addendum to dream ultra lounge & bar review

Dream Ultra Lounge & Bar: Gulf View, Trinidad
phone: 868-223- CHIC (2442)
dream facebook
Find Dream here on the web

dream mezzanine

This may seem very bizarre in the world of reviews and reviewers and believe me when I say, I have thought about this and tried to reconcile it several times in my head before deciding to post this addendum to the review which I had written a few weeks ago on Dream Ultra Lounge and Bar.

By nature I am very open to learning new things and am extremely eager to get facts straight and this is what has prompted me to make this post today.  If you haven’t read my initial review on Dream, please take the time to read it as I will refer to that post during this addendum so as to clarify my opinions and experiences at Dream.

I decided to take to ‘paper and pen’ today because I feel like I owe everyone reading my blog and especially my reviews, the truth.  I am unbiased in my opinions and serve only to be a vehicle of truth and honesty here at thehiddencook.com and as such feel utterly compelled to make an addendum to my previous review.

I re-visited Dream for dinner a few nights ago with my family and all I can say is that some of my previously noted ‘cons’  have seriously caught up with the people behind Dream.  I’ve also read some comments and other reviews of Dream and have to say that I completely agree with many of the ‘cons’ observed by fellow patrons.  Like some of the other commenters, I too visited Dream at dinner time with my family, including of course my toddler.  To say that I was disappointed would be a euphemism!  After rating Dream’s service, food and decor a high 8.75/10 there was very little that night that garnered that score- in fact, nothing did.

First off, we too were seated in the upper mezzanine- the justification for which is beyond my comprehension- which as one person said and I have to agree, is a ‘death trap for children’. If the owners desire a ‘no children’ policy then I think they would be better off stating that since putting children upstairs is clearly not a feasible idea.  The other issue I had, being a second time diner, is that the portion sizes, tastes and presentation of the food at Dream has been vastly altered.  In my initial post I actually applauded the portion sizes, flavors and prices of the food items, this time…not so much.  The portions have decreased, the items- for instance in the chunky vegetable add-on have changed- broccoli and cauliflower have now mainly been replaced by the more economical carrots and cabbage, and the presentation is appalling.  We too were handed hot plates in our hands, menus were thrown on the table instead of being handed to us, when we asked about non-alcoholic drinks, like juices, one of the waitresses clearly did not know which juices were available, the food arrived in such a haphazard manner that side dishes were brought out long before mains arrived, steak was overcook-waiters never asked how we’d like our steak done- sauces weren’t brought to the table to accompany main dishes.  I mean, this is a place I had been to once before (and on the same day of the week mind you) and I had almost nothing negative to say, this time it was as though I had woken up in some sort of Dream clone-the bad edition!

I am not going to go much further with my qualms about this place.  Suffice it to say I am hoping that management:

  1. Seeks the opinions of their patrons and really listens to constructive criticisms- Dream, your reputation is only as good as your last diner’s experience
  2. Trains their staff to be more formal- your staff simply does not suit your establishment.  If you have a place decked out to look exclusive and expensive (even if you didn’t) you need to train your staff to be more vigilant about their diners.  Orders that take 30 minutes to arrive to the table on a night where tables are virtually empty should at least be RIGHT! You cannot be giving people fish when they ask for beef and vice versa, that is purely unacceptable.
  3. You need to be consistent with your portion sizes and more importantly the taste of your food- there is no good reason to have one meal one week taste superb and then the following week be salty or bland, tough and rubbery.  Where is the consistency?
  4. If your intent is to have an adults only lounge then please, indicate that.  Don’t chuck the children up into an area that isn’t even safe for them and then tack on 10% extra!
  5. If items aren’t available, please inform the wait staff and let them mention that when patrons arrive and are seated- over 3 items weren’t available the night we dined; one of the guests we took actually got do disgruntled he gave up trying to order anything and just left.

In closing, I would like to say that although I was thoroughly aghast at the seeming decline in quality and service in the space of 3 weeks, my motivation for writing this addendum is not to ridicule and criticize Dream, but rather to inform and hopefully uplift it.  I would really like to see this place grow into something better than it is right now so that South patrons could have the variety and option of dining and liming somewhere other than the usual suspects.  I feel that a lot of work needs to be done in order for that to be achieved.

Personal Disclaimer

I trust that anyone reading this will appreciate that I put a lot of energy into writing reviews and getting good, positive information about Trinidad and Tobago-dining, food, entertainment and places of interest- out there.  I take this very seriously since I know that my credibility is all that I can offer using this blog as a forum for information.  That being said, I work to bring the raw truth to anyone reading since I know you may potentially ‘take my word’ and choose to dine/visit somewhere or not.  I will neither review a product or service of someone or something that I am in any way associated since I feel that my opinion may become inadvertently biased nor will I take the opinions of others and use them for my own personal views here at thehiddencook.com.

Ultimately, what I strive to do is present a picture – in an unbiased, objective way to everyone reading this blog.  In the end it is my hope that dining in Trinidad and Tobago becomes on par with that of larger cities like New York, London and Paris and the only way for that to happen is by owners and managers of restaurants listening to their patrons and fixing flaws so that dining can be elevated in our country.  I do not intend to be negative in any way and hope that that is conveyed in my writing, since my desire is to always applaud the positives in any product/service.

This experience has been a learning one for me as it has taught me to visit an establishment a few times well before committing to writing a review; in fact, I will openly state that ‘any restaurant review will only be written after dining/eating at/from said restaurant on at least two occasions.’

14 responses

  1. BurgerBrains

    Dear Hiddencook,

    It has been a while since I caught up with some of your current reviews and stories. I applaud you for the addendum to your original “Dream” review. I sincerely appreciated the fact that you felt a sense of obligation to your followers and the public domain to always report the truth. In these times it seems as though integrity and ethics are fast becoming a dying philosophy. It is indeed refreshing that the quest for truth compelled your conscience.

    I am also hopeful that your constructive comments make its way back to the management of this establishment positively. As an avid gourmand I ascribe to holding any restaurateur to the highest standards. It is most insulting to patrons to deliver substandard food, service and practices and expect them to smile and happily return!

    Thank you again for the addendum and I continue to value your opinions and for bringing the element of integrity back in journalism.

    February 21, 2013 at 19:15:34

    • Thank you very much BurgerBrains! I really appreciate the feedback and the vote of confidence, it makes all of this worthwhile 🙂 I do sincerely feel an obligation towards my followers, but also to anyone who might stumble upon thehiddencook and regard my reviews (and views) as valuable. I am grateful that you appreciate them and feel very honored to have any person consider my content worthy of their time. Thanks again, Jasmine

      February 21, 2013 at 23:15:34

  2. Well, glad to hear you at least had a great first experience! My first dining experience there was your second – a nightmare! (Let’s face it, they set themselves up for that one when they named themselves “Dream”) I ordered the Beef Satay and am pretty sure I was given the Savory Skewer. The staff clearly do not even know what they are serving. In addition to that, the beef was inedible. It tasted like charred leather. I believe another in my party was actually given my order even though she ordered chicken! Her “chicken”, we started to call beef-sticks from then on as we jokingly tried to salvage a horrendous meal. To be fair, not everyone at our table was completely dis-satisfied. There were a couple tasty Thai curries and a fairly done steak. But what I don’t understand is the serving of stir-fried mixed vegetables with a lettuce/salad mix garnish. In fact, all the sides, as well as the main courses seem to come with a healthy serving of salad “garnish”…it made me wonder – had I ordered the salad, would they have garnished it with salad as well? Really. Over-kill on the salad “garnish” there Dream.

    February 21, 2013 at 20:15:34

    • Hi DarwiEm, thank you for your comment. It’s very unfortunate that you hadn’t had even one good visit at Dream. It’s very sad really, that such a beautiful place with such real potential isn’t able to stack up. I hope that the people at Dream take all of the commenters views and feedback seriously so that it can become one of the staples of San Fernando.

      February 21, 2013 at 23:15:34

    • The Dream Team

      Our apologies to you as well DarwiEm. Sorry you had such a terrible time. By chance did you bring this to the attention of a Manager? This is a terrible mistake in our opinion and should have been attended to post haste.

      We can’t promise that we won’t make mistakes but we can promise that we will do everything humanly possible to turn a bad experience into a good one. We can only do so by feedback like this and by spending time with out staff on an ongoing basis.

      Thanks again for the feedback.

      March 1, 2013 at 18:15:34

  3. Dear HiddenCook, Thank you very much for your honest and constructive review of our Dream Ultralounge. The only reason that we knew about this review is because someone posted it on our Facebook page and as horrified as we are, we are leaving it right there because we deserve it. While we are aware of many of these issues, we were not aware of all, and we thank you again for bringing them to our attention. We, as management must take the full blame for everything that you mentioned here and more.

    Please accept our sincerest apologies for your experience and also to the various people in the comments section who also shared their experiences. We are going to step up our game and we hope that you will come back one day.

    The Dream Team.

    February 23, 2013 at 18:15:34

  4. To the dream team,
    I thank you for taking the time to comment on my review of Dream. I understand that some of the aspects of my review may appear harsh and appreciate the fact that you view the opinions as constructive. I also hope that you were able to glean from the review and the addendum, that it is my sincerest hope that Dream succeed as an establishment and become a staple in San Fernando as we are in dire need of further hot spots and variety in cuisine. That being said, I have no doubt that Dream will grow once you take to heart your patrons’ feedback…commenting here, with such an open willingness to listen is definitely a great start! I wish you all the very best in the future,
    thehiddencook

    February 23, 2013 at 22:15:34

    • The Dream Team

      Not at all thehiddencook. We only see it as constructive. Might we add one thing? We didn’t “tack on 10% extra” on the cloud 9 level. That is the industry standard service charge in Trinidad. What we did do is to remove the service charge altogether from the lounge level so that the customer can decide if they want to tip, and how much, based on the service that they receive.

      Keep up the good work!

      The Dream Team

      March 1, 2013 at 18:15:34

  5. Michael Gopaul

    we need to meet, asap, 4721818 is my contact.

    February 24, 2013 at 00:15:34

    • Hi Michael, thanks for stopping by!
      You can contact me via email- thehiddencook[at]gmail[dot]com

      February 24, 2013 at 12:15:34

  6. Nowherelikemama

    It’s great to see the Dream team respond in such a favourable manner. It shows that they are open to patron feedback, and hopefully improvement of their establishment. Please Dream team..take on board these comments, reflect and improve. That is the art of learning and attaining the best. Thanks hidden cook for your honest review..which I think will not only help patrons but also local restaurants to strive for excellence, and when they do reach that level..to MAINTAIN it! (And yes, portion sizes too). Would like to try this place with my family when we come back for holidays to Trinidad..maybe you can do another review in the near future. Fingers crossed the next review looks more like your first!!

    March 1, 2013 at 13:15:34

    • Thanks for adding that, I agree and yes, I’m sure at some point I’d re-visit Dream and I’d be sure to write about my experience and keep everyone informed!

      March 1, 2013 at 17:15:34

  7. ann marie

    Going tonight 16/12/14 to company’s Christmas party at Dream. Will give feedback. Love your reviews.

    December 15, 2014 at 10:15:34

    • thanks ann marie! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Dream:) Thanks for stopping by and for the lovely comment:)

      December 15, 2014 at 19:15:34

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