We entered the premises to find a smoky haze filling the compact space, and were then informed of a thirty minute wait. The tables were tightly packed within the space, giving way to food fumes and noise pollution.
"That's it. My knit cardigan is going into wash. My hair will need to be washed again." I thought, as we hovered about the waiting area.
Some twenty-ish minutes later, the middle-aged hostess guided us towards our table, an undeniably cramped two-seater with peeled faux leather chairs, a sauce-stained median on one side, and a splendid view of the kitchen/dining floor access swing door. Mind you, the fumes and noise levels only intensified.
The single earring-donning server declared that it would be possible to have gravy served on the side instead of poured atop the Mashed Potatoes, though less probable with the Caesar Salad, given that "the restaurant is very busy", implying pre-tossed batches of semi-wilted lettuce.
I had taken the opportunity to obtain details on their mocktail assortment, in particular the Salt and Pepper Lime Soda. At seeing his dodgy responses, I pressed for clarity. "Which one is safe? Which one is popular?"
"Yes, so you will see many tables have these colourful drinks. All of our drinks are made in house." He rambled on. "All of our drinks are safe, ma'am."
As he continued to repeat names such as "Mango Mint (Classic)", "Mint Lime (Margarita)", and "Blue Lagoon (Lemonade)", I interrupted his fast-paced narrative with a "Mint Lime! I'll take that one."
"The Mint Lime Margarita? Okay, I'll put that down." His words were jumbly and hard to decipher, as if simultaneously hurrying and attempting an anxious rap.
"And I'll put down a Blue Lagoon for you, alright?" He faced the sleepy polar bear with a businessman grin.
"Uh no, water is fine."
"Alright. And that's it?"
We nodded, just glad for him to depart. Making sense of his speech was already tragic enough in consideration of the loud atmosphere.
The potential for third-degree burns was tremendous, constituting the most severe of safety hazard witnessed thus far in a restaurant setting.
The Mint Lime Margarita arrived shortly afterwards, following my quick reminder. It was sweet, barely icy, and even a tad salty - similar to electrolyte-filled drinks like Gatorade or Pocari Sweat. That said, neither of us found it particularly enjoyable.
Only one of two water glasses arrived: the cold water was promptly forgotten and never received. We didn't bother reminding the server though, for our focus had shifted towards the steaks before us. It was of imminent importance to devise methods of sharing the meat without accidentally scorching ourselves.
In contrast to the Medium/Medium-Rare profile of my Tenderloin, the Ribeye was, frankly, quite rare. The sleepy polar bear opted to continue cooking slices of the meat on the hot plate, then chewing patiently to sever tendons and digest dry edges.
We agreed on the crispy fries being the winner of the sides. Excessively oily were the grilled veggies, while excessively saucy the Caesar greens. The mashed potatoes were passable, if skipping the thin, congealed potion of murky, supposed gravy.
Service was exceptionally quick and quite amicable, as far as the waitresses' responses. The washrooms were maintained to a minimal degree, with paper towels strewn about the floor and griminess about the sink.
It seemed only fitting to finish a meal of teetering seasonings (ahem, msg!) with chocolate for dessert.