Arguing with food auntie? I know, the title sounds strange, but hear me out! It is not what you think it is.
So, two evenings ago, I went to Koufu at Thomson Plaza with my family. Just the usual routine with the fams. The variety there is enough to keep us going there almost on a daily basis, as we are usually too tired to cook. I felt like having curry chicken, so I went to make my order at the stall. I believe this stall is owned by the Koufu operator too.
Anyway, after getting back to my seat with my food, I very eagerly took the first bite at the potato. Yikes, it was half-cooked and crunchy! Brought my food back to the auntie I had ordered from, and she put my food back into a clean pot to try to soften the potatoes. I had my doubts it’d work but okay… Got my food back 5 minutes later, potatoes were still crunchy, and I also noticed that the chicken was only half-cooked as well. They must’ve added in new ingredients at the last minute when there was excess curry sauce.
Brought my food back to the auntie, and she offered to cook the chicken. At that point, I had already lost my appetite, seeing the poorly cooked food. Also, the curry sauce was drying out at that point. I suggested to the auntie not to bother anymore, and perhaps she could refund my money so that I could purchase something else.
She started getting a little flustered, mumbling something about not being able to do so, and immediately threw away my plate of curry chicken. Right after that, she walked to her wallet, took out $4 and passed to me. I was taken aback and asked her why she is offering me her money and not taking from the cash register. She requested that I just take her cash because she is unable to refund me from the cash register. At that point, our conversation became this:
Me, “No la auntie, cannot, please don’t give me your money!”
Auntie, “Just take it!”
Me, “No no no cannot!”
*Rinse and repeat* x 20?
The entire back-and-forth with her cash went on for about 2 minutes (seemed like forever to me though). Perhaps she felt bad that I couldn’t have my curry. I was ready to walk away without getting back my money and any food, but I knew the insistent auntie would come after me from behind the counter.
Me, “Never miiiind!!! You throw away my food already, so never mind! Just don’t refund me with your own money!!!”
Auntie, “Nooooo! Just see it as I want to treat you today!”
Me, “No cannot auntie, really cannot!”
Feeling a little exasperated, I finally suggested to her to give me another dish they had, like the Mee Rebus, and told her that I really could not accept her money.
She said, “But you don’t want to eat it.”
I replied, “Yes I like Mee Rebus very much. Please give me the Mee Rebus!” Almost begging her for it.
She responded with, “But it’s at a cheaper price. It’s not worth it for you!”
Me, starving and wanting to just go back to my seat and eat dinner, “Aiyah just give me one extra taupok la. Ok right?”
Auntie, feeling more satisfied now, “Okok, you sure you want taupok hor? Ok ah?”
Phew! Finally reached a resolution (and being able to get back to my family with my dinner), without having to take the auntie’s cash. While preparing my food, I cautiously asked her, why she wasn’t able to refund me from the cash register. She explained that if she did that, then she would need to write a long report about why she did it and had a lot of explaining to do.
I’m not sure how Koufu operations work, but we all have to acknowledge that sometimes employees make mistakes, and employers should exercise discretion on letting their own staff handle small incidents like this. I was not pissed about not being able to have my curry, and if the auntie really couldn’t refund me (and had I known that beforehand), I would’ve just sucked it up and eaten whatever was edible of the curry, and bought something else later on. But I wish the auntie did not have to resort to refunding me with her own hard-earned money. It would not have been right of me to accept her money as well.
So anyway, I left her stall with one huuuge plate of Mee Rebus, enough for two. *buuurrp*