Family turned off by $404 CNY dinner at basketball court: 'We award 0.5 stars'

Submitted by Stomper Disgruntled P

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A family splashed out on a restaurant's Chinese New Year dinner package, but the experience left them with a bad taste in their mouths.

Stomper P's family had reserved a reunion dinner set for five people with Ban Heng Restaurant at Boon Keng Road on January 31, at 5.30pm.

The Chinese New Year's Eve meal cost $404.46 in total, but ended up being far from what they imagined.

P said: "We were told that we would be given an outdoor table and we were agreeable to it, only to find out upon arrival that their outdoor setting is actually a tentage set up at an outdoor basketball court and NOT ALFRESCO.

"Staff at the entrance were rude and brusque with the customers. The servers' dressing and the tentage setup resembled a wake, which made us feel uneasy."

The family also felt let down by six out of the eight courses, which they found "extremely disappointing."

P told Stomp: "The miserably tiny garoupa was served devoid of ingredients and garnishing (only a few pieces of parsley).

"The abalone with vegetables had only four puny pieces of abalone (for a five pax meal) and was literally just abalone with vegetables.

"The live prawns in superior stock was literally prawns served in stock.

"The chicken in Chinese herbs tasted AWFUL. The meat disintegrated into tasteless bits that got stuck everywhere in the mouth.

"The fried rice with Chinese sausage in lotus leaves was almost exactly the name of the dish, with an additional few diced mushrooms. It was tasteless, clumpy and unevenly fried with many white clumps of rice.

"The final dish was the sweetened yam paste (which was REALLY sweet) with Ginko nuts and corn syrup. When served, we had a shock at the sight of the messy purplish lump soaked in cloudy liquid. Stirring the paste into the syrup was a great workout for my arm. The dessert tasted artificially sweet and almost only of corn syrup, with the faintest tinge of yam.

"Last but not least, three out of five members of my family ended up with an upset tummy, possibly due to eating the Yu Sheng served at the start of the meal as the salmon fish tasted like it had been left unchilled for too long.

"To sum this up, we will AWARD the meal a 0.5/5 stars rating. Will we ever go back again? A resounding thanks but NO THANKS!!! Zi char will definitely be a better bet."

A Google search shows similarly negative reviews of Ban Heng Restaurant's Chinese New Year menu, including for delivery orders.

The complaints were largely about the food, with one user saying: "And my mother can cook better than you."

View more photos of P's meal in the gallery.