It is so difficult to find a place for lunch this festive season! I tried calling one day ahead to reserve a table, but many restaurants were already fully booked. In fact, it may be a horrendously expensive place, but they can still be fully booked for a weekday lunch, even if you tried to call ahead for reservations one day ahead!
My colleagues are self-professed gluttons, so lunch had to be some kind of buffet. My recommendation was to go to Carousel. It’s a popular place, and because it is Halal, it does attract a broader base of clientele. However, I thought booking one day ahead for a weekday lunch should be quite alright. I was so wrong. Not only were they fully booked for Tuesday, they were also fully booked for the rest of the week! At $35++, it isn’t exactly like “bargain prices”. (But if I may say so, Carousel is really nice. Great food, very large selection, excellent quality, exquisite presentation… definitely highly recommended. $35++ may not be bargain prices, but it is definitely good value.)
Anyway, so we started our online hunt for alternative lunch buffets in the Orchard/town area. For the next hour or so, we were shocked to find so many other restaurants fully booked. It doesn’t even matter how much the buffet cost. For example, the very “atas” The Line at Shangri-La… would you believe it, is fully booked for weekday lunch, even when we call one day ahead for reservations!
In fact, as we called hotels after hotels to ask, we will hear that they are either fully booked (usually) or are left only with outdoor seating. Even in the fringes of town, like Ellenborough Market Cafe at Merchant Court. One restaurant even announced first, before I could ask, that they were already fully booked for both lunch and dinner the next day.
Okay, in the end we found Oscar’s at Conrad Centennial. It wasn’t on our top choices originally, but I guess we were running out of options. As we explored further and further, we did pick up a few more not-so-nice restaurants. In the end, with the pathetic choices we had… Oscar’s was the clear winner. So I called Oscar’s again, and OMG they are fully booked!
I exclaimed in disbelief: “But I just called 15 – 20 mins ago and you had a table?!”
The Oscar’s staff asked: “Oh you’re the one who called earlier?”
Well it turns out they had set aside a table when I enquired earlier, just in case I called back and wanted it. Yes, we do want it. Thank goodness they were kind enough to take note and set aside the table. Good customer service! 🙂
I am just so surprised. The Line, full, on a weekday lunch! It tells us two things: Many people are very free… and definitely people are getting too much bonuses this year. (Need to hint hint to my boss.)