Last Sunday I had breakfast at one of the hip breakfast joints in Bangsar. I had planned to go there since 6 months ago but something always came up in the mornings that prevented me of going there.
I was very excited to taste “the real” croissants baked by a French baker. My friend swore the croissants and pastries were as good as those in Paris..!!
I was pleasantly surprised to see the café.. It was love at the first sight. The café looked like the one I saw in movies. It looks very chic and cute. Since it was a warm morning, I opted to sit inside instead of al fresco. I was glad to choose in-door dining as the café had an open kitchen where I could see all the actions from my chair. I could see the French chef baking some dough in their huge oven.
Just two minutes after I sat down, the whole room turned dark. I was a bit surprised but the light was back within a few seconds. I thought it must be a little glitch. While I was reading thru the menu, the light was off again. The manager marched to the back of the restaurant, went to the control room and made a hand gesture to the other manager/owner. Then the light was on again. With the light on, I continued reading the menu.
I decided to splurge by choosing an authentic French dish that I had never tried before. I really can’t remember the name of the dish but it was supposed to be smoked duck breast with egg and toast. The description of the dish made me salivate. Unfortunately the dish was not available that morning because there was something wrong with the oven that prevented the chef to make bread. After scanning the menu, I changed my mind to have a lighter breakfast instead. I decided on a piece of Almond Croissant and a cup of Cappuccino.
Right after I finished ordering, the light was out again. This time, the manager switched off Air Conditioning unit. Without AC, the room instantly become warmer.
While waiting for my food to arrive, I looked around the café. I envied the shiny copper pots and stainless steel pans hanging from the racks. The spices and sugar looked so cute in reusable Bon Maman jars.
Suddenly the light was out again… This time, the manager asked the chefs to switch off the salamander and the big oven. The chefs had to stop baking the half-cooked dough. I could see the frustration on the chef’s face but he had no choice. With those 2 appliances down, the light was back on.
After waiting for a few minutes, the friendly waitress brought my beautiful Almond Croissant. It was perfect… It was big, fat and chunky croissant topped with home-made almond paste and slivered almonds. I love the taste of the almond paste inside the croissant. It was very rich and smooth.
When I took my second bite, suddenly the electricity tripped again.
As much as I was annoyed by the cafe’s electrical problem, I pitied the managers. I had been in a similar situation before so I know how they felt. I remember how panic and frustrated I was, not knowing what went wrong and how to fix it.
The next thing the manager did was to switch off the coffee machine. Once the machine was off, the light was back. Soon after that the waiter told me I couldn’t have my Cappuccino as the machine was switched off to save the tripping. I felt disappointed because I could already imagine how my croissant would taste with my cappuccino. But I also understand that there was nothing they could do.
The managers apologized to all the customers who sat inside the room. He didn’t charge anything for the food and beverages we had. Everything that everyone had inside the room was free. Although I didn’t feel good eating for free, I applaud the good gesture from the managers. I felt so bad for them. I wish I could help but my knowledge in electrical stuff is close to zero.
This experience is a reminder for everyone to engage an experienced electrician during renovation period. While single-phase wiring is OK for a normal household, it is advisable to use three-phase wiring in commercial set up. Three-phase wiring allows electricity load to be distributed evenly causing the current to be more stable. When something wrong happens, it allows the problem to be contained in just one area.
I didn’t know what happened in that café after I left but I hope their electrician came to fix the problem. It was Sunday morning at 8 o’clock. Most electricians don’t work that early on Sunday. Even if they do, it would take them at least an hour to come.