As the saying goes, though, "the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go awry," and the chink in this otherwise joyous celebration comes at the hands of the venue that my friends unfortunately chose for their son's dedication. The disastrous choice: Nobu Grill and Bar at the Blue Wave entertainment center along Macapagal Avenue. My friends reserved the entire second floor of the Nobu Grill and Bar, at Php299 a head, I assume. They had reserved for 80 guests; because of inclement weather, only around 60 arrived.
Nobu Blue Wave Macapagal is a grill and hotpot restaurant that opened July 2 at Blue Wave Macapagal. It affords diners the chance to cook four types of cuisine: Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Brazilian BBQ. Since it's a virtually brand-new place - less than two months in operation, and there's a sign on its large display window that says it's still in "soft opening mode" - there are certain things we may have to forgive them, but in general, here is how I feel about Blue Wave's Nobu Grill Bar:
- Food is unremarkable. We are supposed to cook the food ourselves, but given the nature of the party, we were served pre-cooked food, and the food was forgettable. From the sweetish yet overpoweringly spicy kimchi - we know kimchi, and Nobu's kimchi will rank somewhere near the bottom of our list - to the strangely tough samgyupsal, from the chewy deep fried meat - was it gizzard? chicken? pork? to date, it was still a mystery - to the disturbingly bland hotpot stew, no viand - NOT ONE! - was memorable for its flavor, taste, texture, and appearance.
- Service was appalling. The ground floor wasn't particularly full, and the restaurant is largely self-service, so the fact that we had perhaps three waiters for our party of 60 was, in my opinion, oddly disturbing. Guess what? The entire duration of our meal, my refillable iced tea was refilled... once. The remaining four to five refills? I got up and refilled them myself from the three to four pitchers that stood ignored on a bartop counter at the far end of the room. It took a while after all pitchers were empty before waiters came to refill them.
- Where were the grills? There was a significantly large display of fresh vegetables and seafoods waiting to be cooked on the portable grills or hotpot ovens that were in grand display on the ground floor. However, we on the second floor did not get enough grills. I counted three tables, mine among them, that did not get grills. My wife asked for one several times; none arrived. No grills, no food! I wonder what my friends did with all the leftover vegetables to which she was entitled (because they paid for them); they obviously weren't cooked that night.
- The air-conditioning was broken. In a way, I guess it was a blessing that we didn't have grills, because it was HOT. Hot and humid because it was raining outside. My poor friends! My poor inaanak, who had to take off his adorable blue cheongsam because of the inclement weather and uncomfortable temperature!
- It was tight. The tables were cramped so close together that it was difficult to move around. Not necessarily the fault of the restaurant, but if you know you can't comfortable seat 80 - we were only 60, what if the full 80 came? - you need to tell your clients so.
I'm listening to: Third Day, Lift Up Your Face