As a restaurant started by 2 well known and respectable personnel in the industry, I believe entrepreneurs could do well when they differentiate in terms of food quality, ambient of the venues as well as great services.
Customer willingly to pay top dollar and get through the tedious reservation process, so to taste the great food and services.
Speaking for STRATO, our experience speaks other wise.
While I read some bad reviews on TripAdvisor about the other restaurants at Troika Sky Dining, I have been to Cantalopue twice, both have been great, while I feel the carpet or flooring could have been furnished with something newer during my visits. Perhaps the budget constraints or owners wanting to keep the look of rusted.
After 1 lunch at Catalopue, we asked about reservation for STRATO on the weekend, was told seatings for 5 pax should be available, which I made the reservation for 8:30pm seating.
1) The arrival hall (small area) to the level 23A was kind of cramped, when more than 5 or 6 guests arrived at the same time. There is no proper waiting line, so it is pretty much who approached or the front desk personnel approached first will be served.
2) Was told could not find our reservation, mainly the staff could not make up my name – Samuel Tan, should not be that hard. Well. Found later as I also received a call from the restaurant about the confirmation for the dinner.
3) Ushered upstair (or mezzanine floor sort of), and was again told by one of the Middle Eastern or Eastern European (not very certain) wait staff that no reservation was found under my name. After we went down to the front desk, we were told to remind and inform the wait staff again upstair we have a reservation. At this point of time, I felt the restaurant seems to be operated under many teams, whom are not talking to each others, but the paying customer to do the talking for them. So I insisted they sort out the reservation before asking us to move any further. Was told to wait at the narrow arrival hall, while many customers walked in and out to lavatory.
4) We were again ushered upstair, this time there was a table for us, but right next to the kitchen – with noise as well as hot food passing us through every time. I went to the front desk and asked if reservation for dinner at window seats mean anything to them. I was told some other guests have requested for the similar seatings, they seems to have given our seats to someone else.
5) So we asked to be changed or we will leave.
6) We were ushered to be seated at the lounge now, waiting for the team to find us the right and suitable table. After 15minutes, we were given a choice to dine at the mezzanine floor with some sort of view, with the mercy of the other customers. Ok, actually no view whatsoever, other than next to a coffee machine. So noise.
7) By this time, I was planning to leave with my family, but it was already 9:05pm, kind of hard to find anywhere else to have dinner in city. So, we ordered our food any way.
8) The food was average, nothing taste like what we had when we were in Rome few months ago. One of the kid commented the pasta was not fresh and he left the dish unfinished.
9) When came to payment (of course at a high premium), we were told the AMEX card could not go through, after 3 attempts, the wait staff told the he brought the wrong terminal to charge the AMEX card, that was why the transaction could not get through. So, dumb and embarrassing no? Dumb on STRATO staff and embarrassing for us.
10) Should we come again? Take a guess of the answer.