Worst service ever : Tempura Japanese Grill

Tempura shithole

I’ve eaten twice in this resto before, and I don’t know what happened along the way. It’s rare that i RANT, but when I do, my Kamote Award for Worst Service and Sanitation by a restaurant chain goes to ….. Tempura Japanese Grill.

How else do you explain being an office worker on a one-hour lunch break, and 35 minutes later, your order still hasn’t arrived? We ate at their United Nations Avenue branch, and I had to beg for a glass of water just to quench my thirst while waiting. In the meantime, I had to use their toilet which was strewn with used tissue toilet paper (!!!) by the entrance door. And upon entering, there was a small container for used tissues which was sitting on top of the toilet bowl where the water receptacle for flushing was. EWWEEE!

The waiter told me it takes 15 minutes for food orders to be delivered, and I reminded him that it was definitely past that already. After 35 minutes, he comes marching in with a plate of gyoza that was submerged in oil. I told him it certainly looks “very oily” and we were leaving, never mind the fact that there was no sign of our other orders arriving.

The (mis)manager, a certain Kim, told moi, there was a “computer error” in the processing of food orders, hence the delay. Computer error kaya, o hindi lang kayo marunong gumamit ng computer? Ano naman ang koneksyon ng kompyuter kung ilang hakbang lang ang layo ng kusina? (what does it matter if the kitchen is just a couple of steps away?)

The husband can only grumble in silence: “Exactly, how does that explain their service? I’m fairly sure my waiter was human, not some hybrid, like Schwarzenegger in ‘Terminator.’ It wasn’t like Rosie from the Jetsons was moonlighting there. Sheesh.”

I told an officemate about my predicament, and she agreed. It took them 30 minutes to give her the final bill the last time she dined there, and it wasn’t even a busy hour.

What pretensions do these people have of running a professional, full-service restaurant?

Some useful reviews from MunchPunch :

Tempura Japanese Grill Alabang Town Center :

“My friends and I decided to have dinner here one Saturday evening and we were completely appalled by the service! Though our orders were taken promptly, our food arrived much much later (we waited for more than forty minutes!!). I have never been so frustrated with the service of a restaurant. ”

“According to my companions, the comfort room was icky.”

Tempura Japanese Grill Tomas Morato :

“Food is nothing special, and the service is atrocious. Best to pass on this one.”

Verdict: Eat at your own risk. Tempura is the sister resto of Holy Cow! and Flavours of China and we now have to remind ourselves not to eat in any of them. Duh.

If the restaurant’s CR is yucky, you can just imagine how the kitchen looks like and what the hell they do with that yummy food yer supposed to be eating. Nuff said.

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12 comments

  1. John says:

    When I read your post, I mistook Tempura for Kimpura! I’ve gone to Kimpura at Greenhills many times over the years and your post didn’t calculate for me because I can only say good things about Kimpura (although I’m sure they are pricier!) – until I realized I had the wrong restaurant! So in the end, I cannot really comment on Tempura since I’ve never been there. Hopefully the service issue was a one time glitch. However, it goes to show that one often has only one chance to impress. Have you tried Teriyaki Boy? I went for the first time last week at the Katipunan branch. It was pretty good. Good service and clean.

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  2. ajay says:

    Hi John. Am now more wary of eating in “fastfood” Japanese restos… I’d rather eat in full-scale dining places, like Kimpura :D My impression of Tempura is that they don’t adhere to any standards of cleanliness and service, or maybe they just need to set their house in order, judging from the negative reviews all over

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  3. docgelo says:

    this is such a bad experience. i have only dined once in their tomas morato branch but thankfully, i had no hassle then…. i think regardless of the type of food place- whether upscale or fastfood, service, cleanliness and taste should not be compromised.

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  4. vinnie says:

    I haven’t eaten at tempura since they newly opened a few years back. I thought they’re food was pretty bad compared to Teriyaki boy at Morato at the time. I don’t recall them taking a really long time to serve. Lately, I have tried Holy Cow a couple times, and it takes them an average of 30 minutes to serve. The food was ok. I just found out recently that these 2 restaurants are sister companies.

    Besides the late service, I have been hearing bad things about the owners of the Tempura group of restaurants. These people have been serving us for a number of years now and have earned a lot from us since they keep expanding. So what kind of bad things do I know of them? They are very cocky and mean to others. This includes the blue collared people out there, working class and middle class people like us which also happen to be the reason of their success. The owners are known for confronting people just for getting in their way. They think of themselves above others and treat others like crap. Knowing that Tempura, Holy Cow and Flavors of China are all under 1 group of owners, I will definitely stop eating at these restaurants.
    I hope you all will think twice before eating at these restaurants. Besides bad service, bad hygiene, there’s also a really bad personality behind it all.

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  5. hanna says:

    I agree with you. I’ve eaten at their branches in ATC and Mall of Asia and they were both equally slow in serving our orders. One time in ATC, our coffee jelly order arrived swimming in its nonexistent whipped cream. Add to that the fact that our main dish arrived waaaaay before the appetizer.

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  6. foodnetwork2010 says:

    I agree, Few years back their food and service are worst than ever but they changed now. Food and Service are okay now. Their Holy Cow and Flavors of China are better restaurants. Affordable and staff are friendly. In know somebody there in HR but I think she resigned already. May reservation pa kami nun. Like Vinnie said, the owners of these restaurants have bad attitude. Para daw kc magnanakaw ang tingin sa tao nila and grabe management politics particularly daw iyong mga lumang employees. I hope they change now for the betterment of their company.

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  7. tino says:

    I also agree with your observation regarding the service of tempura.

    We ate at Tempura Trinoma Branch and found out that there was a long strand of HAIR inside our order of their seafood stew on a sizzling plate(I forgot what it is called :-). We informed the waiter of what we found and he promptly brought it to the kitchen. When it was time to pay, we asked them to remove that particular order from the bill. What the waiter did was bring the dish back to us from their kitchen and accused us that we intentionally planted the hair on their dish.

    If you are concerned about the cleanliness of what your eating, I suggest that you try to avoid eating at Tempura Trinoma Branch.

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  8. Noel D. Bauno says:

    thanks for all of your comments guys, now i feel so very much excited to be part of this restaurant, this i a very much exciting challenge to me to make your expectations more positive. i will be your waiter(server) soon. i will do my best to give you a good, fast, relaxing and comfortable service as possible. i hope i will be given a chance to be part of them soon. before anything else happen.. hehehe

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  9. J. Sy says:

    We went to Alabang Town Center on December 20 2011, someone suggested a Japanese resto but 2 of us with bad experiences vetoed it. Ironic it is, we ended up in Tempura grill which at one time in their U.N. branch I had a bad experience.

    Their promo is PhP499/pax All You can eat ala carte with limited menu, not buffet and drinks and desserts not included. from monday to friday. It was a tuesday. We were having our Holiday get together and some of us came all the way from Manila and Laguna.

    We entered around 12:45, the place is around a quarter filled. We choose a table but smelled odor coming from probably the toilet so we transferred. But had to transfer again because of leaking aircon until we settled on one still with dishes left over. The crew came and took the leftovers but never came back to wipe the table. We had to do it ourselves with tissue.

    It took more than 20 minutes before we were served softdrink at P70 per person, they said it’;s refillable but that would be the single one for the entire 3 hour stay of ours.

    Food didn’t come until 45 minutes or later. and we had to request for plates, spoon and fork. 1 kani salad,, long pause, then 1 mix maki, long pause, then 1 mix sashimi.

    After a while came an order of Teppan tofu.

    After another long wait, came a 5 pc and an 8 pc Ebi Tempura. by this time we’re already pissed off as we saw customers in ala-carte dining who came after us has already been served, dined and started paying their bills.

    It is now more than 2 hours since we set foot in this resto and ticked off our orders and they served us only those mentioned above which is less than 25% of our orders.

    To enjoy the tempura, we had to ask for the tempura sauce. after several attempt at getting the attention of the crew, it was already obvious we were being given the cold shoulder as 1 crew after asked twice would repeatedly leave us then go on to do stupid tasks like taking menu off an empty table and rearranging them somewhere else.

    After than, I’ve had it. I scolded the crew and ask to talk to the manager which I have not seen all these time. Another group sitting near us then told us they were experiencing the same thing since they entered at 12noon.

    the manager came and offered an apology and explained they’re having problems in the kitchen. It was an unacceptable explanation considering the following:
    1. it doesn’t explain why it took them more than 20 minutes to serve our drinks
    2. 45 minutes to serve those that came from the sushi bar and not the kitchen
    3. it had nothing to do with us having to wipe the table clean ourselves
    4. it had nothing to do with us having to ask for the table to be set
    5. it had nothing to do with how we’re being ignored the whole time when they have enough crew members
    6. it cannot explain the coincidence why another set of customers in the ‘all-you-can-eat’ promo received the same treatment.
    7.it certainly cannot explain why ala-carte customers where being served.
    8. that if they have problem with the kitchen, then why were they still taking in customers?!

    The entire thing was intentional. It was a scam, getting people to pay for that price and do everything they can to serve as little as they can.

    The manager offered to let us have what we have eaten for free. I told her we can afford to pay and we will pay what we have eaten. I’m not raising a howl to get free meal, we came in to dine at our own expense, to enjoy our day. Dining is not just the food, it is service, it is an experience and this is one god dammed horrible experience. Our day and appetite ruined.

    For 3 hours, 5 of us who were supposed to shelve out P499 + PhP70 each got only 1 kani salad, 1 mix sashimi (around 11 pieces), 1 mix maki (12 pcs), 1 teppan (8 pcs) and 5pcs of ebi tempura.

    We paid the ala-carte equivalent price of the dishes and that’s PhP1,015 for those dishes, bad service and a ruined holiday get together.

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