11 May

Bali Laguna
1469 Nanjing West Road
Shanghai, China

PRICE: 元元元元元

I’ve never seen a restaurant blow it so spectacularly on the customer service front. It was such a train wreck that now, I can look back on it and laugh. But at that time, we certainly weren’t laughing. But let me start at the start…

We randomly stumbled onto Bali Laguna one evening and were impressed by the ambience and surroundings. Set in the heart of Jingan, a busy suburb, Bali Laguna is neatly tucked away in a quiet area and right on a small lake. It glitters and sparkles with well-placed lighting and tables are lined all around the lakeside. It’s dark, cosy, and candlelit. Absolutely gorgeous and wonderful for a date. Happily, we settled down into a comfortable sofa outside overlooking the lake, despite not having a reservation.

A few moments later, we placed our order with an mindblowingly RUDE waiter. I’m not sure why, but he had the blackest of faces, with DISGUST written all over it – and was curt, rude and hateful when we were ordering. When we asked a question, he refused to answer. A bit alarmed, I hastily said to Chris “Perhaps he’s just having a bad day.. nevermind, the place is beautiful”.

The food arrived and it was average at best. The Prawn spring roll had a prawn tail sticking out the end, yet there wasn’t the rest of a big piece of prawn in the roll – all it had was shredded carrots. Tres strange. The Chicken (forgot the name) was very obviously cooked by itself (without sauce) earlier, and simply microwaved back and sauce poured on top prior to serving. This left the dish with a strange taste that didn’t blend or connect together. The Beef curry gravy was delicious and creamy, and the beef was tender, but it was strangely almost like white meat. I actually thought it was pork. Isn’t beef meant to be dark in colour?

The one saving grace was the Banana Pudding. However, it was a MASSIVE effort to get it. The waitress served another item on the menu, and then tried to pass it off as the Banana Pudding. “NO”, we said, “We know what Banana Pudding is, and this Kueh Lapis you served us IS NOT IT!”. Then she proceeded to go into this long song and dance, in Chinese. I didn’t really understand what she was saying, but the general gist was that she thought since she’d already brought it out, we should suck it up and eat it instead of asking her to bring out our Banana Pudding that we ordered. It was unbelievable. She spent a good 10 minutes trying to argue with us, REFUSING to bring out the correct order. Finally, she said she’ll need to call someone and left. She came back with a guy who basically gave her an eye roll and took away the dish, and we finally got our Banana Pudding.

It was distasteful and ridiculous to try and force a customer to eat your incorrect dish, not to mention spend 10 mins arguing with them. I nearly just got up and left without paying. Oh, and despite the jaw-droppingly rude waiter at the start and the arguing waitress at the end, we got NO APOLOGY, and certainly no discount or freebie with our meal. Let me just say the place is also ridiculously expensive for the portions that you get – you’re evidently paying for the view. A shame, as it’s a beautiful restaurant but we were so traumatised we wouldn’t go back.

Walking into Bali Laguna

Pretty lit floor

Our outdoor table, overlooking the lake


Awesome cocktail

Prawn spring roll (with no prawn in sight)

Some sorta chicken dish

Beef curry

Banana pudding – yum!

The gorgeous restaurant. Shame about the service.

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Posted by on 11 May 2009 (Mon) in Shanghai food reviews, Uncategorized



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