I hadn't been to Asian Court for dim sum for quite a while. This is because the last time I went, I went by myself, and rather than seat a single person at a table (which could be more profitably occupied by more people), I was sent to one of the sushi bar stools. This was fine, except for one thing - all but one of the serving cart persons refused to acknowledge me, even why I attempted to flag them down, presumably because I was clearly sitting at the (closed) sushi bar, and must therefore not be having dim sum. After a long time with only a little food from the one renegade cart person, I cut my losses and asked for the bill.
Tee-Hee. So sorry.
Well, after a long time, the anger cooled, and I decided to go back. The place was packed, and mostly with seemingly Asian faces - always a good sign for a dim sum place. I got my number and waited.
After about an hour, I had seen all the parties who had been there before me seated, and most of them even finished and were coming out. But I figured that maybe they were seating all the multi-person parties first. As one person by myself, I am admittedly a potentially less profitable use of a table than even a couple. I was NOT, however, offered the sushi stools. - perhaps they learned from that one.
What honked me off, though, was when the lone other single person, who had come in a good hour after I did, got seated ahead of me. I was about to protest, but at just about that time, they figured it out on their own.
In their system, they give you a little tag with a number on it, then they write the number from the tag and the number of people in your party on a dim sum billing sheet, which they put on a clipboard, and use to dole out tables in order, according to the size of the tables available.
The only problem was that by this time, they had an empty clip board, and I was still standing there. What to do?
"Do you have a number?"
"Yes, YOU gave it to me, a long time ago!"
The number tag was requested and taken, but I was still not taken to a table.
There was some heated discussion in Chinese between the staff members, which seemed by the body language, gesticulation, facial expressions and tone of voices to be along the lines of "I TOLD you he'd been waiting!" and "It's not MY fault!"
There was a bit of a wait, and then I was informed that I had been given a NEW number, and surprise, surprise, THAT number just happened to be ready!
Tee Hee. So sorry.
At this point I was so frustrated, discouraged, and furious that I can't comment much on the dim sum itself, other than one dish of small fried fish fillets which, upon ordering, were dutifully taken back to the kitchen to be microwaved. I thought the whole point of dim sum cart service was "fresh and hot", but I guess I was mistaken. That said, if it was cold by the time I ordered it, I'm glad she heated it up. I suppose it's better than food going to waste, and it actually was pretty nice when I got it back.
Anyway, I refuse to speculate on the cause of the recurring dim sum seating problems I seem to have at this place. By the way, I've had issues other times, as well - I only mention the most recent two.
Maybe they have a problem with me personally, for some unknown reason. I just get my number and stand there silently in the waiting area - I'm not confrontional, rude, or otherwise obnoxious, but on the other hand, neither do I ask "I've been here a long time, is something wrong?", assuming that there is method to their madness, and that I just need to wait my turn.
Maybe they have problems with me as looking like an example of some "type" or "group" of people they have issues with.
Maybe they don't deal well with single persons, rather than couples or groups, for the "best use of the table" reasons mentioned previously.
Or maybe they just have occasional screw-ups, and I have the wildly bad luck of being the party it happens to happen to when it happens.
Dunno. But after it happening yet AGAIN, I decided it ought to be posted for the rest of you to take into consideration as you see fit. I really want to like this place, and Baltimore is seriously lacking in dim sum choices, but my luck has been ridiculous.
One hopes that maybe Hunan Taste will start a dim sum service on weekends and up the competition level.