My Dine Out Story

Most years, I dive deep into the Dine Out Vancouver Festival waters with much enthusiasm.

This is not most years. I’m a mommy now. Plus I’m on mat leave salary.

So, with that, I had one night. One dinner. My girlfriends and I perused the many dining options in search of one menu that wasn’t braised shortrib, Arctic char, salmon…

I guffawed a little at the restaurants on Instagram that declared themselves a Dine Out Free Zone for these two-ish weeks. How Very Vancouver of you.

We opted to try 1886 in the newly opened Parc Vancouver. Fine Dining Chinese Food doesn’t make sense to me. We have so many incredible Chinese restaurants that I cannot fathom how much better the food can get to quantify the premium pricing. Clearly, I am not the target market of 1886. I avoid casinos, due to my addictive personality; so I’m not even the target market of Parc Vancouver. This is a #DOVF2018 only experience. Bring it on.

It was my first time wearing lipstick in nearly a year. I’d forgotten lip liner which created a noticeable bleed. Nice.

He should have known.

When the server asked if we wanted to order tea off the tea menu and we said, no, we’ll just take water. He should have known we meant the free kind.

We should have known.

And we did know. I knew. I knew that when a bougie server asks if you want still or sparkling that you’re supposed to utter “tap” so it bounces up their nose that is currently sniffing your peasant air.

I guess we forgot. So we paid for 2 bottles of water at $7 a pop. It kills me. I don’t do that!

But I did.

The wine pairing was great value and dinner was delicious. I enjoyed a Peking duck salad, clay pot chicken and their signature mango and fruit sago for dessert. We also ordered a couple dishes off menu that were quite enjoyable. My photos did not do any of the food justice, which is why they aren’t shown here. Great meal though.

When we received our bill, we decided to stay and finish every last drop of that water.

As we rose to leave, I texted my husband to give him my ETA. When I looked up from my phone, the first thing I saw was a stick umbrella being flailed about. The second thing I saw was that my friend was holding the umbrella and was on the ground, struggling to get up. I thought, “oh crap, she slipped on the tile”. But the third thing I saw was a sizeable puddle of some kind of brown food sauce and an overturned take out container. I was suddenly teleported from this fancy restaurant where I’d paid for water to the food court of a shopping mall. I blinked to wake from this chaotic saucy nightmare and there I stood watching my friend try to clean take out chinese food from her person in an upscale dining establishment. How the f*ck did this happen?

My first instinct was to take pictures. But then I thought, “this is not Black Mirror, that is my friend on the ground sinking in brown sauce, surrounded by staff, a couple of them now holding napkins.” As she finally got to her feet, it was a struggle to keep her that way. This spill may as well have been Trout Lake, it was so big, brown and smelly. A staff member, who was clearly in charge, started ordering people to get her napkins and to block the spill so no one else would slip. He s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e-d to not slip himself.

Common sense is not common.

Boss man kept telling my friend that he’d pay for her dry cleaning and kept handing her more napkins.

1. She needed damp bar towels to deal with her purse, jacket, umbrella, legs, ass. Enough with the damn napkins.

2. Hello! Ask her whether she’s hurt and needs help! The woman fell HARD in your fancy restaurant, on your fancy tile where your typical clientele willfully pay $30 for fried rice and $100 for table side tea service. Immediate action is required here to care for your customer and diffuse a situation!

3. Why is nobody cleaning up the spill yet?!?

We got out of there as quickly as possible. She fled to the washroom to add free water to her cleaning process and, after taking boss man’s business card for her, we went to meet her and see if she was okay.

Can you even dry clean a leather purse?

Does dry cleaning treat brown porky food sauce infusions?

Can you dry clean a future large hip bruise?

What the hell just happened?

And apparently, one of the staff made a comment about my friend walking too fast.

Yes, because this is not a fancy casino restaurant; this is a pool deck and there are ‘no running’ signs everywhere. This is somehow her fault? Like, she should have expected that take out containers of chinese food could be tossed all over the floor when leaving. Who the hell even gets take out at a fancy restaurant?

And she wasn’t running. And there was no wet floor sign by the spill. And no one was standing there to ensure she saw the spill. Wasn’t there a Marriott Hotel 90s training video on this?

My only restaurant working experience is McDonalds and 15 year old me would have handled that better. I’m confident that she wouldn’t have fallen at all if the spill had occurred under my teenage watch…but, when a customer does fall, it’s a pretty big deal because, generally, if a customer falls they are either going to get hurt, really angry and embarrassed or all of the above. Assume it’s all 3 and take really really good care of them.

Needless to say, I don’t know what we paid for. The food was as great as any other great Chinese restaurant in this city…except, at those Chinese restaurants, for what we paid here, we could have gotten a 3 course whole alaskan king crab meal, so it would have been exponentially better. I also guarantee that the staff would have acted quicker over spilled food. In a normal restaurant, there’s always a little old lady dining with her family and you don’t want po po falling down with her children and grandchildren watching.

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