Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Tampopo Deli Lie/Liar. Tsk tsk.

Been crazy busy lately with lotsa stuff happening at different fronts no time to really sit and blog but I just had to share this experience with you.

Tampopo Deli @ Liang Court was featured in Urban two weeks back, which was interesting as C and myself checked out the place the week before, upon recommendations from P and T who worked in the area. The time we dropped by it was late so their famous cream puffs were sold out. Was in the area again the Sat after the Urban article came out which explicitly stated that reservations for the cream puffs are taken. Therefore I placed a call that morning before I went down, only to be told that reservations are NOT taken and that we had to go down to try our luck.

Playing by the rules, I went down to the deli and was informed that the cream puffs were sold out. I was kinda bummed out but well, they are just cream puffs and I was trying my luck. Just as I was about to leave though, I remembered the reservations bit mentioned in the Urban article and did an about turn to inform them of potential other customers like myself and also to clarify about the reservations bit.

It was then when things got interesting.

Me: Excuse me, I read in the newspapers that customers are able to reserve and if this wasn't the case you might want to inform your customers as well as the newspaper that this isn't so.

Staff (a Japanese lady): Oh, we do not read the newspapers. We do not take reservations for the cream puffs. We make and sell as and when.

Me (curiosity piqued): Oh, so you make several batches a day? When is your next batch coming out? I'll be around the area anyway, I can come down later.

Staff: Oh I'm not sure, I do not think there will be anymore today. Our oven can bake up to 18 at one go.

Me: Oh, can I leave my number here for that batch then?

Staff: No you can't. (Looks at the room beside the counter where the bakers are - a female baker came out to see what was going on.)

Baker: Yes may I help you?

Me: Yes I was wondering if you can tell me when the next batch of cream puffs will be ready.

Baker: Oh there will not be anymore cream puffs today.

Me: You mean you have stopped making them for the day?

Baker: Oh no, we have a reservation for 100 cream puffs so we do not have any cream puffs today.

Me(gave the staff a quizzical look): But I thought you guys do not take reservations?

Staff(interjecting quickly): That reservation came in 3 weeks ago, we still take reservations then.

*But I did not mention when the newspaper article in Urban was published.*

Baker (sensing something was amiss from the look I was giving them): We do take reservations from Mon-Fri. Just not over the weekends.

Me: So we call beforehand to place our reservations?

Baker: No, you come down and make your reservation and then maybe you walk around and come back later to collect.

Me: I see.

Baker: Maybe you can come down tomorrow to make your reservation?

Me: This is not necessary, I won't be coming down at all.



To climb on my moral high horse, I can't fathom why the staff needed to lie to begin with? To increase the exclusivity of the cream puffs? And she looked so embarrassed when her lie crumbled before her and when I gave her that look. And what's the point of making reservations when you have to go down to make them? And lying about the newspaper? I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt there but seriously?! *gets off her moral high horse* On a more serious note though, as a customer, I think that being lied to is worse than telling me you've ran out of cream puffs for the day - combine the two and you have a killer combination for a bad reputation.

No matter the light and fluffy cream puffs, I left Tampopo Deli with a bad taste in my mouth.

Moral of the story: What's worse than the act of lying? A bad liar.

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