We decided to have dinner together on the day of Cookies’ staycation. My sister suggested to have dinner at Casa Verde at the Singapore Botanic Gardens since they allowed pets. Moreover, she has visited a few times previously and find the food to be good. Since Casa Verde is by Les Amis Group, I am confident that the food will not disappoint us, but something else did.
When we arrived at the restaurant at about 6.10pm, we asked for a table for 5 and were told that we need to wait for about 45 minutes as all the tables were reserved. And so we turned around to inform our folks and we spoke in our dialect, Teochew. When the waiter heard that we didn’t speak English, very quickly, without hesitation, in a very arrogant tone, he informed us that the restaurant only serves Italian food and no normal food. These were his exact words. In fact, we were rather offended. But since we have a pet, to change a restaurant it was tough too, so we decided to wait as from our experiences, the restaurant will usually state a longer waiting time. My sister left her mobile number and her name as “Mia” on the waiting list and we hung around the restaurant to wait.
After approximately 5 minutes of wait, the restaurant manager called my sister mobile and we got our seats. We were quite lucky at the start. On hindsight, I think the manager might have thought “Mia” was a foreigner.
Casa Verde has a pretty standard Italian fare so you can find Pizza, Pasta, some meat & seafood, starters, soup and desserts from the menu.
A basket of bread was served without refill. We finished them even before the first dish was served. We waited for quite long, I think a good 15 minutes. We were expecting the Antipasti to be served first, since they did not ask how we would like the sequence of the food to be served and so on. Instead, we served the pasta, Aglio Olio E Pepperoncin, as our first dish. It was a garlicky pasta. We enjoy the pasta except for my brother-in-law who finds the garlic over-powdering.
At the second dish, the Antipasti was still not served but the Secondi, Pollo Al Mattan, was served. This is a Char-grilled Baby Spring Chicken served with beans and creamy roasted potato dauphinois. Everyone at the dinner table enjoyed this dish. It was absolutely tasty.
By now, we were quite upset about not having the Antipasti, so I asked the waiter to check and serve us the Antipasti Misti. The serving was meant for 2 persons. This was a lovely dish too with nice grilled vegetables and a good mix of cheese and cold cuts.
Lastly, the Pizza Parma Ham e Rocket Salad was served. The entire dish wasn’t as salty as some others. The bread base was thin and cheese was abundant.
Most of us felt that we could have more food, so we added a Carbonara. Most of us in the family doesn’t quite like tomato based pasta so a cream based one would suit the palate of the family. The Carbonara was a little more sweetish than briny. It was rich and lots of chopped bacon were added as toppings.
After all our Mains were completed, we were expecting the service crew to come up to us to ask if we wanted our dessert but this didn’t happen. We chatted for about 10 minutes and were getting inpatient so we tried to get hold of a crew but was in vain. They seems to be only interested to serve the foreigners but to the local they ignored. Only after numerous attempts, a service crew stopped by and we got our Tiramisu finally. It was pretty awesome.
As we made the payment and I started standing up to take my leave. My action was spotted by the restaurant manager and immediately she shouted loudly to her staff to ask if we paid. And this action really offended us. We expected that you check with the staff discretely and not in such a rude manner.
Our dinner ended at about 8.30pm, during our time there for about 2 hours, we observed how the crew treated the patrons and our observation results were consistent among the family members. They treated the foreigners well. They are the one who got the seats first even when they came later, while the local has to wait. We also notice that there were lots of empty seats in the indoor seats but they still make the local without pets waited for seats. It was rather sad and uncalled for.
According to my sister, their service was better previously when it was some other manager helming the restaurant. With a change, the service level declined.
In a nutshell, food was awesome but service sucks. Delish food and acceptable service level should come hand in hand. Either element missing will spoil the entire dinning experience, which in this case, it was the service that does so.
1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre Singapore 259569
Tel: +65 6467 7326
Daily 0730 to 2300
By MRT: Circle line – Botanic Gardens
– alight at Botanic Gardens station along Bukit Timah Road – 48, 66, 67, 151, 153, 154, 156, 170, 171, 186
– alight opp Botanic Gardens station along Dunearn Road – 48, 66, 67, 151, 153, 154, 156, 170, 171, 186
– alight at or opp Gleneagles Hospital along Napier Road 7, 75, 77, 105, 106, 123, 174, 174e