Thursday, November 24, 2016

First Bite: Maisen BGC

I was so excited when I found out that my good friend F accepted a job offer near my office. I finally have someone to drag with me for random cravings or sudden desire to burn some cash. (And by cash, I mean less than PHP500.) After two weeks of planning, we finally decided to have lunch one Friday at the newly opened Maisen branch at Shangri-La, Fort.

Hello, Maisen!
I headed straight to the new Japanese restaurant in town as I was expecting a long queue. (Maisen had an opening promo where they offered their 80g katsu for less than PHP100 for its first two days.) Luckily, there were a few seats by the bar so I managed to skip the queue and got a seat for me and my friend. 
As I waited for F, I read the menu highlighting Maisen’s new offerings and was curious with Cold Udon (PHP175). After a few more minutes, I decided to order it and paired it with a glass of Calamansi with Grenadine Iced Tea (PHP100, refillable).
Soon, F arrived and ordered a katsu set which I wasn’t able to take note of as I was too hungry as I skipped breakfast. 
While waiting for our orders, I took a peek of the main dining area of Maisen and was surprised that it was pretty small. I think a max of 40 diners will fit the air conditioned area. 
My glass of refreshing iced tea with bright red orange hue was served first and it was delightful! It had a nice sweet yet tangy taste that I love. I also love that it is refillable making it a value for money drink!
As I try to distract myself from hunger by drinking more of my sweet drink and catching up with F, I noticed that the other diners who came after me got their orders first. And after a short while, F got his too. I then followed up mine and realized that 20 minutes had passed since I placed my order. 

I followed up again after 10 minutes and found out that my order was still in line to be prepared. (I then asked, “If it’s in line, how come the others got their orders ahead of mine whereas I placed my order first?” Apparently, the system in the kitchen depends on the prep work required. Since I ordered a dish that does not receive a lot of orders, my order was placed at the back of the queue.) And that was the last straw for the hangry me. I told them to just cancel my order as it was already almost 1pm then and I was just on my lunch break. 
The restaurant manager approached me and was very apologetic and informed me that my bowl will be served soon and that it’ll be on the house to compensate me for waiting so long. I declined her offer as I was really annoyed with what happened. But she insisted and had the bowl served to me. 
I was hesitant to eat it as I was still upset with what happened but my grumbling tummy reacted otherwise. I ended up getting a big mouthful and… it was so good. 
The pork kakuni was so soft and sweet that I couldn’t stop eating every single morsel of it. It went well with the thick wheat noodles, seaweed, bonito flakes, runny egg and ginger. The cold broth was also good as its light sweet taste further enhanced and highlighted the other ingredients. The menu noted that the bowl of cold udon also has okra and wakame but I failed to notice it if there were any. 

It just sucks that I was holding my smile as I had my first slurp of the delightful noodles as I didn’t want them to think that serving an order over 30 minutes is okay, especially for a corporate slave like me. 

It sure would have been different if they just told me that it’ll take time for them to prepare my order. I would have simply ordered something else. If they really want to push their new offerings, they should not treat it as second rate dishes which get pushed back in the kitchen just because it requires different prep work. 

Oh, and when our bill arrived, I was still charged for the late cold udon. *uhmmm*

I learned my lesson. I will not head back here for lunch. Perhaps after work or weekend and when I’m not about to be hangry. 

Maisen is located at Shangri-La at the Fort, 5th Avenue, Fort Bonfacio, Taguig City.

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