Last night, we had an impromptu dinner at Hai Chix & Steaks*, an unfortunately spelled yet stylish-in-a-hipster-way restaurant in Home Depot, Ortigas.
The rain was hammering Manila at this point, so naturally, we found ourselves alone in the resto.
Two waiters were standing idly after having set our table. We asked for the menu; there was none—you have to go to the counter, about 10 steps away from our table, to read the menu from the chalkboard, parts of which were blocked from our view—so instead, we accessed Looloo from our devices.
Then we told them we were ready to order: the waiter standing by the counter, again about 10 steps away, said we had to go to her to place our order. When we sort of protested about the pointlessness of going back and forth and paying for every order, the other waiter said they can arrange for an “open bill,” meaning, as with normal sit-down restaurants, you pay at the end of your meal.
Given this “open bill” scenario, there were a number of choices:
- a) Since we were the only customers, idle attendants could have just approached us instead and place our orders for us.
- b) We could have just announced our orders out loud—it was that near anyway and there were no other customers present.
- c) Move our asses and go to the counter.
We opted for C.
|Butter garlic shrimp|
I understand the concept of self-service: I gladly stow my tray back to the designated area (when available), whenever I’m in Jollibee or McDonald’s; I bring back the newspaper and magazines to their rack when I leave coffee shops. But I could not understand why Hai Chix and Steaks could not make the effort to walk 10 steps and place orders on our behalf; they were already standing anyway and they had nothing to do at that point. (And this restaurant is no Jollibee or McDonald’s either; their steaks are north of P1,500.)
All of this is too absurd for me to even complain about but I felt I had to write about how some people are so wired to do exactly what they’re told to do, they wouldn’t dare break them even if it means extending courtesy to other people, being nice, or more importantly, earning more tips. Hai Chix & Steaks, as expected, has no service charge so I’m not sure how else the waiters expect to earn their remuneration.
To be fair, they did eventually get orders from our table for the rest of our orders (I guess after overhearing our grumbles), and the staff were nice throughout our other requests.
* * * *
The food, thankfully, was excellent as if the troubles we went through—the weather, the lukewarm service—were mere nuisances, an initiation rite that would eventually lead us to fraternal glory.
I took a bite of the buffallo wings: Yummeh.
The garlic butter shrimp: Jesus Christ.
The porterhouse steak, served medium well: Yesss!
Together with the ‘beef rice’ and buttered corn and carrots, it was a sumptuous meal worthy of converting vegetarians back to being vicious carnivores. The oil, garlic, and fat make it all the more rich—top them off your meat, rice, bread, or even fries for a decadent experience. It was a beautiful meal.
*Hai for Hainanese and Chix for chicken.
Hai Chix & Steaks
Ortigas Home Depot
Dona Julia Vargas, Pasig
11:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
+63 917 507 5773/ +63 2 661 7695 for reservations, except Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.