The setting was beautiful but the dinner celebrating our dad's 92nd birthday turned out to be such a complete letdown. First off, we were asked to pre-order (which was quite expected since we were a party of 20 adults and 2 toddlers), which we've done successfully in other venues like Mireio in Raffles, Lung Hin in Marco Polo, Wildflour and even Kasbah in Boracay for lunch that same day. Unlike in those places, I had to pay for the TOTAL bill, not just a deposit, for them to confirm our reservation.
Upon confirmation of our orders, some were missing. For instance, the pork iberico, instead of 3 became 2 and the duck, instead of 3 orders, also became 2. It was all cleared up after a while but that was just one of many problems. To be fair, the seafood orders (grouper, prawns, snapper, arroz de marisco) were good. But the items like the duck, lamb and pork were generally dry/tough and not the kind of quality you'd expect from a Shangrila. But the orders that they missed the first time, the pork and the duck, which took much longer to be served, turned out much better. The chef in our group could easily tell that the earlier orders were prepared way in advance and were just re-heated upon serving, which totally accounted for the sad, sorry state they were in by the time they got to us.
I must make special mention of the chicken & foie gras pot-au-feu, which I thought would be a pot of cooked-for-hours goodness worthy of a famed French dish. Sadly, that remained only in my dreams as I stared in disbelief at a small cast iron pot of something resembling chicken tinola (but tasted more like nilagang manok) with a small slab of foie gras together with the 3 pieces of chicken. It wasn't even chicken soup for the soul but more like chicken soup for the sick, convalescing hospital patient.
They did give us complementary amuse bouche, which were supposed to be crispy but we found to be chewy instead. But we're not complaining since it was given for free.
To be fair, the desserts we ordered, the chocolate bliss, tropezienne and rum baba, were very nice. And the chef who asked how are dinner was and faced our complaints sent one more complementary rum baba. The dining room staff did their best and sang a hearty happy birthday to our dad. Still, all things considered, especially how costly it was, this is one place we're most definitely NOT going back to. And I'll never be as trusting and as confident of the quality and service I had come to expect naturally from a Shangrila hotel dining outlet ever again.
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