Nook – sadly living up to its namesake

Last week Sunday, I decided to take the kids out for brunch and thought it would be nice to chill out somewhere along the strip of restaurants and cafes that have been popping up at Lorong Kilat. The kids wanted to hang out at one of our favourite restaurants where you DIY your own pancakes – Nook. I was happy to oblige given previous great brunch  experiences there and we haven’t been there in a while.

I was surprised that we were able to walk in and snag a table immediately. There were only two tables that were occupied. This place used to be full especially on weekend mornings. That should have been a warning to abandon ship.

Then we realized that the restaurant menu had changed too. Gone were the hearty breakfast platters, replaced by an unremarkable and hodge podge list of Asian, Western and Fusion mains and sides that seemed counter to what a DIY pancake place should be offering. But as they still had the DIY pancakes on the menu, we ordered and stayed.

My mum arrived about 15 mins later as the bottles of pancake mix got to the table and other food items arrived. When her order of a main course and tea arrived, I realised that our pancakes was not cooking on the hot plate at the table and that the café latte that I had ordered before my mum arrived has not been served. Highlighting this to one of the waiters, he went off to make the latte after telling me to give the hot plate time to warm up.

When he returned with the latte a few minutes later, I told him that the hot plate was still not warming up. Eventually, I put my hand onto the sides of the hot plate to prove my point as he was about to protest irritably for the 5th or 6th time that I need to be patient and give it time to warm up. We finally got the chef to come out to check and the hot plate was replaced.

Once the pancakes were cooking, we realized we had another problem – no plates and cutlery! The table had actually been quite bare when we seated down and I had thought nothing of that till now. And I noticed my mum using the large tablespoon that came with her mains to stir her tea – apparently, they had given her a cup of tea without an accompanying teaspoon. By now, even though the service was so bad, we were so invested with our orders, I thought we should just finish eating quickly and get home.

When time came to pay the bill, as I stood at the cashier counter, I was told that I could only pay using NETS or Cash. What??? They used to accept credit cards. I took out my NETS card and the waiter promptly inserted the wrong end into the credit card terminal and (no surprises!) got an error message. However he had rung up the sale on the cashier POS and so asked if I could give him cash instead. I asked him to try the NETS card again, this time inserting it the right way in. I was about to reach over to DIY the NETS transaction myself but the chef stepped in just in time to take over the bill processing.

The bill came up to $73.60 for 2 adults and 4 kids and the final insult? Paying the 10% service charge for non-existent service. Did management change I asked? No, the waiter told me the owners are still the same people. How did things get so bad? This used to be a really fun place to bring the kids for a weekend brunch. Sadly, this looks like another one of those places that has lost its focus and its way and is fast becoming a quiet, secluded and obscure little corner.

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