I was actually was quite interested in the temptation of trying out a blindfolded fine dining dinner that was being offered by Living Social Malaysia. It was a pretty good deal as I would be chauffeured driven to the location which would be at Setia Walk Mall and back.
Now at first glance the deal seems super awesome, and I did not give any second thought and just went with it.
Now since I was able to bring a partner along with me, I decided that why not make it easier for Uber to fetch my partner and I from one location and of course we did that making it easier for everyone I suppose (not for me maybe).
Son on that day, which falls on a Friday, you can expect horrendous traffic and of course terrible drivers on the road. So my partner and myself decided that we called Uber earlier so that we could probably arrive at the restaurant on time or early. So we did, and the we were amazed by the accuracy of the estimated arrival time for the driver to arrive and fetch us.
True enough, he was on time and on the dot. The driver was certainly polite and nice but throughout the journey he was pretty quiet and so were we.
Since it was the Friday traffic, the driver did ask as to how to go to the location (this would be my own fault thinking that the Uber drivers would be familiar with the roads or at best use Waze to navigate around), but I left it to his discretion. Now the journey itself took close to 75 minutes and he had taken routes that I would have avoided at all cost on that day (it cost us an additional 15-25 mins being stuck in a jam that could have been avoided) and of course he did get a little lost half way through. This made me less confident about the drivers ability to navigate around KL for that matter.
As we arrived nearby the location, he was also uncertain as to where we should be dropped off, luckily he was able to find a place to drop us off. And off we went searching for the restaurant (which would be very elusive for those who are not familiar with Setia Walk Mall or that particular area), and luckily I had been there before and was able to find the place without much difficulty.
As we arrived, there were a number of restaurants and we were searching around for Elizabeth Fine Dining only to go one round to find it later on. Of course there were some papers to fill up and there were Living Social staff helping with the registrations and what not. Check out some of the photos below.
Now this began as we are all seated outside Elizabeth Fine Dining when we are told to wear our blindfolds on our own (at this point, I must have tied it on a little too tight, reasons later), and we would later be guided to our tables by our guides. Of course it was tricky to be lead while blindfolded putting your trust on someone whom you never met or have no idea who they are.
Sure enough that beginning part was pretty nice as it felt as though they had everything under control. Next I was guided to my table with the help of the waiter and of course my partner was guided to be seated opposite me. From here on out, we were asked to feel the table and the cutleries on the table. Of course it took awhile to getting used to.
We were then served with warm water to quench our thirst which was followed by a request of our drinks for the night, juice or wine. Of course my partner and I chose to have wine instead. The wine served was somewhere closer to room temperature without the usual note of spiciness in the wines I had in the past.
We were then served with the entries, a canapé which was more like mini tuna sandwich with a side of soft potatoes, if I was not mistaken. I was having difficulty in eating it with the cutleries and decided to dive in with my hands instead (not really a way to enjoy fine dining food now, is it?).
This was followed by a Caesar Salad. Now I was taken aback by how salty this dish was, especially since I was not able to combine the various elements that were on the dish. And If I might add, there were some seafood inside, including prawn and clams (they should have taken into account that there might be people who are allergic to seafood and warn the patrons in advance), and of course, the seafood on its own were pretty bland. The only thing that I find pleasurable from this dish was the crouton. It fits my taste of having it really nice and crunchy. I ate most of this dish after mixing around with the sauce and the soft boiled egg that I felt with my hand.
By this time I was pretty much hungry as fuck and was wanting more. So onto the next dish. Of course, the waiters do not inform the patrons and myself about the dish that was being served. True enough, there were some issues for the next dish for me because it was salmon tartar. Now don’t get me wrong, it would be a nice dish for people who likes and appreciate salmon, but for me who has tasted salmon before, all I gotta say, I made a big mistake of putting it all onto a single spoon serving and stuffing it down my mouth (I was hungry and wanted to gorged down on this), but as soon as it hits my tongue, I quickly knew what it was, and after much coaxing to my brain, I could no longer chew on this and spat it all out.
I almost wanted to puked everything I had eaten so far, and I had to quickly down the water with a few sips of the wine to clear my mouth of the foul taste (one man’s meat is another man’s poison). Luckily I did not puke at all, or it would have been a horrible experience.
Now, luckily the next dish wasn’t far behind with a soup being served. But it was not a soup that I would like to eat, as it was a chilled strawberry and orange soup (tasted a whole lot like watered down yogurt). What made it worse, despite having my stomach grumble from the lack of food, was that this soup was very sweet, to a point that I could not finish it. Really it was too damn sweet and too damn cold for my liking.
After much calculation with my partner and speculation, the main dish is to be served. This was what I was waiting the entire night for. Now this took awhile to be served to everyone and it was a whole lot of chatter around us with me having a good chat with my partner as well, but I can’t help but wonder is the waiter or waitress eavesdropping on us. In fact, I could really hear well the conversation that was happening to the left of me.
It was also at this point of time that my eyes were hurting pretty bad and were watering up. As I had said earlier, I might have accidentally tied the blindfolds a little too tight. This is really a cause for concern for any future events to be done with blindfolds.
Then I heard the dishes were being served, and I was waiting for my food as well. Truly I was waiting for my food. Now the table next to me was served because I could hear them talking about their fish dish and their chicken dish. It wasn’t long before my partner was served with her fish dish. Of course she was a slow eater, and I could hear the next table finishing their food while my partner was also finishing hers.
Now my food has not been served and I had asked the waiter a couple of times where my food was. I was FUCKING STARVING yet they still couldn’t serve me my main course? As my partner was finishing up her food, only then my food arrived and by this time despite my anger for the late food, I just stuffed myself with the chicken, despite having a whole lot of difficulty in cutting the chicken up to feed myself. I was literally eating as fast as I could and I think I only took a fraction of the time they had taken to serve me my food to finish my food.
Now this is where it got bad, as I just put the last piece (apparently it was the last piece because I could not see if the plate was empty or not), the waiter asked if he could clear my plate, and without me saying anything, cause my mouth was full with the chicken, he took my plate away. I was dumbfounded by this act. Not only my food was served late, it was taken away before I could finish (I think I finished it, or maybe I didn’t). I was pretty much furious.
Here is a glimpse of the main course.
Of course my partner came to calm me down, which she succeeded and soon the dessert was served. In fact, I did not know that my partner and I would be served with different dessert until we exchanged our desserts with each other. I was initially served with the tiramisu while my partner was served with the pannacotta. After the initial few bites, we switched and I had to finish the extremely sweet pannacotta with the more subtle tiramisu. My partner favoured the tiramisu and I have to agree with her.
Now this was the end of the event of the night, as the itinerary had initially stated, it should have ended at 10pm, only to my horror, that the event finished slightly after 11. But as we undid our blindfolds, we were surprised with a packet of Hershey Kisses and a thank you note from Living Social.
At this point of time, my eyesight were blurry and it continued to be so for another 15 minutes (really is a concern for any events that requires the wearing of blindfolds over long period of time). Of course we continued on taking a few pictures and soon, it was time to head back.
Now here is the other horror began. As my partner and I had used Uber to reach to Setia Walk Mall, we had no other choice but to use it again to get back home, BUT~!!!! There was no Uber cars in the vicinity. What more there was another who shared the same fate as us. So we tried with our smartphones to get a hold of the Uber car, but it was to no avail.
I had to call in to the Living Social person in charge and get help to get it sorted. She said she would call up Uber HQ to get cars to come to fetch us. By now 30 minutes had gone by in us attempting to get a car, and this action was draining the battery life of our smartphones. I swore that I had press search for Uber at least a 100 times by then.
As I tried, finally I got hold of one, who seemed to be located at Midvalley area (yes you can track where the Uber car is), at first my trip was accepted by this driver, only to be cancelled barely 2 minutes later. After that, the other person who shared the same fate as us gotten a response and gotten a hold of a driver too. It was that same exact driver who had cancelled my trip earlier. He called in to confirm her location and he confirms her trip on Uber. It was a long 40 minutes, give or take wait for him to arrive.
As agreed between all of us, we would all get into this Uber and get him to fetch us back to my place, which I would then send back the other person and my partner back home. And that we did, and I was simply furious at Uber at that point of time. I only got home close to 2am and only slept at almost 2.30am after a nice hot shower.
Now during the trip back to my place, we got to know that Uber does not have the capacity to accommodate everyone who would take Uber for this Living Social event (that would an estimate of 40 people) because in the Uber fleet, they only have 15 cars/drivers, and only 8 (eight) would be available on each shift. This really should have been a cause for concern for Living Social if they were to have such an event that is suppose to accommodate that many people.
Overall, if you want to go fine dining, please do it without being blindfolded, because to me, fine dining requires all senses to be excited, that includes the senses of sight.
Here is a link to the deal that is linked to my experience above.
I hope that Living Social (if they ever plan to do this again) would take into consideration the eating preference and of course any allergy that the participants might have and for them to confirm that Uber would be able to accommodate with the number of people that they would propose for a particular deal. And for Elizabeth Fine Dine, they really need to buck up on their food.
Other than that, a point that my partner made was that it made all of us who were at the dinner to really concentrate on our partner and have a conversation and not face our phones as how the current culture is turning into.
Now thats it from me now, albeit the long post, ciao.
(all pictures are courtesy of Living Social)