PappaRich De Garden Ipoh

It is a bad omen to be scolded on the first day of the Chinese New Year. That was exactly what one waitress at PappaRich got from me although I had tried very hard to restrain myself from doing so. Papparich is a chain of kopitiam-style eateries that serve toasts, coffee, other beverages and a wide range of popular hawker fare.

Wuan and I had eaten at the PappaRich outlets at Shamelin Square and The Gardens Mall at Mid Valley City. We liked the steamed bread with butter and kaya. The bread was soft and the kaya had a nice aroma that we both agreed was good. We were therefore pleasantly surprised and delighted at the same time to find out that Papparich has an outlet at the newly opened De Garden mall in Ipoh. De Garden is right beside Courts Mammoth and opposite Kinta City Shopping Centre.

We took her parents there for dinner on the first day of the Chinese New Year. Father in law ordered koay teow soup with chicken and iced white coffee. Mother in law wanted to try the curry laksa and apple juice to go with it. After they placed the orders, Wuan and I went to the washroom. When we got back, their drinks were already served. Wuan and I went through the menu as we had not ordered yet.

PappaRich roti stim with kaya and butter (double)
PappaRich roti stim with kaya and butter (double) at The Gardens Mall Mid Valley City.

I was famished and thirsty. I ordered fried rice with fried egg, steamed vegetarian pau and watermelon juice. Wuan preferred the dry curry mee with foo chok and hot lime barley. We wanted her parents to try steamed bread with butter and kaya, and ordered that as well. The restaurant was about three quarters full but the waitress was slow in coming to pick up the second order form from us.

After waiting for fifteen minutes, neither the food from the first order nor our drinks were served yet. We flagged down a waiter and enquired about our food. He nodded and walked off. A short while later, another waiter came to ask if we had ordered our food. We told him we had but it has been a while since and we were still waiting. He said it was coming without checking with the kitchen. He had actually wanted to take the menus from us to serve another table.

Another fifteen minutes passed. I was getting very thirsty and hungry and restless. We started to grumble. I caught the same waitress who took both our orders and asked her why it was taking so long. “A hungry man is an angry man,” I told her in jest and asked her to please check our order. She did not get back to us after that and continued to serve other patrons.

We all waited for another ten minutes. My stomach was already rumbling. As the same waitress walked pass, I told her if the food were not served in ten minutes, we would leave. She mumbled something and walked off. The last straw was when the couple from the next table who arrived much later than us were tucking away on their food. I decided not to wait anymore and asked for the bill from another waitress.

Bill and bad service from PappaRich De Garden Ipoh
Bill and bad service from PappaRich De Garden Ipoh.

When the bill came, it was only for the items that Wuan’s parents ordered, including the food that were not served. The ones Wuan and I ordered were not in the bill. The same waitress whom I had enquired twice hurriedly came and proceeded to rectify the bill, cancelling the items that were not served. I scolded her there and then for making us wait in futility for almost one hour for our food.

I told her I would never eat there again and will tell my friends not to eat there also. All she could manage was to keep saying sorry. Wuan told her that we never had problems with the other PappaRich outlets in Kuala Lumpur. In the end, we paid for the two drinks that Wuan’s parents had and walked off to eat at the restaurant just beside it called the T.O.S (Taste of South). Service there was prompt. Our orders were served within fifteen minutes. Most importantly, the service staff were friendly and polite.

PappaRich De Garden Ipoh was a great disappointment. I would not have been so flustered had the waitress taken the trouble to check our orders with the kitchen, and if they were not in the queue for whatever reason, get the kitchen to prepare our food immediately. But no, this particular waitress and the others never bothered to rectify the situation despite several enquiries from us.

Having worked as a waiter in a 5-star hotel before, I can relate to what life as a service staff is like. For me to scold the waitress at PappaRich De Garden like that tells a lot about the level of service. The greatest mistake a restaurant can make is to allow patrons walk away hungry and angry. That is a surefire way to lose them permanently. PappaRich De Garden Ipoh certainly has lost me on that account.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

12 thoughts on “PappaRich De Garden Ipoh”

  1. Definitely. I guess the boss did not properly train them. Well, not all PappaRich outlets in KL are good…. I personally prefer the one in Kelana Jaya. Behind Giant Kelana Jaya.

    It happened to us in Kota Damansara. We had to enquire with one of the waiters before our food finally came. =.=”

    Bosses who do not train their service staff well are at peril of losing customers. They should realise this.

  2. Personal experience with PappaRich outlets is that they’re not worth it. No matter which outlet I go to, they have really bad service and the food isn’t worth the price you pay, which is why I’ve completely boycotted them.

    Yes, I agree that the price is steep. I just realised that the price of some food in Ipoh is different from that in The Gardens. But the steamed bread is so soft. I have yet to come across another kopitiam that serves steamed bread as nice as this.

  3. She didn’t perform well so kena scolded by you. She spoilt your start to the new year, and in anger – despite many apologies – you also ruined hers. Bad vibes both ways. Sama-sama suay lah!
    Now, four days later, you’re still carrying around negative energy and unforgiveness to go on slamming the shop and unfortunate girl. All around, damn suay, again! Talk about setting the tone for a new year!
    Whatever one’s religious beliefs or value systems, be mindful that what goes around comes around.

    Here is wishing you get the same shitty service throughout the year like the one I experienced. I am sure you won’t mind a bit even if you have to wait one hour for your meals to be served. Gong xi fa cai!

  4. Gosh I wonder Is It because CNY time too many customer or was It that waitress was a newbies. Anyway coincidentally Papparich @ Shamelin was my bro’s one. and he open a branch at BSD (Bandar Sri Damansara) If had the chance lets yum cha at shamelin ok ? Oh btw my bro buy d franchise only Ipoh Is not ours..

    Gong Hei Fatt Choy to you and your family’s!

    Lets arrange to yum cha at the Shamelin Square outlet on one weekend. Gong xi fa cai to you too!

  5. ??!!! I am flabbergasted!
    I just can’t believe you’re lashing out with curses at someone for merely pointing out the obvious! Well, no peter, I shan’t be returning the ‘favour’ despite your clear provocation. I absolutely believe in breaking the vicious cycle by neither provoking nor retaliating. I have no need to sink to that level. Instead, I do sincerely wish God’s generous blessings upon you and yours, and that you will somehow have a happy, serene new year ahead!

    I heard you saying what goes around comes around? I gave you the liberty to lash out at me here and yet you have to nerve to come back and scream blue murder when I do the same to you. You should spend some time reading your own self righteous pontifications. You expected me to quietly accept poor service but when I wish the same upon you, you accuse me of cursing and provoking you. Talk about hypocrisy! I am happy and blessed as I am without your wishes but thank you anyway.

  6. Hmm I went there 2 days ago on the 16th, both PappaRich and T.O.S. were packed to the brim but in me and my friends’ experience, T.O.S.’s staff were more incompetent than PappaRich, they took more than 5 minutes half-heartedly looking for a table for us, in the end we decided to go to PappaRich instead, where PR had extra tables promptly set up for us in less than a minute. The food was served rather fast considering the amount of customers though there was a minor fuckup where they served us one wrong drink.

    By the way, I think I’ve seen you twice last year in Mid Valley’s Jusco and Kinta City’s Jusco within a month. Too shy to say hi & you were busy shopping. 😛

    I went to PappaRich at The Gardens yesterday. Service was prompt and friendly. I am still wondering what happened in Ipoh that day. Wow, crossing paths twice in two different states within a month. That is really something. Next time just say “hi”. I won’t bite. 😛

  7. I have a friend whom shared with me his story of similar incident.

    As Chinese beliefs that to observe the 1st and 15th of the lunar month to partake only vegetation food, my friend visited one vegetarian restaurant. He proceed to place an order and waited for 15 minutes.

    Like you said, 15 minutes is the limit to wait so he go and asked the waiter if his order will be served soon? My friend got a slap in the face when the waiter said “If you can’t even wait for your food to be served and has no patience please don’t try to partake vegetarian (fasting)”

    He obediently waited for hour and by the time the restaurant cleared most of the patrons, he asked the waiter one more time. This time, he found out that his orders were not placed.

    Thus, he give a good f**k of the life to the waiter.

    My point is, I know it’s peak season and might be understaffed but do pay attention to the patrons. Sometimes, they aren’t so reasonable after all.

    This is the kind of restaurant I will never patronise again, ever!

  8. I guess the Ipoh outlet is not alone in giving bad service. There is one outlet opened about 1 mth ago near the Carrefour Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Cheras and me and wife also experienced the same – slow service. The other outlet inside Jaya33 also disappoints me.

    These outlets are manned by foreigners without proper training nor experience in good customer service and naturally the outlet managers must be a local. Now, isnt our local F&B service levels already in the slumps? Well, bapa borek anak rintik lor..

    Another thing that I dont like is their price level. I think its a bit steep. Food is so-so and I am very certain it was prepared by a foreigner – they didnt grow up eating dried mee or even curry laksa so I cant blame.

    These F&B joints have to resort to foreign manpower because our local youngsters busy waiting to strike it rich, just to divert a little bit here. Too many Seminar Jutawan happening around poisoning fresh and naive minds learning how to be a millionnaire when in actual fact they dont even know how to answer the phone correctly, or even operate the photostat machine – they dont know what its like being a salaried employee.

    It is a chain reaction la. What our G doing now for the young is slowly and surely leading them to the dumps. At the end of the day, we are killing ourselves in every sense and that leads us to bad service like your story, Pete.

    If you know of any Seminar Jutawan that really works, please do share. I share your sentiments about local food being prepared by foreigners. No wonder a lot of the hawker food are losing their unique flavours.

  9. Wah! Terrible! Come I cut and paste and send to the CEO plus all shareholders of Papa Don’t Preach! I mean PappaRich!

    I like that song! 😛

  10. Looks like they will lose many patrons and I am not even in Malaysia I am thinking I will make a note not to go there 🙂

    Hope to see you in July, Peter – between July 18th and 6th August.

    I hope to see you too. Do let me know your plans here. Gong xi fa cai to you!

  11. Well Pete,i share your sentiments.It is definitely no excuse whatsoever that after being reminded countless times of the order,the staff were nonchalant in pursuing the cause of the delay.

    The waitress deserved what she received.Everyone thinks that making an apology is the end all and be all.Well it is not.Ignoring the customer despite numerous requests is serious and any normal person would be very upset.

    And we certainly don’t frigging need anyone passing judgement in a condescending tone to another on the art of forgiveness when we know full well the hypocrisy of the statement and the person.

    I am as peeved as you are Pete.The waitress deserved the tongue lashing and the restaurant needs to be informed of the poor standard of service.They have just lost a few customers.If i ran the establishnment, i would certainly appreciate feedback like this and see where i can improve.This affects my bottomline.

    Have a good year!!

    You are right. Apologies do not make it right until the food are served and the customers are happy. In that particular case, the apologies did nothing to satiate my hunger. And like I told her, a hungry man is an angry man. You have a good year too!

  12. Peter

    From what I know, PappaRich is a franchise so the Ipoh outlet may not be owned by the same owner as the MidValley outlet. Actually, probably not since each franchise costs RM1.2 million. With all that money spent on getting the franchise, no more left for staff training.

    I expect a certain standard of service from such eateries. After all, I am paying a premium for the food. If they can’t go the last mile in providing decent service, they are surely going to turn away a lot of customers.

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