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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the items- for instance in the chunky vegetable add-on have changed- broccoli and cauliflower have now mainly been replaced by the more economical carrots and cabbage, and the presentation is appalling.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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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?
- 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!
- 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.
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.’