i had not made much use of my amex palate discounts till recently. i guess partly there are so many good credit card offers, groupon vouchers etc, 🙂 only when the card is expiring suddenly there is greater impetus to try out various palate outlets.
for this night on 21.7.2013, we picked Gattopardo – a good choice! 🙂
Gattopardo is located at the level 1 of The Legend Fort Canning Park Hotel. there was al fresco dining, we chose though to sit inside. it was a quiet pleasant ambience not so many tables occupied on a Sunday evening.
warm baguette was provided. i was contented with olive oil & balsamic & did not ask for butter. 🙂
we picked the beef tartar, which came with a crispy toast, to share. this was excellent! the combination of flavours & texture of beef, onions, anchovies, egg yoke. 🙂
there was no soup item, so we asked the waiter. he recommended a curry mussels (S$14). this was NOT a menu item & knowing the tricky situation with palate discounts, we asked SPECIFICALLY if the same discounts applied, and the waiter replied yes! this was very good, like a good mulligatawny, the mussels were the small & tasty type though with just 3 mussels we thought the serving was rather small. when we asked for the bill, the curry mussels were excluded from the discount. we told them that we specifically confirmed with the waiter on the discounts, and the bill then made a round & came back with the discounts accompanied with a pleasant smile (good service recovery) that actually the item had no discount & they specially made an exception for us.
well no harm done, but i always have difficulty understanding this part of many restaurant’s service & marketing philosophy. i supposed restaurants are entitled to “buyers beware” & no obligations to advise customers. but i always feel that if a service philosophy is to make customer experience memorable, then it should NOT be a contest to outsmart the other. a service outfit should make service offers if it wants to offer & NOT make offers if it does not want to offer & give customers a consistent message. of course it could be just an oversight by an individual server but the impression i got was that the philosophy was one of “if customer asked & waiting staff said so then give discounts, if customer did not ask then too bad no discounts” so the checking was not about the staff making a mistake, but just whether the customer did ask or not.
the fact that i was not unhappy with the episode but still spent time blogging it showed that it did NOT add to customer experience. 🙂
for mains, we had the risone (risotto shaped pasta) with braised squid & bone marrow. this was super! 🙂 it had good reviews by other bloggers & the waiter also confirmed it was a popular dish. very flavourful, quite intense.
the sous vide iberico pork jowl (top photo & above right) was very good too! 🙂
overall, we enjoyed the dinner very much! our selection of dishes were great. the costs after palate 50% discount for 2pax was S$70nett excluding wine for 1 appetizer, 2 soups, 2 mains (& S$90nett including 1 glass of red). 🙂 the prices were a bit lower than at Senso. Senso though have a more classy ambience & the staff at Senso are more professional (a general observation excluding the curry mussel discount matter). will certainly go back again to Gattopardo. 🙂