Don’t you just get blown away when you are provided with outstanding service? I know I do. Mainly because it is such an in-frequent occurrence in Australia that I am just completely taken aback and feel completely spoilt.
A few weeks ago I had to spend a couple of days in my hometown, Brisbane for work. I had decided to stay in a hotel instead of visiting family as I just wanted some quiet time to myself. I almost ordered room service but wasn’t so impressed by the room service menu so decided to venture to the restaurant downstairs – Stone in Grey St, Southbank, Brisbane. And I am very glad that I did. Initially, it was a rocky start to dinner when I was asked by the waitress what I would like to drink. I’m not a wine snob by any means, but I do know what I like and what I don’t. So I asked the waitress if one of the 5 chardonnays on the menu was more oaky as I really dislike unwooded. She asked me what was oaky… oh dear. I explained to her there was usually oaky and unwooded and asked if she could find out for me. She returned a few minutes later saying it was unoaked. I informed her this was the same as unwooded which I don’t like and could she find out which of them were oaked in flavour. She again returned to tell me that by looking at the labels it didn’t look like any of them were oaked. I politely explained that this was very unusual and chose a pinot grigio. I then began to worry if I had done the right thing coming down to the restaurant, but the menu did really take my fancy. There was a large range of entrees that could also be chosen as tapas so I decided on three, a duck salad on won ton, a pork belly and peanut sang choy bao and seared scallops.
I was disappointed about the wine but was looking forward to these three plates! Shortly after the duck salad arrived a waiter came to chat with me. He explained that the waitress had asked him for assistance as she was not that familiar with wines yet and was learning and asked me to excuse her poor knowledge. He then told me that there was a particularly good oaky and buttery chardonnay on the menu and I asked about the other three. He was extremely knowledgeable and impressed as though he too rather preferred my kind of chardonnay. He then offered me a glass of the best one on the house. When he returned, he also brought a glass of another chardonnay which he had forgotten to tell me about. I was triple parked and feeling incredibly spoilt. My momentary consideration of a polite complaint vanished.
But what was even more surprising was the incredible service didn’t end there. He came back a couple of times to check on my progress with the wines. I would have settled for the cheaper one, but the top one was divine! Anyway it turned out he had only recently had moved to Brisbane and had worked a good number years in some of the top restaurants in the Hunter Valley. This is where I got my taste for oaked chardonnay in the first place. Anyway her had put together a list of wineries, chef hat restaurants and people to ask for when I visit next. He also encouraged me to mention his name for a possible discount. I was amazed. It was such a lovely gesture. And as I had had so much wine already I couldn’t take him up on his offer of another.
But I definitely tipped and will definitely be back. I really do appreciate it when people recognise you are human too, and that you have likes and interests and that they can easily be generous. It makes me happy and want to be more generous and giving myself.
Have you ever experienced outstanding service? What is your idea of good service?
Another few steps on the pursuit of happiness.
Until next week