Sunday, 5 September 2010

Nice To Know Someone Values Your Work

I have been having spates of what I would call 'Sour' moments here at work (which I honestly try my damnedest  best to not let affect my work). Being in the service industry isn't easy (let me tell up front), so it does help us feel better to come across really satisfied customers who really appreciate the gestures we do for them.

I was taught that we should always attempt to see things from another perspective, and putting on another's shoes so to speak, so that we can be fully informed of what our action (or in-action) could mean to the other person. As it were, I have never had a problem of empathising and seeing both sides of a coin (people who know me might add I see both sides of a coin to a fault!). So being with customers in operational shift work constantly allows me to test this skill!

It is a wonderful feeling to know that what one should consider simple courtesy could end up meaning so much to the recipient, be it a steaming cup of tea, a bowl of comforting noodles or a warming blanket, or that mildest of smiles. Sometimes, individuals in this industry can be so bogged by the machinations and processes of work (in all its myriad of dos and don'ts) we forget to be human and most importantly, that our customers are also human.

Thus it was a very pleasant surprise when I was approached by a long time service provider partner (whom I have not met in months) seeking my participation in coordinating and arranging for some rehash of their well received but somewhat dated offerings in my place of work.

Now, I have always felt that my pointed (and often terse) complaints I sent out due to quality control lapses would affect how I would be perceived. I have always (and hopefully always will) been very quick to praise when a job is well done and reprimand only after I have enough investigated details warranting such response. I guess in real life, when it matters, people will cut through all the drama and see that at the end of the day, it is always about doing our level best for the customers, and they know we are doing it because it needed doing, without malice or ill-will.

So I am all smiles tonight....

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Out & About: Iftar at Under One Roof Restaurant

A bunch of us buddies decided that it would be fun to meet up and have a 'Berbuka Puasa' session together considering most of us have not been able to meet up for while now. After some manner of deliberation it was decided that we should all go and dine at a former work-mate's new restaurant. This was quickly agreed upon and and when the day finally arrived we found ourselves driving over to Pekan Salak, Sepang, to Under One Roof Restaurant.
The restaurant is at: 2, Jalan Gembira 1, Taman Desa Gembira, Pekan Salak, 43900, Sepang, Selangor
After picking me up from work, my girlfriend and I, with another former colleague Puteri Yuzaina in tow drove to the restaurant. With Yuzaina's GPS-like memory we quickly found the place. An end lot restaurant in a new block of shop houses in the older part of Pekan Salak (Interestingly it is actually barely 5 minutes' drive from Sepang International Circuit! Trust KLIA to have the jumbled mix of old and new buildings). Upon arrival, we noted Nomie and Shahrul has already preceded us (that's their ride in the picture above!).

That here is our friend Nomie attacking the menu, this woman can eat I tell you! Nomie attacking her plate of seafood called Fisherman's Platter! Assortment of Gratinated Green Shell Mussels in cream, Breaded Fish Steak and Shrimp with Chunky Fries!
Quick few hugs, kisses and handshakes later, we were all happily chatting up reminiscing on the good old days when we were all part of a same department. The Owner Ben, later also welcomed us (he used to be an active member of the groupie too) and presented the menu. He informed us that his eatery was launched relatively recently, about a few months back. When asked about why did he chose to open a restaurant (it is NOT easy to run a restaurant ya!), he honestly said that he missed cooking and wanted to run a business and operation that he could call his own. So kudos to him then, as I don't think I would had enough gumption to actually do what he did!

As a classically trained chef, the Ben had devised a menu that had a large selection and was rather impressive (I dare say it was downright bountiful!), comprising of elements from Western and Eastern flavours with some closer to home favourites. The menu boasted of things like Grilled Steaks, Fisherman's Platter, Tex Mex influences like Nachos (with Salsa or topped with thick gloopy meat sauce and cheese, yum!), alongside Garlic Stir Fried Vegetables, Tom Yum Soup and your bevy of Nasi Gorengs,  all of which were looking all the more attractive the more we perused. Being so close to Iftar, we sought for the recommendations of the Chef and he directed our attention to his bestsellers. 

The gang then ordered Grilled Strip loin, Grilled Salmon Steak (this was mine, good choice too), Nachos and Salsa, more Nachos (this time topped with sauteed chicken and smothered with gooey melted cheese!), a Fisherman's Platter, Mixed Tom Yum Soup and Plain Rice to go with the Tom Yum. Another friend, Azrul Hisham (aka Adik, Po-yo, or more recently Chekgu!) then also joined us, completing the quorum. And thus began another round of stories and laughter.

A short while later our first courses arrived and we tucked in with Gusto.

Oven Crisped Nacho Chips with Salsa. His version was delightfully spiked with red hot chillies, giving the accompanying Salsa a good kick in the flavour department. Quickly brightening up in one's mouth

And this would be the Nachos A-la Gloop! Loads of Nachos piled high, slopped with sauce-grilled chicken meat and  topped with plenty of grated cheese. Throw it all under a hot grill and heaven is a place on earth
Mid appetizer, our individual main courses arrived in succession.
That giant hand belongs to Chekgu! and no, the steak isn't that tiny, just bad camera angles! The Steak was perfectly medium rare, displaying hints of red and pink when cut, upon a mound of garden sauteed vegetables and potato chunks.

Grilled Salmon on Garlic Potato Mash (which delightfully turned out more like potato smash than smooth mash which is great for textural contrasts!) and Garden Vegetables.
A moo-ving experience!
Spicy Sweet Mixed Tom Yum Soup. This was chosen by Shahrul to go with his plate of Chinese styled Stir Fried Veges.
The meal was a good one, everyone present clearly loved what they got on their plates. Sneaking glances at other tables around us, I could tell the clientele were enjoying their nosh as much as we were! There were about 4 tables other than ours and I couldn't imagine how the lone Chef cum Owner could prepare all those orders without taking too much time.
Happy campers with full bellies! L-R: Meesa, Me, Ben the Restaurateur, Chekgu!, Puteri, Nomie and Shahrul's back!
Chekgu and Ben the Restaurateur!
They say time flies when one is having fun and in good company. The adage rang true for us, for we found that it was almost 1030 PM and had to say our goodbyes. Guys, lets do this again ya!