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Spize The Makan Place, Singapore City

2.0 stars

Reviews

Slow service, cramped conditions, long wait, bad food, laughable prices. Give this place a complete miss.

 stars
Summary

Slow and inattentive service, cramped conditions, long waiting time, bad food, weak beverages, laughable prices. Give this place a complete miss. Review was undertaken in the first week of March 2010.

Service

Service was slow, indifferent and inattentive. We stood around for several minutes and not a single server offered us a seat or a menu. We were standing in full view of the manager at the counter. We finally seated ourselves. This indifference and inattentiveness was not limited to us. During our time there, several other parties were left to mill around and wait. The result was that we had a very noisy dinner, with people standing around us, yakking at the top of their voices while waiting for service.

After our orders were placed, the food took forever to arrive. When the food finally arrived, one dish was served way ahead of the other. So much so, that when the second dish arrived, the first dish had already been consumed.

Service was very poor. There has been much recent media attention on poor service standards and this place reflects that. Orders were taken without any greetings or smiles. It was very hard to get anyone's attention to get seated and during dining (for supplementary requests). No apologies were given for the looooong waiting times.

Layout

Seating conditions were cramped. Tables in the interior dining area were placed too close together, giving a claustrophobic feel. Tables in the outdoor eating area were lined up by the side of the road. Diners in the outdoor area have to contend with inconsiderate motorists who illegally park by the kerb, spewing out their petrol fumes while you eat. This outdoor seating arrangement -- being so close to the road -- was also not safe. All it takes is for one errant motorist to plough into the seating area, to cause multiple casualties.

There were also tables placed at the entrance to the restaurant, along the pavement (what we traditionally call the "five-foot way"). This gave the place a very cluttered feel, with not enough space for patrons and employees to move about freely.

Food

All our food items were miserable. The Penang char kway teow had one or two tiny pieces of shrimp, and one or two pieces of shrunken cockles. The fried rice with salted fish (nasi goreng ikan massin) was excessively salty. Yes, while this is fried rice with salted fish, the entire dish was still so salty that it made you wince, instinctively closing your eyes shut and tightening your lips at the taste. The teh si peng (iced tea with evaporated milk) was so weak it tasted like diluted milky water. There was no hint of tea in the drink. We requested that some actual tea be added to the (alleged) glass of tea.

We asked for sambal belachan as a condiment. The sambal belachan was even saltier than the fried rice with salted fish. How is this possible? How does a Singaporean eating place serving local food get sambal belachan so awfully wrong? Sambal belachan is the litmus test, the watermark of acceptable culinary standards. This is especially so for establishments that serve Malay food. We asked for two extra pieces of lime, and squeezed out the juice onto the sambal belachan and mixed it in. Even that could not mask the high sodium content.

Prices

Value for money is absolutely zero. A sample of prices from the menu (link included):
http://www.spizeconcepts.com/mpmenu.htm

The grilled BBQ stingray is $12/$18! (small/large). The steaks are $15! The fried chicken cutlet is $10.50! The burgers are $7! The tom yum prawn soup is $12! The baby kailan is $9! The hotplate tofu is $14! The pineapple rice is $9! The murtabak is $8.50! (All those exclamation marks are intentional.)

And this is essentially a glorified coffeeshop by the side of the road. Even in good times, it would be hard to justify such ridiculous prices for coffeeshop food, let alone during such bad recessionary times.

Why is it that halal-certified eateries get to charge such high prices, serve substandard food, and get away with it? Is it because they know that once they get halal-certified, they are assured of a captive audience? Do halal-certified eateries pass on the costs of halal-certification to their customers? Where else can halal diners go? After all, eating at other places is not an option. Halal diners deserve better.

Location

Located along River Valley Road, in a cluster of other eateries. The location is just about the only reason why this place has any customers (the other being halal certification). For much better food at reasonable prices, amble along to the other eateries along the same stretch.

Conclusion

Slow and inattentive service, cramped conditions, long waiting time, bad food, weak beverages, laughable prices. Looking at the other bad reviews that this place has received, it is unlikely that standards will improve soon. One diner on hungrygowhere.com called it "horrid", another group said that it was their "worst experience ever", while another diner said that he had multiple bad experiences there. All have invariably complained of bad food, poor service bordering on violence, and high prices. Management apologises but these are generic responses rather than any real, sincere attempt to address recurring issues. There seems to be no noticeable improvements made to food quality, price levels, or service standards.

Singaporeans will pay -- and do pay -- for good food. But bad food at exorbitant prices with terrible service is a recipe for disaster. Give this place a complete miss.
[more ]

korean kimchi soup/ japanese salmon intriguing

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At a small corner in hougang blk 683 there is a stall selling kimchi soup , korean beef and japanese salmon. It's always a sell out so go early. [more ]

Mediterranean Foodplace

 stars
Wouldn't recommend this place when there are better restaurants and better food. The place is like a kopitiam only more expensive food cause Simpang Bedok is a food haven. Spize is just infront next to the streets. If you google map it, it is quite easy to get there. Then you can continue your journey after that to Ubin or something.
Anyway, I tried the Black pepper crayfish...not that nice and not worth your money, pretty sorry for my friend's birthday surprise cause he loves crayfish only when we ate it, it's not so nice...kinda expect the filling to be more and should be more soft and succulent. But instead we could not taste the meat but all the black peper sauce splat on the dish.
The kampong fried rice ws not bad. My friend ordered the Omelette fried rice and asked for no chillies but it turned out too spicy for her that she exchanged with her friend. The price overall was very pricey for us all and I would not recommend to come to this place unless you don't mind the price and taste I've just described [more ]

The After Party

 stars
Everyone knows that Zouk and Ministry of Sound (MOS) are the places to be for a taste of the Singapore clubbing scene. But what do you after? The typical practice for clubbers in Singapore is head to Spize for supper. Located along River Valley Road, you get to enjoy local food to end off your partying experience. It may be crowded, but they usually manage to arrange seats for you, (even if it’s on the walkway). You can take your time with your food; Spize closes at six in the morning and opens at six in the evening. [more ]


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