose may not be the same for the gander! Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion on these things.

I do not usually expect freebies and discounts but I would appreciate it if, on their own initiative, they would round up the figure and waive the small change in the total. Like the other day, at this place, the total came up to RM27.30…and I forked out RM27.00 exactly. No, that was no good – I had to come out with the 30 sen, no matter what…and in the  end, I gave them RM50.00 and they paid me back RM22.70. Ok, business is business but it is just a matter of 30 sen and a little gesture like that would go a long way in building some kind of goodwill and rapport with the customers and that would in some way make them feel like coming back for more.

Another thing would be the importance of seeing to the customers’ needs. I guess the Foochow mee sua here is very popular – I have been here four times wanting to have that and three times, they were “out of chicken” – that was what they said! Of course, like me, most people would order something else instead even though it might be something that they did not really want…

Noodle House laksa 1

…and in my case, I had their laksa (RM8.80) that I had a long time ago and I did not like it but I heard a lot of people saying it was good so I decided to give it another try…since they did not have any mee sua.

Ok, to be fair, they never state that theirs is Sarawak or Kuching laksa so the fact that theirs is different is their prerogative…and yes, I would say, I thought it was quite nice and I would not mind having it again sometimes for a change…

Noodle House laksa 2

…but I would not want to drag anybody here and get them to order that and telling them – that’s our Sarawak laksa! That’s what Kuching laksa is like! Not at all!!!

I dropped by that morning with my ex-student, Daniel, who was home from Aberdeen for a one-week break and he wanted mee sua and since it  was not avaialble, in the end, he went for their lor mee (RM5.90)…

Noodle House lor mee

…but he did not say a thing so I would not know whether he thought it was any good or not…unlike in the case of their fried kompia with stuffed with stewed pork belly (RM4.80, RM1.60 each now!!!)…

Fried kompia, pork belly

He tried one and he said it was very good but he was too full to have any more – no prize for guessing who finished the other two now! Hehehehehe!!!!

I really cannot see why they cannot prepare more chicken soup in anticipation of the numerous orders for their mee sua. I mean if it had happened once or twice, it may be excusable but three is definitely once too many. Somehow or other, it came across to me like they were stalling for time – ok, no more…so order something else and when everything else is sold out, then we will start stocking up on what is finished, and you can have mee sua again then.

I know places too where they will give you a little bit extra or make yours a little bit more special than the rest…and they will come around to mingle just to say hello, how are you and hope that the food is satisfactory – all that kind of small talk but not for so long that it would distract you from the enjoyment of your meal. I think in the Bible, there is a story of two sisters, Martha and Mary, and the message there is along this same line – sometimes, the best food is not what is the most important, what may be a lot crucial as well would be that special personal touch…

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

22 thoughts on “Touch…”

  1. Wow, those prawns are certainly huge…

    Prawns? Huge? Where? Where? In the laksa? Pretty normal ones, those seawater prawns – about RM15 a kg…more or less the same as the ones I had in my laksa in my previous post…and they only gave three. 😦

  2. This is touch, but not many would something like this, dropped by to ask about the food!!!

    Ummmm…not too sure what you mean. Of course, the food is first…but when one becomes a regular customer, things should progress to a whole new level. Can’t just remain static – in the field of business, there is what they call goodwill and if you want to sell your business, this is an added value on that actually.

  3. I can’t agree with you more! Service and ambience are worth a little more. If both are good, I’m more likely to return, even if the food was not mind blowing.

    Exactly. Somehow you will keep going back to places where they make you feel nice.

  4. service and the attitude of the people there is surely the top reason that comes first before the taste of the food for me.. if the food is good but they offer very lousy service and show me bad attitude, sorry but i will make them stay forever in my blacklist..

    Me too! There’s this kompia lady in town, around since the 60’s, business so good, place always packed…cars lining the street – so rude. I just asked that my kompia be served separately, I would dip in the sauce myself…I did not like it served in the sauce till it would be all soft and soggy…and she did not like that and scolded me. I swore I would never go back there again. My friend went and asked for the price and also got scolded – “You cannot read kah?” she asked. Her signs were all in Mandarin! Tsk! Tsk! 😦

  5. Yes, I also won’t Q up if it is long.. will go another day and at a different time to avoid the crowd. Out of curiosity I will try what is so good about the food that brings the long Q… You are right, cannot ask too much from the stall if the Q is long, they will answer very unwillingly and most times, with an unfriendly look…

    That kind of attitude, don’t expect me to put up with it – others may be foolish enough to put up with the nonsense, not me. This is part and parcel of the value we teach our kids – to be nice to all, regardless.

  6. I wont Q up for food, I mean not those long ones la.. Short ones or a few people in front of me then ok la.. Even in fastfood outlets, too long Q and I’ll just leave..
    Oh ya, very pissed off one I know, you know that shop is popular for its meesua then you purposely go there to have it and they say sorry, all sold out, finished.. Not once or twice but thrice.. Potong stim lor..

    Yup, no patience to queue. Lots of other things to eat. I guess young people in a group, talking and laughing, browsing on their smartphones and all – they do not mind. Not me. I will just go elsewhere.

    Sold out – if it’s late in the morning, it is not so bad, business is simply too good. This was early in the morning – we went around an hour after they just opened. Pissed off or not like that? If they cannot deliver, then they should just take it off the menu.

  7. Yeah , me too ! I don’t fancy eating some so called good food under dirty and inconvenient environment. However I always get scolded especially by my better half, on being too fussy. The kompia with meat looks good !!

    Come, come to Sibu – you can enjoy this and more. Smallkucing’s papa will always insist that I tapao for him whenever I go to KL. It is THAT good!

    1. who is this small kucing’s papa? so tak tau malu one… next time dun tapao for him… err . . .tapao for me can?

      Can, can. Tapao for you and also tapao for him. No problem. Where good food is appreciated, gives me much pleasure to tapao and give… 😉

  8. Prefer kompia with minced meat and that bowl of laksa looks special with fishball. Yes, I believe that little gesture would build up goodwill with customer but some, even 10 cents they wait for you to dig out from your purse. Cis!!!…cis!!!…

    Yalor! Not that they will get rich from that 10 sen – they would be able to earn more if people keep coming back and they bring their family and friends some more. Minced meat? Hmmm…you don’t know what goes into it, maybe even more fat in it – I hear they throw in all the not so nice meat and blend and sell to you. The sellers who know you better may choose the better meat and grind on the spot to sell to you but not the others. At least, when you eat pork belly, you know exactly what you’re eating.

  9. Happy Teacher’s Day.

    Yummy prawns leh…but kinda pricey leh ….prawns naik harga LOL

    Ini Noodle House mah, nice aircon place…ada class sikit…sure more expensive than elsewhere. Kompia minced meat 80 sen outside at the coffee shop, theirs RM1.20, I think. Pork belly, no choice – can only get that here. 😦

  10. Food must be edible, people friendly and know their food and ambiance must be comfortable and cozy. Air con is added advantage. Hehe.

    This place is your favourite, I know. Hehehehehe!!!!

  11. Happy Teacher’s Day to you! Do you miss your teaching days or rather enjoy the bliss now?
    I think I am quite fussy like you with no intentions to queue up for food like The Oliver movie. I would take other choice and I also often wondered why the sellers would not increase their ingredients to cater for the good demands and orders. Got one hawker told me once that she had increased her Prawn Mee Soup by extra 2 huge pots yet all finished. She could not go on selling more already as her legs and body would tear apart until affected her health.

    Thanks. Of course, nothing beats getting paid for doing nothing even though it isn’t that much. No need to suffer, no pressure…rest and relax. This is the life!!!

    Yes, these days, they will not go on and on…not like the time of our forefathers. If there was money to be made, they would go on and on – all day and night! Now, once it’s all sold out, you will just have to come back again another day…but this was around an hour after they had just started for the day. Don’t tell me they’d sold out all their chicken already – not that their business is all that good at that time of day. 😦

  12. I will have to agree with you 110% that I will not queue up and would rather go elsewhere, And yes, that personal touch from the hawker/restaurant owner/staff make a world of difference. I have been to places where the food is good but service is lousy and I never return. As consumers, we should not be at anyone’s mercy.

    Yes, it’s our money…and we should get what we pay for. Not that we are getting free handouts or what, subject ourselves to such humiliation. Real stupid, if you ask me.

  13. i like places where i end up leaving with a smile after the meal … sometimes it’s because of the food, sometimes it’s the ambiance, and often it’s the owner(s) 😀

    Yes, that special human touch. Same everywhere. That’s why I don’t like paying bills online – I enjoy going to the offices, chat with the people at the counters – a good morning, a thank you, have a nice day…all these make one feel so nice inside…and like you, I would walk away smiling.

    Of course there may be busy days, days when things are not going too good – a nice word would certainly make things a little bit better for those people. Just put ourselves in their shoes and imagine what they have to put up with day in day out, going through that same routine.

  14. Well, sometimes it’s ok to queue under the hot sun/rain for something really worth it, and stand to eat! I don’t see anything wrong with it, it’s just like old times, kinda fun to do so ;))
    But of course, it depends on individual.. Some can accept (like me), some cannot accept (like you).

    Yup. Old man some more, can’t stand for too long…and if I squat to eat, I will never be able to get up. Might as well not eat.

    But you are missing the point here. It is not about who can or who cannot or who will or will not…but they are making so much money out of the customers coming day in and day out to eat, they could at least do a little something to make things a little better – out of respect and appreciation for their unfailing support. Like the rude kompia lady here – not only is she unfriendly but her shack is not at all comfortable but at least there are tables and chairs, not very good ones…and word has it that she has THREE houses to her name. Couldn’t she be a little bit more polite and nicer to the people who have been supporting her all these years? It would not hurt one bit, I’m sure…being nice.

  15. It’s depends, if i am not too hungry, i don’t mind the little wait, if i am very hungry, i won’t wait even the food is good. Usually i will avoid those queuing place, unless really craving for the food.

    Won’t be surprise on the kompia price increase, the one my favorite, they increase price too, i heard from my mum, it is now RM0.90 cents per pcs!! tsk tsk tsk

    Happy Teacher’s Day to you and Melissa!

    Thanks. 90 sen still cheap. Here, the minced meat ones still the same but the pork belly ones keep going up. 😦 I will never queue – once I see people queuing…or it’s too crowded and I may have to wait too long, I will just go elsewhere.

  16. Nowasadays they only care about “untung” but neglect the quality. Happy Teacher’s Day to you and Melissa!

    Thank you. Ya, too bad that they do not seem to realise that they are where they are because of the customers who put them there.

  17. at first i was like.. WHAT? KOMPIA @ RM1.60 is so ridiculous. But then i saw.. kompia stuffed with stewed pork belly… hmm.. something new and i’m sure it tasted very gooooddd !!!!

    Deep fried, usually very nicely done…no trace of oil. My favourite in town.

  18. WOW! RM1.60 for one kompia!

    Over-priced…even with the price of pork these days – been going up and up and up. 😦

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