Monday, December 31, 2012

Disappointed at SumoSam @ SM North The Block

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.

Sumo Sam SumoSam bottomless iced tea

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:

Sumo Sam SumoSam gyoza soup

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.



Sumo Sam

2/F SM North EDSA - The Block
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Philippines
Web site
Facebook page


8 comments:

  1. Super mahal sa Sumo Sam. Unfortunately, it is not worth it as their food is not that great, ordinary lang. Talagang you will pay with a heavy heart...Mommy Marie

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  2. Nung sa ABS branch dati, ok naman. Tall glass naman nila sinerve yung iced tea. I hope the staff will be trained since they're located inside the mall and plenty of diners will be there.

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  3. My parents and I enjoy Sumo Sam's fares immensely - but that's probably because we usually eat at the Trinoma branch. Never really got to see the SM City one - didn't even know it existed before this review. Thanks so much for the feedback. Looks like we're not gonna dine there anytime soon. Or ever. Ugh. Flies and crappy service? Really? Double ugh. >_<

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  4. i just ate at sumo sam at gateway mall and the waiter could not describe the burger i wanted then after ordering it, he says all burgers are unavailable. so i settled for a teriyaki dish and a mango shake. half way through my meal, the mango shake arrives. di ba dapat the drinks come first? anyway, the ice particles are so huge i could not use a straw. i settled for a spoon to find out i could not use a spoon either kasi the ice was so big. that was the worst mango shake in my life! you try to relax for lunch but now i got so upset! nakakasira ng mood. dapat when they open a restaurant, ready and trained na yung mga workers. if they are not ready to properly serve customers, they should not open at all!

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  5. We don't mind paying the higher price as long as the food and service reflects it. Unfortunately this was not the case when we dined at Sumosam Greenbelt 3. The one that stood out was their salmon sashimi. Our expectations were set a bit high considering the price so we excitedly ordered two sets expecting them to be as good as Kenji-Tei's or even better. After trying the first set they served us, we just had to cancel the next one. It did not look fresh at all. Never mind the taste, texture and feel when we put it in our mouths. Their pork gyoza also tasted old, were unevenly steamed and had that same cringe inducing texture and feel as their sashimi. Their expensive ramen did not have that "umami" taste and was just downright salty and nakakaumay. We unanimously came to the conclusion that Sumosam is just an overpriced pretentious Japanese fast food joint.

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  6. I dont find it sulit to eat at sumosan. Its all flash and ambience without substance. I ate there alone and spent close to a thousand for just a vegetable dish and tempura?? the salad I ordered was like P300 and they didnt use japanese mayonnaise (kewpie)

    I wont recommend this place.

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  7. My family ate there about a week or so ago and I couldn't believe what happened. First we place our order and my wife shakes her head she said she believed she saw the waiter just clear a table of dirty glasses. She said he took the little umbrella they put in drinks and wipes it off with his fingers and places it back in the bar tray. Understand this waiter doesn't know if the prior customer took that umbrella and picked its teeth or dropped it on the ground. It shouldn't matter it should be thrown away period. So from that moment on I watch closely at the bartender. He starts making my watermelon shake. Another waiter takes a glass filled with what looked like plain water from a table and puts it back on the bar, the bar tender dumps the water in the sink and then smells the inside of the glass, why? It shouldn't matter if that glass was filled with water or wine or anything else. He then rinses it out with just water and doesn't use anything to wipe or clean it and then puts it back with the supposedly clean glasses. It came off a cutomers table it still should have been properly washed. Then he continues with my shake taking a long spoon and tasting it in the blender then rinses the spoon. Then he pours the shake into the glass they plan on serving me and again taste it and puts some milk looking product in the drink and taste it again this time not washing the spoon and again takes a sip and this time turns the spoon over my glass and I watch as what wasn't drank from the spoon is placed back in my drink. He did this two more times and each time the same thing, some he drank and some he poured back into my drink. Then takes a small umbrella from the bar tray, the same tray we believe they just put one back from a prior customer and places it my drink. I totally lost it and screamed at the bartender that there was no way I was taking that drink and how could he do that knowing good and well I was clearly watching him the whole time. The Manager gets up and starts walking out the restaurant. He says sorry for that while he is walking by. I'm like how could his bartender do that seeing me watch him and I don't even want the food we ordered. He says he understands and walks away. He has a waiter to ask if I want a complementary order of an item we already ordered. Couldn't even offer to give us something different or comp us for our drinks or something that would want me to think this was only a bartenders mistake and I shouldn't look poorly at the restaurant itself, which at that time I'm marking things I don't like already cause of this issue. The bartender first tries to make me another drink, are you kidding me do you think after seeing that I would just want another. He kept apologizing and I kept saying to myself that it probably isn't his fault he just wasn't trained properly. But, he should know it's not right to taste a drink in anyway from the glass he is going to serve someone. He shouldn't even taste test it period, he should know proper measurements to make the drink taste right. If he had to taste it in any way he should pour some from the pitcher into a glass he is only using to do taste test and just pour enough in that glass to test. That just shows me he wasn't trained properly and they even asked me for suggestion on how to fix it. That just tells me Management had no clue to what the problem was or how to fix it. I'm part Japanese and every now and then it would be nice to go out and get a bite at a nice Japanese restaurant. But I will never return to this restaurant again. Not only cause of what happened with the drink but how management handled it. Cause after all that it doesn't matter if they served me the very best tasting food. The disappointment in everything about the place will prevent me from going there again. That in itself is on Management for not handling it properly.

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    Replies
    1. That is terrible. I'm surprised something like that happens in such a pricey restaurant.

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