I'm apologizing in advance - this is usually a "happy place" where I share things I like with you. But something happened yesterday that just made me so extremely angry that this time I need to vent a little.
Okay. So here it goes.
Friends of my parents (about 65 years old) came to town and I wanted to take them to dinner at PAN ASIA Berlin (it's very much like wagamama in London). We've been there a lot over the years. I called a few days in advance to make reservations, everything seemed fine. We arrived there last night, looking forward to a nice evening, when I had the following conversation with the hostess:
"Hi, my name is XY. I booked a table for three." "But not with us." (Without even looking at the guest list.) "I'm absolutely sure, I've called a couple of days ago..." "No." "Well, there isn't another PAN ASIA in Berlin, is there?" (I know there isn't.) "Yes, there is." (Pardon?) This went on and on. She tried to convice me - aka SHE LIED TO MY FACE - that I made reservations at the other place (which doesn't exist...). I thought I was going mad as I had gotten the telephone number directly from the PAN ASIA website. It was about 8pm, the restaurant was empty but we didn't get a table. We left, I was mortified, it was extremely embarrassing. Getting a table on Friday night at 8pm anywhere in this area is pretty much impossible. As I told you before...my guests were not that young anymore, had come a long way and were really really hungry.
After that I took them to our favourite Indian restaurant in our neighbourhood.
When I came home, I checked my phone records. Of course I had called the RIGHT number to make the reservation...and needless to say a second PAN ASIA didn't exist. And I did a little research on the internet. It turns out I hadn't lost my mind - PAN ASIA does this frequently. Even so you have a reservation, they turn you away (and not very friendy I might add...I've read stories that made me cringe) if they don't like your face or your attire (and yes, we were dressed appropriately). This is bad enough, but no broiled salmon is worth being lied to in a way that makes you question your own mental health.
The area around the Hackscher Markt is always brimming with tourists, so I guess they figure they have enough business as it is and the rules of common decency don't apply to them.
So if you should plan a visit to Berlin in the near future - drop me a line and I'll make a list of nice places to go. ...but don't expect PAN ASIA to be on that list.