Monday, September 15, 2008

Pine Gardens - I'll be back for more!

I was really happy with the positive comments and good feedback I've received on Mayenne's birthday cakes, both from Pine Gardens (AMK Ave 10).

So good, I've recommended my friends to order cakes from Pine Gardens for their own kids 1st birthdays and the results were the same.... all their guests enjoyed the cakes too. I will also be ordering a 3-tier wedding cake from them as a gift to a couple getting married soon.

So when my colleagues talked about Pine Gardens having the CMK durian cakes, I was really excited -- CMK stands for Cat Mountain King aka Mao Shan Wang, the creme de la creme of all types of durians (which I love), and Pine Gardens (I love their cakes too). The perfect combi.

I was assigned the task of ordering/buying the cake as the shop is near my place. The cake would also form part of the mini birthday celebrations for the birthday boy and girl in my work team born in September.

So after a long day of photoshoot with Chester last Sunday, we rushed back to pick up the cake before the shop closes. Next morning, I brought it to the office and stored it in the pantry's fridge. When the time came for the birthday celebration, we took the cake out, sang the birthday song and distributed the cake all round.

"The cake....."
"It's um...."

Yup, although the cake tastes fresh, the layers of durian flesh between the sponge cakes, were indeed sour.

How can this be? I've only collected it yesterday and stored it as recommended. Feeling disappointed, confused, angry, betrayed (cos I had so much faith in Pine's cakes), I called Pine Gardens up for an explanation (and hopefully, compensation).

The person at the end of the line was very polite and carefully asked about my storage conditions. Then she made a statement "... but we never had any complaints about our durian cakes before". I thought "that's it... she's gonna blame me on not storing properly and shrug away from all responsibilities". Then she offered to send someone to pick up the spoilt cake from my office and they will look into the matter and decide the next course of action.

The delivery guy came within 10mins (should be in the vicinity) and took the cake away. Then, about half an hour later, Pine Garden called. While holding my breath, they explained that they suspect it's the durian that has gone into the cake, was bad (ie durian supplier ought to be shot), and since it is rather unlikely for them to taste every single durian before making the cake, it was unfortunate that we got that bad one.

They promptly then offered to replace the durian cake and send it back to my office, and even asked if I needed the same wordings on the cake plus number of candles required. When I collected the package from the same delivery guy who came earlier, I saw 2 boxes in the plastic bag. Out of goodwill, Pine Gardens threw in 20 complimentary pieces of bite-sized brownies and cheesecakes. And the replacement durian cake was fantastic.

I applaud Pine Garden for their speed in handling the situation, their gesture to replace and send the cake back to me (usually they charge at least $15 for delivery), and giving some complimentary confectionery.

Perhaps they still do think that it's my (the customer's) fault in not storing the cake properly, but everything they have done has made me feel that they treasure their customers; and they have definitely retained this customer (me), and I will definitely continue to buy cakes from them.

Moral of the story? Never buy your own birthday cake. =P

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