Heavy publicity surrounding the recently opened SKY Corner at Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh ignited the interests of many (judging from the crowd yesterday evening), and sparked some hopes, as it was clearly stated in the flyers and a HUGE signboard opposite of Jusco, the ZERO price promotion (a brush off Air Asia's fame, perhaps?). What I had was a vague idea on the cuisine they serve, which was supposed to be Japanese and Chinese style steamboat, and teppanyaki (Japanese hot plate) soon to be added into the menu.Choose to dine by the kaiten belt indoors, OR outdoors ~ al fresco style
Arriving at around 7pm on a Saturday, the place was rather crowded. As there were only two of us, we chose to sit on the outside, the weather being cooling after the heavy rain. But the staff ushering the patrons persuaded us to sit INSIDE instead, as the place is air-conditioned. OK, fine. Only to discover that each long table can accomodate up to 6 customers or more, with 3 hollow indents in the middle, obviously to fit 3 hot pots for steamboat.
One glance at the conveyor belt revealed their main attraction - The steamboat meal. Exactly how MP Steamboat (a popular branch of steamboat restaurants in Ipoh) serves them, on a kaiten belt, so you can choose your own ingredients from the comfort of your seats. But unlike MP where you can pick what you want and pay for only those, at SKY Corner, the theme is BUFFET-style steamboat, meaning eat-all-you-can. And we were startled at the price per person, a whopping RM29.80+ per pax !!!!!!!!!
You see, paying that much amount of money can net you large prawns or crabs in a seafood restaurants, or even in other steamboat outlets in Ipoh, you can stuff yourself silly for around RM20/pax only. Though at Sky Corner, you can choose from their erm, "extensive" range of sushi, and temaki, (14 types of sushi, and 10 types of rolls, more on that later) prepared fresh on the spot. Gee, how exciting.
I managed to survey the items on the conveyor belt thoroughly, and the choices was nothing to shout about. Though listed in the menu were 62 items, but the only noteworthy ones on the belt being slices of beef/fish/chicken, 'abalone' slices, tiny crabs, and small prawns. And the usual balls, vegetables, mushrooms, and yong tau foo.The freshly, AND took-forever-to-prepare sushi
So we did the next best thing, and asked for ala carte dishes, in hopes of bento sets, teppanyaki, or even a simple plate of fried rice. Tough luck, we had. It seems they opened in such a rush, that the ONLY meal they serve for the time being is the buffet steamboat, and sushi/temaki at a promo price of RM3.50 per plate. Though deep in our hearts, we wanted to leave the place, but we soldiered on and ordered some sushi instead. And twiddled out thumbs. And then more twiddling ....
Until another waitress had the audacity to "usher" us (or rather, "halau" us) from our seats, stating that if we're not having the buffet steamboat, and there were only two of us, we MUST sit outside at the smaller tables instead. This, after all the commotion and trouble they went to arrange our cutleries and plates to accomodate our sushi orders. Reasons given? Oh, the staff who took our orders was a "NEW" staff, and she did not know about this hidden rule. Yeah right, the place was opened for less than a week or two, tell me who's the "OLD" staff then?
Still, as she was being apologetic, we concurred and moved as ordered, with tails between our legs. And then the wait for the sushi became relentless. Time was crawling by, and when I queried about the long wait, the waitress mentioned that there were only TWO chef manning the sushi counter, thus the wait may be longer. OK, fine. But one glance at the workers, all decked up in uniforms resembling Air Asia's colours, and you'd be forgiven if you wanna smack a staff or two. There were around 20 staff handling the place, and only TWO handling the sushi counter? The others were practically standing around, ushering people, rushing to customers once they arrived in hopes of attracting more and more ...
As for the food, forgettable. Though I admit the sushi and temaki were of better quality than Sushi King's (then again, since when Sushi King serves GOOD sushi?) One major gripe was the soy sauce provided was not of the Japanese shoyu variety, but the local one meant for steamboat. This rendered the dipping sauce saltier than desired, and the wasabi was SHOCKINGLY TASTELESS !!! I scooped a spoonful into my mouth, and yet my eyes did not water. Huh? I like mine hot, please!
Total damage for two = RM25, drinks are free-flow, and FOC, fortunately. But the overall experience was more damaging to the souls, rather than the palate. Still that virginal visit provided us with much laughter and a lesson to be learnt - Do Not Believe The Hype Blindly. And the management of Sky Corner should buck up in terms of customer service. You are charging 5% Service Charge, after all.
Location : Sky Corner @ 46, Jalan Medan Ipoh 5, Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh, 31400 Ipoh. Tel : 05-5452623.