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frustration at Golden City

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frustration at Golden City

Dbird | Sep 25, 2004 11:31 PM

For the past couple months I have been turning to Golden City for Chinese takeaway, thanks to encouraging posts on this board. On the whole I have found it to be a vastly superior alternative to Full House and Yang Chow and a good complement to Empress Pavilion. I have especially liked daily specials which are posted on the door, sometimes in English and Chinese, sometimes in Chinese only.

The other evening, I phoned in and asked what the daily specials were. After some negotiation (initially I was told there were no specials) the woman asked how many people. I said I just wanted to know what the specials were, then I would decide on whether and how many to order. This went on for a while, until finally she began reciting a menu with egg rolls, fried wontons and such, and I realized she was offering a prix fixe. We spent about five minutes with me explaining that I just wanted to know which dishes they were offering for that day only, as they were posted on the door, and her now insisting that no specials were available after 5 pm. Then a man came on the line and I had to explain the whole thing again. After some further negotiation it emerged that they several specials including rabbit hotpot (next time!) and 'snow cod' with bean curd or as a whole fish. He told me the fish was $12/lb and they ran about 2 1/2 lbs. I ordered the whole fish, eggplant, and a bok choy special.

When I arrived to pick up my order, I asked the woman with whom I had initially spoken what I should say next time so she would understand what I was asking for when I requested specials. 'I don't know, special is lunch special, you say "dinner special, nice for me" '. So: a magic word to the wise: 'Dinner special nice for me'.

On arriving home I discovered that instead of the whole fish I had been given the fish with bean curd, which was essentially the head, tail and a bit of meat along the spine. Now here is the worst part: when I phoned to say I had been given the wrong order, the man said: 'that dish better, I think whole fish too much for you'. To which I said what you think is immaterial, this is not what I ordered! To which he proceeded to mount further arguments about why I should be satisfied with his decision including 'whole fish very expensive'.

Has anyone else encountered this kind of stonewalling either at Golden City or other restaurants? I have to say I am suspicious and that much more outraged that they felt justified in patronizing and deflecting me because I am a woman. Surely this is illegal as well as being terribly bad business. I hope to be disabused of this impression but in the mean time am doubly put out because I had started to like the place.

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