Saturday, January 07, 2006

PS Cafe - Come And Forget Eating

P.S. Come And Forget Eating
-The PS CAFE Experience


The rains had come, and the late night air was soft, inviting. A pathway of candles coaxed us toward Singapore's new enigmatic dining experience- PS Cafe, Harding Road. The promise of an evening ensconced in lush, tropical gardens, vino, good food, and the best of friends lurked from behind the looming figure of the maitre d'.

Ah, the maitre d'.


Close up, he refused to acknowledge our presence. A make-shift sign declared that the restaurant was already full for the night. At 10:30pm however, we could see that there were a few empty tables, and that as it was Friday night, drinks were still being served until one.


One of us had to ask him politely- hello, do you work here.


Alas, we should have attempted a more direct and pointed approach.


When the maitre d' finally looked up, we were only greeted with rude, unacceptable service. As if to justify his stance in refusing us any service, he told us that 'shorts and sandals were not allowed'.


Side note- Only one of us was dressed in the above, offensive outfit.

PS- The 2006 January issue of Vogue featured resort and spring wear.

PPS- Singapore is a tropical rainforest of concrete and unflinching humidity. Most men live in the ubiquitous uniform of shorts and t-shirt, when not dressed for work.

PS Cafe- PS Can't Ask For Everything?



Some decisions in life come swiftly (never coming back again). Turning around, we Promptly Strode Convincingly Away From Evil, and spent the night at good ol' Que Pasa instead.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Sung said...

Pleasant looking restaurant, reminiscent of Californian laidback-ness. Pity about the attitude. Now we'll never know if the food quality is up to that of its cool, simple aesthetics.

1/09/2006 01:12:00 AM  
Anonymous a regular PS patron said...

hey, sorry guys, but i can't resist leaving a comment behind.. For your info, P S is not your standard newton kinda place, or food court.. think of Marmalade.. you think they'll let us in, if we turn up in shorts and slippers?! showing up in t-shirt & shorts may be a standard fare for most of us.. but when it comes to certain places, we gotta respect it by being properly dressed.. do you think you still want to go into a place with badly-attired crowd and risked being associated as being one of them? some places do expect certain dress code, in order to maintain their status quo, and to keep the kind of clients that they want, coming back.. think about it.. too bad about the rejection, as given the chance, i'm sure you guys would really love to dine there over and over again.. *hint* make a reservation first

1/29/2006 02:52:00 AM  
Blogger Dennis She said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/29/2006 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Dennis She said...

i havent been to PS Cafe/Harding Road yet but that sort of discriminatory service in a city like Singapore (better known for casual dressing) is plain nasty. Besides, decent brunch venues like Whitebait & Kale are pretty relaxed about flip flops as long as patrons are in dressed-down chic or a studied mess.

Before PS Cafe dispenses attitude, it should watch out for itself. Its wait-staff at the Paragon branch appears to be really unlearned, uncouth, unsavvy and alarmingly lacking.

The service is just plain Soviet-era.

1/29/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous sung said...

Appreciate your comments, Regular PS Patron. You're right that the venue really does call for a little more respect than mere shorts and slippers a la Newton Circus. But hardly would I consider an earnest sewn t-shirt, maharishi shorts, and limited edition Birkies mere shorts and slippers. And besides, the other 3 guys in the party weren't sloppily dressed in the slightest. Maybe next time we'll see if one will be shown the door if he were dressed in PS clothes, even if they're shorts and slippers.

The point really is:
A printed dress-code would be appreciated. Arbitrary screening by a dismissive host is not.

BTW what do the wait staff at PS Cafe wear?

1/30/2006 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Da Fudgemeister said...

Havent been there but yes heard enough. All's i gotta say is don't Project Shop only sell resort wear and flip flops? Excuuse me...but why dont they practice what they preach...PS: Marmalade did let me in wearing my adoring berms and flip flops. And their service was and is immaculate. Now that's class.

3/15/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have to say that this cafe is plain forgettable. yes the place is nice but the quality of food or the service simply not up to mark. neither is it cheap. for the price you will get better food and service elsewhere.

3/24/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger dominus91 said...

have been to ps cafe since my original post back in january. to be fair, there is a refreshing laid-backness to the place, a cool vibe, and a lovely ambience. food is half decent, and the kids who wait tables are sweethearts, but seem confused and disorganized half the time.

as to the issue of a dress code, there either isn't one or has changed, seeing as that many of the patrons i've seen are in shorts and flip flops. seems clear to me that our experience with the maitre d' back in january was a case of blatant discrimination.

side note - said maitre d' has since been shipped off to another restaurant in the dining enclave that is rochester park.

ps watch out for him while Graze-ing.....

5/20/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Anonymous pixie said...

I googled PS Cafe to check a review for the food and found your site. It's disappointing but not surprising that the reviews have been really bad - about their service.

My last experience with the Paragon branch, was alarmingly bad. The service attitude was discriminating. Looks like you gotta be a foreigner, to be served - well.

Such a disappointment that a home grown business, with asian crew, has discrimination as main course.

5/28/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Turn up so late (kitchens close around 1030), dressed like peasants with no reservation. What did you expect? When I eat somewhere cool and chic, I don't want to rub shoulders with the riff-raff. Treat the experience with respect- dress up, book in advance, and don't come past closing time.
PS- Pixie. Ang mohs get good service because they are polite to wait staff, and often tip. Try it

7/25/2006 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous seng_g_chan said...

Last week I have another unpleasant encountered in the cafe that is a reflection of how immature and unprofessional of the service there. My family was there during late afternoon whereby only cakes are being served. We were asked to go and look at the dessert ourselves and my wife accidently touched the cover of the cake tray while pointing out the cake to my daughter, the cover topple over (becasue it was not placed properly) and happened to hit a waiter underneath which was arraging the wine. He broke the wine and immediate the cashier shaft a bill of $80 into wife hands and demand us to pay for it. I belived this is an accident and is not entirely our fault, in the first place the cake should not be displayed on the ledge with people working behind the counter and I do believed this is not the first time such incidents happened -meaning the cake cover toppling over. If you want to put the cake on the ledge than have some saftey precausion such as making a glass shelf for the cake display. We got into a big argument with the manager and eventually settled on paying 60% of the price. But what I am not happy is the attitude and the way they handle the situation, most places they would not even consider charging for it but take it as an accident. That will only create goodwill and not in this case a badwill and two never returned customers but I think maybe PS cafe does not careless as they feel that they have more than enough customers.

9/12/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous comments said...

I'm hopping mad about how the door BITCH treated me and my friends when we went to PS cafe for dinner and drinks. The waiters tell you one thing, and the door BITCH told us another. The food was good n all, and I'd go back for the food. but I'm tempted to slam any leftovers if any into her face if I see her again

11/24/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In many cities, you have to respect the dresscode in fancy places at night. If you do not like the atmosphere, just go to another place, more relaxed.

Nevertheless, I have never heard such a case whereby the client has to pay for a dropped bottle of wine, as expansive it may be, which has droppd on the floor. In decent restaurant, especially when you have kids at the table, it may happen that they drop their fork, knife, dessert or even main dish on the floor. Whatever has been dropped, the standard is to clean and replace for free.

Certainly I would not have paid for this bottle of wine at PS Cafe and I would have filled-up a complain and sent a letter to the owners. This is unacceptable. The least they can do is to offer you a brunch!

4/22/2007 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mika,
As a regular at P.S, i know every single operational details iside out, here's my facts:

What alot of ppl dun understand abt P.S Cafe (7 deadly sins)..
1- Reservation with 2 seating.
2- Attitude.
3- Poor service.
4- Slow food service
5- Door bitch
6- Turning up late.
7- Discrimination

My answer to all the "Bad experiences"

1. It's a "NORM" for popular establishments (popular or unpopular) to have seatings. go shanghai, new york or even india. They all do reservations & seatings. What makes you think you can just "POP" into a hip cafe wanting to get seated INSTANTLY w/o a reservation. Best of all when walk in customers make stupid remarks like "What .! you've actualy got 2 seatings?"

2. I dun deny most of them have a Attitude, especially the door bitch. But from reliable sources..the door bitch had moved to Graze and a couple other Attitudist had joined Graze. I hope they are doing better now with a different door host, look out for the guy in Brown specs. He rocks with a slightly unique attitude.

3. Poor service is defined by..? If there is any 1 in the right mind who can tell me what's the defination of GOOD SERVICE, BAD SERVICE & NO SERVICE. Does topping up of ice water RELIGIOUSLY a benchmark of GOOD SERVICE..? (appearently true amongst the locals) ang mohs what say you..?

4. If you expect microwave food, then head somewhere else. I like my food cooked with love. Sometimes . i find their delivery too FAST! TIP: order their steak fries and crisp & dips while waiting for your mains either before or after yr starters

5. As i mentioned, door bitch has changed, let's see how well he can perform. But imust say ey really need to improve their reservation system, can never get thru their lan line. TIP: SMS their magic no. 9685-5506 with the date, total pax, 1st or 2nd seating and yr name of course.

6. Have some manners to call up and inform u'll be late rather than show your displeasure when you are late & your tables sold to the next waiting guest.

7. I felt the same when i first visit P.S Cafe. after subsequent visits i realize it's not true. Most importantly it's how you feel abt yourself. You dun have to be extra nice to be treated well,(After all you are paying for service, it's their job!) Just remember to say Please, Thank you at all times just like what our parents teach us.

Mika
World Gourmet Traveller

5/31/2007 04:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great ambience is one thing and can only last for this long and take them this far, lousy phone etiquette and service, well, you're not the only hip and happening cafe/restaurant in Singapore!
Calling in for a reservation is like reaching to the 'HOUSE OF THE LIVING DEAD'. No one was picking the phone up for DAYS except for an ultra annoying voice message that goes 'Hiii..thank you for calling PS Cafe etc' When I FINALLY got through, I was greeted by a guy named Simon who not only lacks basic courtesy and phone etiquette but seems to be pretty damn proud about it! Tsk tsk...do the owners personally hand-pick service staff and train them to act like door bitches? Do they get an incentive for screening customers? Do any of the owners/brothers have an inkling about their staff's lack of basic courtesy at their cafes? PS. You're merely a cafe, not an exclusive club, give it up!

6/13/2007 07:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just in case it may be useful to some of us: the Four Seasons on Orchard offers a fantastic Sunday brunch and people in shorts and sandals are accepted...

8/17/2007 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Camemberu said...

Wow such heated comments! I learned a lot here about P.S. Cafe! lol

7/07/2008 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger tüp bebek said...

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adad

9/26/2010 10:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

perhaps you are right, in the midst of economic downturn, hiring cheap foreign philipinos is one option as they help keep labour costs low. These cheap foreign labour are not interested to maintain good service standards as long as they get their monthly salary. Charging sky high prices helps cafe make good money & not forgetting hitting monthly sales target. In every sense, the concept is good but they lack the very essentials - the good morals & integrity, & most importantly, great service comes from within

2/11/2011 08:26:00 PM  
Anonymous felix said...

hi all, i was pretty excited about their latest outlet, so I am here trying to find out more about ps cafe online. However, one common complaint I see is always the bad service. Seems to me after so many years from all the heated comments, the management or the owners are not doing anything about it. Are they delusional? Or are they so stuck in the Soviet-era they cannot see anything even though evidences stare at them in their faces that is not great service??? Somebody gotta wake up! I mean, five-star hotels in Singapore are offering greater quality food, with tip-top service, plus they recognise people dressed in shorts or T-shirts need not be undeserved customers like how these customers are treated in ps cafe. It is only a cafe for crying out loud! Its refreshing concept and it can be easily copied and replicated very quickly, it is not the only sole F&B business running in Singapore.

The case of the wine dropping shows how petty management is towards their customers, they cannot even afford to waive off some items in the bill or the least train its staff to eat the humble pie and apologise. The arrogant attitude gives off a very negative energy to the whole atmosphere. Customers come in for a good time and seeing the relaxing displays the owners put into it and alas! Getting such low class service and attitude from lowly educated staff just shows the lack of effort put into training their employees. The most basic is the courtesy aspect, and definitely, topping up ice water religiously is npt great service. Period.

2/11/2011 09:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

by far the worsest (if i can spell it better) I experienced among the bad service restaurants.

Servers and hosts are lowly educated as can hear by their accent.
Fat and oversized servers with stinking attitude. GEt a mirror, there are many cafes without all your flair but great service so they will beat PS flat!

6/02/2011 06:27:00 AM  

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