Sunday, June 17, 2007

Eating Out: China T

Shop 32/300 Point Cook Road, Point Cook
Ph: 03 9395 4888

It seems to be the beginnings of a tradition - to celebrate the birthdays of three family members all close together we meet for one dinner, and the place we go is China T.

My dad has been going there for about as long as his lady friend has lived in the area, which is a couple of years now. So we've been a few times, and always enjoyed it - not especially flash, but atmosphere, food and service all worthy of top marks.

This time was different. It was most disappointing.

We arrived earlier than we had planned - 6.30pm instead of 7, but with no booking to structure the evening it was no problem. When we arrived there were a few other people in the restaurant, but it was not busy.

The evening started well with the friendly service we remembered. We were shown our table, a bowl of prawn crackers was deposited, and we were left to decide on our drinks order. So far so good!

Drinks were delivered, entrees and mains ordered. No problem.

Entrees arrived more or less together about half an hour later: skewers of satay beef, skewers of satay chicken, home-made dim sim, curry puff, prawn bread, and wonton soup. Nice.

A good half hour after this the mains started to arrive. Yes - STARTED. The combination plate with noodles arrived first for dad's lady friend. 5-10 minutes later the beef rendang for dad and my brother arrived. Another 5-10 minutes and we got our rice. Maybe 5-10 minutes later my boyrfiend's deep-fried pork with sweet and sour sauce made it to the table. I stopped keeping track of time after this, but it was as dad, bro and dad's girlfriend were finishing their meals that my szechuan beef was delivered - with many apologies, but no explanation for the delay. It was especially annoying when people who had arrived well after us were already tucking into their meals. I mean, it's thin slices of beef with some onion, zucchini and sauce - not a long time to prepare. Perhaps a chef had called in sick. Perhaps management has changed since the last time I dined there (admittedly, it was 12 months ago, although dad and his lady have eaten there several times since, and report that the service was not great then either).

The food, when it arrived, was as good as I remembered it. However the incredibly long wait soured the experience somewhat.

If you're in the neighbourhood I'd recommend this place for the food, but can't recommend the service, based on what I got. Sure, it's friendly, the atmosphere is still good, and it can get busy later in the evening, but the wait was simply too much to bear, as was the drawn-out serving of our mains.


mellie said...

Sorry to hear the service was so crappola for the special birthday dinner. Whilst food is obviously important, bad service can seriously detract from the experience. I hope that you had a nice birthday cake to compensate!

Anna said...

Yes, considering this place is an old favourite, where we've been several times before and enjoyed the whole experience, it's sad to see it has fallen off the way it has. The food really was great, when it got there, but the wait did have a negative effect.

No birthday cake -- well, not really. I made one last weekend to share with the bro, which is what I had at work :-)