Makankakis at Orchid Live Seafood

2008September08-MKK-28

I had dinner with friends at the Orchid Live Seafood off Yio Chu Kang Road. We found the food to be decent and the Chef/Owner, Steven, to be open to negotiations. As such, the monthly makankaki dinner was to be held there.

It turned out to be one of the most unsatisfactory dinners the makankakis ever attended.

On the night of the makankaki dinner, there was a minor renovation in the restaurant where photos of Steven with the caption “Master Chef” were hung. He’d heard that K.F. Seetoh, the Makan Guru was attending the dinner.

He accosted me earlier to ask if I’ve put up the pictures from the previous dinner and do a lot of people come to my blog. I told him that not many people come to my blog but I’ve put up the pictures. He was behaving like a Kan-cheong Spider (“Nervous Wreck”), fidgeting with his toque frequently.

2008September08-MKK-34

Dinner started off with two cold crabs per table of 10-12. Needless to say, this was finished within minutes and I don’t think it was because of the flavor. I think no one noticed because we were still going around saying hello and sharing our wines.

I certainly did not notice it because I don’t take crab, but my empty stomach did.

2008September08-MKK-3

Murmurs of dissatisfaction started when the topshell with tofu salad arrived. Again this was wolfed down but everyone started to remark about the size of the serving and the amazing lack of topshell. It’s not like a very expensive item with a can of topshell retailing at about $2.50.

2008September08-MKK-5

This continued on for quite a few dishes and the discontent grew much louder until eslim, after some consultation, had to announce that he will give Chef Steven a chance to redeem himself and to sate us with a additional dish or two.

2008September08-MKK-15
2008September08-MKK-16          2008September08-MKK-17
2008September08-MKK-9          2008September08-MKK-7

He did this by giving us an additional plate of fried rice. This was greet with howls of anger and much frustration as we found the rice to be burnt. It definitely was not “wok hei”. I suspect in the rush to prepare so much rice, the cooks fumbled.

2008September08-MKK-50

Unfortunately, the damage was done. Let me give you two examples of how perception can change when we feel we have been cheated.

One of the signature dishes at Orchid Live Seafood is the “Steven’s Chicken”. Due to some reason that he didn’t want to explain, Steven does not use pork in his restaurants and so when someone wants the usual pork ribs (pai kuat wong), he would serve this instead.

2008September08-MKK-11

When I tasted it in the first dinner, I thought it did taste like the pork ribs that I liked. However, at the makankaki dinner, it was described as “heavy on the Maggi Seasoning” by someone whose palate I trust. I guess it must have been the “two each” serving that did it.

And the signature lobster porridge was described as “full of MSG” despite Chef Steven’s insistence that none was used.

2008September08-MKK-24

This was an interesting dinner for me as I made two new friends who shared an interest in appreciating wines without fear or favor. I can’t tell if the food was good or not because there wasn’t enough of it to go around and there were really good wines.

If anything, I felt that Orchid Live Seafood fumbled the ball with this and the save at the end wasn’t enough. This is not a case where we were greedy and wanted more bang with our buck; in our first dinner, the portions were adequate and tasty which is why it was decided to organize a makankaki outing here. With some of his restaurants closing down, I am not sure if Steven can rely on his regular customers to afford chasing away new ones.

Orchid Live Seafood is at 16 Jalan Kelulut (off Yio Chu Kang Road near junction with AMK Ave 5).

2008July26-OrchidSeafood-27


Posted on 10th Nov 2008 in Food and Drink, Makankaki, Teochew

  —  

There Are 25 Comments

 

MissyGlutton commented on November 10, 2008 at 9:04 am


*phew* I almost gathered a group to go there for a meal… 🙂


 

Ivan commented on November 11, 2008 at 1:11 am


@Zhou Wenhan: It is very parasitic of you to use what people put an effort to write for your own end. To add insult to injury, you are most presumptuous to interpret what I have wrote into meaningless ratings.

Please stop.


 

Zhou Wenhan commented on November 11, 2008 at 1:11 pm


hmm…my intent was to create a food blog aggregator so that people can find blogger reviews regarding a restaurant easily instead of having to google for all the reviews.

I am still thinking about the rating system as not all bloggers put a concrete rating. Usually I will help them put a rating based on the words used in the blog post. Seeing that you do not like this, I offer my apologies and I will remove the submitted review.

Thanks. If you have anymore suggestions, do let me know!


 

Zhou Wenhan commented on November 11, 2008 at 1:20 pm


hmm…not to sound too defensive but I would like to give my point of view. On my website, I do clearly link to your review. Moreover I do not copy your whole review because I do want people to find your review and visit your blog.

As a blogger I do get irritated when people just copy and paste. However I see hereing.com as more of a site like digg.com/ping.sg to let people easily find reviews that they want to see.
I do agree that giving a rating for you is hmm…overdoing it..i might implement a N/A rating for bloggers who do not put a rating for their review. Do you think that will work?

My apologies for stepping on your toes but I hope you accept them.

PS: I m not sure if the previous comment went thru as there is no success/fail notification after I press submit


 

TTC commented on November 12, 2008 at 7:02 pm


I think my problem if I visit your website is not so much if the rating is pulled down because a blogger is not comfortable having his rating up but more of whether I trust the rating given by whoever review them. I will rather read one or two good reviews than 100’s of dubious ratings.


 

Zhou Wenhan commented on November 12, 2008 at 11:15 pm


Yup, I understand the concern. Just last week when I was doing submission I was considering if I should help bloggers rate the review according to the words used in the review.

I guess bloggers and readers both don’t like it so now I don’t put in the rating already.
Also corrected the system so it ignores a Zero rating.

You can check out Blue Basil resturant. Only 1 rating and the score is still accurate.

http://hereing.com/places/blue-basil


 

JIABAHANG commented on November 13, 2008 at 12:28 am


@Zhou Wenhan-“Usually I will help them put a rating based on the words used in the blog post”. Oh mama, what will you do next? Determine their sex life by counting the number of alphabets in their blog post?


 

Ivan commented on November 13, 2008 at 11:43 am


@JIABAHANG: You’ve left several comments on my blog each successive comment being needlessly insulting the Wenhan. While I understand the gist of your comments, I’ll just “untangle” the more polite one from Askimet and post it here.


 

TTC commented on November 13, 2008 at 12:36 pm


Hi Wen Han, Does that actually mean if you have 5 reviews, 4 of them unfavorable and 1 gave 5 stars, the restaurant will be given a 5 star rating on your website?


 

Ivan commented on November 13, 2008 at 11:15 pm


@Zhou Wenhan: I would not recommend that you presume to help bloggers rate reviews; you do not have the skill nor the credibility.

I would invite you to look very hard at digg.com and even ping.sg again, they do not “let people easily find reviews that they want to see”.

If you cannot discern their models, then your website’s fundamentals are wrong because the model does not fit your intent. There is nothing to discuss further unless you resolve this because everything derived from your wrong fundamentals will be flawed.


 

ice commented on November 14, 2008 at 6:59 am


@Zhou Wenhan: I agree with Ivan that you shouldn’t impose your ratings on our reviews. I would kindly like to request you take down all my reviews from your website. There wasn’t any approval given as far as I’m concerned as well as from other bloggers from my knowledge.

@ivan: Sorry I’m commenting here because I’ve rejected the comments he left on my blog. My apologies. 🙂


 

Zhou Wenhan commented on November 14, 2008 at 9:41 am


I understand your concerns about the rating and I have stopped puting ratings unless the blogger has specifically put some kind of rating in his own blog post.

@TCC: actually what I meant was if there are 4 reviews without rating and 1 with a 5 star rating, the resturant will now be shown as 5 star rating. Previously it will show it as 1 star( 5 /(4+1) ).

@Ivan: I don’t understand why you would not want people to easily find reviews about a resturant and hence increase the traffic to your blog. Do you care to elaborate?

@Ice: I do not think I need permission to link to sites right? Regardless, I will consider your request but I do not see why people won’t not want more people to see what they write. If they do not want people to see what they write, then it should not be on a public post.

wow….never thought this would be such a debate/


 

Ivan commented on November 14, 2008 at 10:34 am


@Zhou Wenhan: Don’t give yourself airs that you don’t deserve. This is not a debate, this is us repeating the flaws of your ill-considered attempt and you, despite what you say, not listening to us.

If you understood our concerns, you are not addressing them at all.

Here are my points that I hope that you can address them:

1. I mentioned that digg.com and ping.sg are not aggregators nor do they allow users to find review (any type) easily. They are zeigeist-meters. Yet you position your website to “allow people to find reviews easily” by following their model. This is what I mean by you following a model that does not fit your intent. Google is an aggregation of reviews.

2. With regards to your linking to our content, our concern is that you are misrepresenting our content for your own purposes even though you position it as “helping”.

3. I still see ratings on your site. By arbitrarily posting the ratings without normalization, your ratings are meaningless because each different blog uses a different criteria.

4. Can you explain the rationale behind the formula you gave TTC? Without any background rationale, I think it’s absurd. Please explain the rationale before you ask me why I think it’s absurd.

5. As I explained to His Food Blog, it is not about traffic. It is about being associated with something that we have no interest in being linked with. Like a good restaurant, if what we serve is good, people will naturally gravitate to us. Most of us do this because we like food and we like writing and not because we have an insecure need to be loved and looked at by other people.

I believe that in trying to monetize everything, you have lost sight of why some people blog in the first place.


 

ice commented on November 14, 2008 at 11:07 am


@Zhou Wenhan: I appreciate your consideration, though I do not think I need to answer to you about the purpose of my blogging. But if you’d notice, my blog is ad-free and I would like to keep it that way. Money and traffic is not my concern. I don’t even know what is a sitemeter. My blog is my online diary, whether food or non-food related they are for my friends and people yes whom I like to be associated with or others who appreciate my writing. You should however seek permission with any blogger before you submit any reviews of theirs, not simply just leave a comment after your stealing act.

I maintain your action is incorrigible. I thought that plagiarism of words/thoughts is the worst, but yours is gawd call stealing.


 

Zhou Wenhan commented on November 14, 2008 at 11:39 am


1. I mentioned that digg.com and ping.sg are not aggregators nor do they allow users to find review (any type) easily. They are zeigeist-meters. Yet you position your website to “allow people to find reviews easily” by following their model. This is what I mean by you following a model that does not fit your intent. Google is an aggregation of reviews.

Ok. So the analogy was wrong. I accept this. So if I say that the model is more like Google, does it fit my intent? I actually wanted to build an indexing crawler but I do not have the expertise to do that now. So the next best thing is human entry.

Question: How is my site different from Foodlah.com other than mine being organised under resturants instead of chronological order?

2. With regards to your linking to our content, our concern is that you are misrepresenting our content for your own purposes even though you position it as “helping”.

When you mean misrepresentation, do you mean the “linking part” or the “I help you rate part”?

If it is the rating part: As of now I will not rate for bloggers if they do not have a specific rating. Would you still consider that misrepresentation?

If it is the linking part: I can’t understand why it is called misrepresentation because I am linking to your post using your opening paragraph. Will a more obvious labeling of the source help?

3. I still see ratings on your site. By arbitrarily posting the ratings without normalization, your ratings are meaningless because each different blog uses a different criteria.

As mentioned above, I have stopped applying ratings if the blogger has not specifically given ratings.

For the older ones, I will have to go back and delete the ratings.

Please also see related answer for 4.

4. Can you explain the rationale behind the formula you gave TTC? Without any background rationale, I think it’s absurd. Please explain the rationale before you ask me why I think it’s absurd.

There is really no rationale behind the formulae. It is just an average of all the ratings.

How the Average was calculated:
2 days ago: Sum of all ratings / number of ratings.
Currently: Sum of all ratings / number of NON-ZERO ratings.

I understand that without normalisation the ratings might not make sense, but I didn’t have time to do that yet. If I might add, Hereing.com is less than a week old. I can only say this will get better with time.

5. As I explained to His Food Blog, it is not about traffic. It is about being associated with something that we have no interest in being linked with. Like a good restaurant, if what we serve is good, people will naturally gravitate to us. Most of us do this because we like food and we like writing and not because we have an insecure need to be loved and looked at by other people.

This is a perspective that I have not considered before. I am not sure what my reply to this point is. Thanks for bringing it out.

Ivan: “It is about being associated with something that we have no interest in being linked with.”

One main thing, I set out to do is to help people more easily read the pulse of the food bloggers so naturally I will want and need the blessing of food bloggers.

Seeing that I have already done something wrong (helping bloggers to rate their review when submitting), I really really want to hear what you all need and what I can build so that hereing.com will be something that you as a food blogger will be excited to be associated with and almost avoid any minefields that started this long list of comments.


 

Ivan commented on November 15, 2008 at 8:09 pm


It is very telling the way you ask your questions and the questions themselves.

The answers to all your questions can be found in our comments, so I would recommend that you spend some time on reflection. You will find that you’ve answered some of them yourself.


 

nosey commented on November 17, 2008 at 4:33 pm


reflection! haha…that is hilarious. I’m sure google, yahoo and msn have their weekly confessions since they link tons of websites from their search engines. Set up some password protection if you dont want people to touch your site at all. That Wenhan guy has heard you and gave you the respect that you wanted by removing the ratings. So stop getting angry like a kid…


 

nosey commented on November 17, 2008 at 4:52 pm


one more thing…about the ratings. If you think that wenhan is unethical, dont you think food bloggers are even worse? you people write and affect the reputation and business of these restaurants. And hey, it is the livelihood of these restaurant people we are talking about. Now, you are getting upset over people who unknowingly stepped on your feet with your little blogging hobby. You get responsible reply and corrective actions from that guy who technically doesnt really need to bother about your concerns. But how about that internet-ignorant restaurant or hawker center uncle who doesnt even know you are blogging about his food. Should he get angry with you if you mention something bad about his food?
Time to head towards the nearest church for some confessions.


 

Ivan commented on November 17, 2008 at 6:50 pm


@nosey: Throwing a stone that breaks a window and then apologizing for it is not giving respect. It is trying to make good a mistake. If respect was given, the stone would not have been thrown in the first place.

If everyone concerned about inappropriate use of content hides the content behind passwords and other mechanisms, than I think the criminals or the wanton copiers would have won. I don’t think we should give in to that.

I don’t think Wenhan is unethical and I am not angry with him, I just think that he should take time to consider his actions before taking them.

I think what we are doing here is giving him guidance on how to approach things but he seems to be unreceptive to our advice. Mind you he seems to have stepped on a lot of bloggers’ toes. I think only ice and I have bothered to give him the time of the day, which I think he accepted with some grace.

Which is why I’ve been polite.

With regards to giving reviews, you must have mistaken me for someone else, I don’t (except when commissioned, twice I think) do reviews. 🙂

But I think I’ve always stood by my experiences which are always justified and defensible. This is very different from what Wenhan has done.

I don’t see how you can link the two distinctions like that.
I’d think that spending time in NUS would have taught you some sense or at least basic scientific logic by now.

Hope this helps.


 

Wolfgang commented on November 17, 2008 at 6:54 pm


Aiya, just write what is true. People like me loves honest comment. If it’s nice write more good stuff, if it is bad, just be a critic. If Simon Cowell says every idol is good there will not be any American Idol. I don’t see any skill required cos this is a food blog.

We eat. We comment. If everyone remove all their entries based on comprehension then we will have no more food blogs to go to. I also went there before.. Food So – so only.. But we still spent alot. The best thing was the beer and cigarettes after the meal. Hahaha.

Talk what livelihood. They so rich, even if they sell lobsters that taste like slippers people will still go eat. If you look at the economic of scale, do you think everyone is so free to surf net for food places?
I tink Ivan is being too serious, why not pop your entire head out so we can see you.


 

Ivan commented on November 17, 2008 at 7:06 pm


@Wolfgang: Huh? I have no idea what you are talking about.


 

nosey commented on November 18, 2008 at 2:01 am


we can go on and debate about what respect is all about..haha..anyway i see that you hold on to that “my experiences which are always justified and defensible” mentality and think that you are always right. there’s no need for further discussion if that’s the case. consider yourself a career as a judge.


 

Wolfgang commented on November 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm


Ivan. Ask around.


 

Ivan commented on November 20, 2008 at 11:17 pm


@Wolfgang: Just to address one point, assuming I got what you mean, I think when you care enough about something, you will be serious about it. Just ask any first-time parent with a newborn child.

In any case, I think you just need to clarify your sentences and then I won’t have to seek external help in interpreting what you mean.


 

Ivan commented on November 20, 2008 at 11:19 pm


@nosey: Actually, you started this debate; I am a little surprised that you don’t have the stamina to carry on. But it is good that you are trying to end this because your points are starting to sound flaccid.

Really, if you feel that my views are not defensible, I offer you the opportunity to put the money where your mouth is.


Post A Comment

The comments are closed.

Search

Recent Comments

cincymetal.com: ?hhis is vital a? you would certainl? nnot want a pet dog entrance do?r to open...

Rexic: Would have agreed with you but then I saw Pontian wanton mee with nacho cheese...

ivan: Thanks! I just think it’s a tired argument that doesn’t make sense.

Bugger: Btw, kacang puul looks amazing!

Bugger: Hear! Hear! So called “authenticity” is a great hurdle to emergence of new...

MervC: I like they way they bring out the massive chunk of tuna, and the great knife skills,...

ivan: Yes you are. 🙂

MervC: Look like Hashida Sushi. Am i right?


Asides


Categories


Links

Cha Xiu Bao

Chubby Hubby

Makansutra Forum

My Inner Fatty

Nibble & Scribble

NYT Diner’s Journal

Only Slightly Pretentious Food

Serious Eats

Tamarind and Thyme

The Girl Who Ate Everything

The Wong List

Umami


View Stats