We had dinner at SumoSam in The Block last Friday. Before that, we had only dined at Sumo Sam once, at Trinoma. All I remembered of that visit were the huge ("sumo") servings of ramen and the higher-than-expected prices.
Back to The Block branch. The first thing that made an impression on me upon entering the restaurant were the flies. There were two or three of them buzzing by the table we were about to sit at. They were a turnoff. Bf and I thought of leaving and eating elsewhere, but we felt shy because a staff member was already assisting us and that particular table was far from the exit. Later on, bf would comment about this. He joked that the flies were trying to warn us to get out; we just didn't listen.
We ordered two gyoza soups, a plate of tuna sushi, beef curry plate, watermelon shake, and bottomless iced tea.
Bf hated the beef curry plate since he felt nauseous after eating it. I ate 1/3 of the beef curry and while I'm not a big fan of curry, I didn't think anything was wrong with it. Perhaps it just reacted with the cold and cough medication bf took before dinner. I found the sushi enjoyable and the gyoza soup okay. In short, I'm not complaining about the taste of the food, but the service left much to be desired.
We came in at around 9pm and placed our order by 9:10. We were just slightly hungry then. The drinks arrived soon, no problem. We were expecting the soups to be served next since they were appetizers, but the next one to be served was the sushi. We waited for the soups but since they were taking so long, we just ate the sushi and continued waiting.
There were about nine sets of customers that time. After we arrived, I noticed a party of three came in and sat at the table behind us. Soon, a party of two also arrived and sat at a nearby table. Soon after placing our order, I heard one table follow up their order. Later, the party of three behind us also issued a follow up. Then a party of two also followed up their order. A few minutes after, I noticed that the two parties were already eating.
I got irritated and complained to bf that the people who arrived after us got their orders first. Bf said that maybe it was because we were chatting cheerfully, so the staff first took care of the customers who were close to complaining.
At 10pm (50 minutes after we placed our order), the beef curry plate and one bowl of gyoza soup finally arrived. No apology or explanation why our simple order took ages to be ready. The server looked confused when we told him we ordered two bowls of soup. Thankfully, the other bowl arrived after 5 minutes.
While we were eating, I heard another two sets of customers follow up their orders. Service was slow for everyone, I guess.
So, at least 6 out of 9 tables had to follow up their orders while we were there. The lady sitting behind us not only had to follow up their order, but also had to ask for utensils, as well as follow up the doggie bag.
We paid our P1100+ bill with a heavy heart.
Since I'm ranting already, I might as well maximize the opportunity. Lulubus-lubusin ko na.
What is up with SumoSam's glasses and bowls? They are ridiculously sized. Is this resto trying to induce a sort of Alice in Wonderland syndrome?
Exhibit A: Bottomless iced tea was served using this glass.
The glass was 4" high and tapered at the bottom. The straw stuck out comically since it was three times the height of the glass. For a restaurant that charges high prices and starves their customers before serving their food, one would expect to somehow be distracted by unlimited drinks. Not so. The glass was not even immediately refilled. We still had to call the attention of a server to ask for refills. Is Sumo Sam tricking their customers into thinking that they've already drank too much unlimited iced tea or psychologically shaming them from asking for another refill? I hope not. I browsed through their Facebook pictures and saw normal-sized drinking glasses in their other branches, like in this picture.
Exhibit B: The gyoza soup was served in a big, deep bowl. It looked like this:
In case it's not obvious, the big bowl was only half full. If you're a pessimist, you can say it was half-empty. I didn't mind the serving size, but putting it in such a big bowl was ridiculous. No, the deep bowl did not make the soup look more plentiful. It just made eating the soup awkward.
And another what is up...with the uniform of the female staff? The guys are well-covered, dressed in black shirt and pants, with funky hairstyles. The girls wear very short, tight skirts, like this one. I'm not trying to be a prude, but I expected SumoSam would be above showing skin to attract customers. While we were there, a male staff member slipped (fortunately he did not fall). If a female staff slips and falls, it is potentially much more embarrassing.
The Sumo Sam at The Block is still new. (We were actually surprised to see that branch, since the last time we were at The Block that particular space was still occupied by Astroplus. I'm not sure when this SumoSam branch opened, but it must be recently.) It must still be undergoing growing pains. We won't be coming back anytime soon. Hopefully, by the time we come back (if ever), this resto's operations would be much smoother.
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Sumo Sam2/F SM North EDSA - The Block
Quezon City, Metro Manila