Thursday, July 19, 2012

Customer Service - A Surprise

If you've lived in Cairo for a significant period of time you'll know that coming across decent customer service is as impossible as finding the holy grail.. so today when I actually had the luck to experience a great dining experience I decided to write about it, especially that around a year ago I blogged about a horrible customer service experience here in Cairo so it only seemed fair to balance things out.

The name of the restaurant is Tamara Bistro... it's Lebanese and you can find it at City Stars, ground floor, right by the Golden Stars Cinema.

Without delving into details about the ambience, music, setting and so on an so forth.. I will focus on the issue at hand.. Customer Service.

My mother and I ordered the Chicken Fatteh - a traditional levantine dish made of chicken, yogurt, garlic, cutout bits of toasted bread and chickpeas. 

Unlike the Egyptian Fatteh the Levantine Fatteh does not have rice in it's ingredients so being a firm believer in Arab nationalism and unity I ordered a side dish of rice in order to enjoy the best of both worlds.

But as soon as the food was served by the very pleasant waiter, I was shocked. Hands down it was the worst Fatteh I ever had. It was more like soup than it was Fatteh.. the chicken bits and the bread were swimming in a sea of what I assume was chicken broth?! What was supposed to be crunchy toasted bits of bread was instead soggy gooey bits of yuck... However I was so darn hungry I ate all of it without a complaint... 

Until half way through the meal when I decided to give the waiter a heads up.. Like the true Egyptian he is, he argued for a bit, telling us this is how Levantine Fettah is and that it's just us who are used to the Egyptian way of cooking it.. I politely explained that this wasn't the 1st time I eat Levantine Fettah and that this soupish mix of yogurt, chicken and bread had nothing to do with it... He apologized and offered to change our dishes but we were almost done and full so we thanked him anyway.

As soon as we ordered the check we found out that they had gave us a 10% discount as an apology for the dissatisfaction their food caused us... and that's not all of it.. they also gave us complimentary dessert.. a Lebanese dessert called "Ghazzel Beirut" ... It was so heavenly delicious I can't even explain how good it was.. 

I was just stunned!! So unused to this sort of treatment in Cairo restaurants where there is absolutely zero sense of the concept of "The customer is always right"!!!

I sincerely hope that this extremely strange (by Egyptian standards) yet classy and customer friendly behavior continues to be the trend at Tamara Bistro. I would hate to find out a few months from now that this was only the pleasantry accompanying the new opening of their restaurant and wanting to make a good impression... Because I will blog about it then too!

                                Ghazzel Beirut - Lebanese Dessert @ Tamara Bistro

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