The Dumpling, The Roach and The Judge

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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Food Awards Jodi Henriques shares a recent not so pleasant dining experience...

Now that the Food Awards are over, I can almost hear the sigh of relief from restaurateurs, as they think it's time to slack off! Not a good idea as judging has already commenced for 2015.

On Sunday, after way too long of a church service, my friend and I were starving. We decided to head over to Dragon Garden in Millbrook Plaza on Constant Spring Road.

I had been there the weekend before as fellow FA judge Matthew had highly recommended it.

As we chose our seats closest to the window the waiter came to fill glasses and do all the pleasantries as I filled out the dim sum order form.

Ordering is made easy by the picture boards on each table showing you how each item looks and the price.

I pulled the curtain to block out most of the harsh Sunday sun... Who told me to touch anything...

As a few moments later a little roach decided to crawl across the table, yes a roach. Or 'teenager' as we Jamaicans like to call the smaller ones.

I was ready to win an Oscar and put on a performance with the roach in a supporting role. However, as I opened my mouth to begin my tirade, my friend gave me one of those looks and I knew to shut up and sit immediately.

We discussed whether to leave or not and decided that since we had already ordered and waited about 10 minutes with growling bellies we would just move tables.

We called over the young Chinese hostess that works the upstairs seating area who apologised and helped us to move tables.

After the commotion a gentleman a few tables over asked if the sun was bothering us. I just smiled and said yes as I got another of those "shut up and sit down looks" from my friend.

The dim sum finally came out, thank God, because by this time I was ready to munch on the roach the way I was so hungry.

The dim sum was good, I have no complaints about the food. But this did make me wonder "what exactly are in those little dumplings?"

Just as I was finishing up my Char Siu Bow the roach returned on the couch making his way over to me.

Now, I'm sure this would warrant my performance, so with my mouth open and ready... I got that look again, this friend is no fun! "Humph"

I looked up for the waiter; he rushed over as I was fighting off the roach with the order paper.

The waiter says "another one!"

But hold on, there's more than one? He apologised and then started fiddling with the table where we were originally seated as he tried to tell me that the roaches were coming out of the table.

I didn't really understand what kinda roach fest was happening IN the table or how it was possible. I told him not to move the table as more roaches may come out.

I noticed that as he was moving the table cloth there were bits of leftover food on the carpet which may have contributed to the roach fest, and the dusty curtains that desperately needed a wash were not helping the situation.

All this from a nominee in the "Best Sunday Spot" category.

Now, I'm not sure where to go on Sundays, as health officials closed down my other dim sum spot. So maybe I'm just to assume that roaches are a part of the whole dim sum experience?

As my friend and I were leaving I could see the embarrassment on the faces of the waiters and the hostess.

It wasn't until I got in the car and looked at the bill (which they had the audacity to even give us) that I noticed it had a 10% discount, which I assume was for the inconvenience of roach fest. However, at no point had the four different waiters that came over to our table explained what the discount was for and properly apologise for the roach attack.

As proprietors complain about nominees, winners and judges I think that restaurants need to look at all aspects of their establishment and try and meet those of the winners and remember that the Food Awards doesn't just start and end in May.

Dim Sum For Two

5 dishes

1 roach fest

Total $2,543 with discount




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