Expat Life in Qatar

Backyard At The Lagoon, The Reality.

November 14, 2015
Backyard at The Lagoon, The Ritz-Carlton Doha

As a blogger, I do receive a lot of invitations from establishments to attend their events or try out their services. All these would be on complimentary basis and of course the establishment would be aware that I’m there for one reason alone – to write about them on this blog.

Of course the experience wouldn’t be real if you go there as a blogger as opposed to a regular diner – you do get a special treatment and everyone would be on their guard while around you. Having said that, I have made it a point to visit the same establishment as a regular customer after I’ve been invited to try it.

I do this for two reasons: 1. As a thank you for the invitation extended to me, so I wouldn’t feel indebted for the free service/meal that I got from them the first time. 2. To see if what I experienced the first time I visited them as a blogger would have such a drastic difference to the experience that I will have as a regular diner.

Most of the time, there won’t be much difference and if there is, it would be too small that I’d be willing to brush it off so easily. Besides, no matter how hard they try – there is no customer-oriented business which will be able to give you the exact same service all the time.

Unless the service that I received was extremely disappointing, I wouldn’t bother writing it again. Having said that, it probably is easy to understand that I had such a bad experience on my last visit to the Backyard at The Lagoon compared to the first time that I was there since this post is about it.

Many of you may remember how happy I was with our experience there last week. I’ve been promoting it on all my social media channels and I’ve been seeing a lot of positive responses from my followers – some of them were discussing when they’ll visit it on my post itself.

I’m happy of course when I’m able to promote a place I enjoyed and I too was getting excited for them to experience it. I’ve also shamelessly promoted it to my friends and was able to drag a few of them with me last Thursday to try it again. It was well and good until the place got crowded at around 9:30pm. I could enumerate so many wrong things which happened but some deserves a special mention such as:

  • We placed our order for food at 9:30pm (I remember because this was the time when my friend arrived and we placed our order immediately as we were all very hungry) and got it at 11:01pm. 1hr and 30mins of waiting for food isn’t acceptable anywhere in the world. I’m sure you’d agree with me.
  • The servers all seem to be confused and when asked to speak to the supervisor/in-charge/manager, they couldn’t give a name.
  • At some point, a waiter came with what looks like our food but she ignored us the whole time we were telling her that it was probably ours. She went to all the tables around us and all these customers were telling her that they didn’t order it. It was evident at this time that it was ours but instead of giving it to us, the waiter went back inside the kitchen with the food. Now even I have to admit that it was hilarious! We had to laugh it off.
  • The manager, no matter how many times we asked for him, never came to our table. Instead, the Asst. Manager came and explained that they only have one kitchen which is what’s making this whole event a mess. Maybe they should’ve anticipated it already since it isn’t the first time that they’re doing this event. That’s just me though, I’m not a hotelier so I wouldn’t know. I’m just speaking out of common sense.
  • By the time the food arrived, it was all cold like it’s been waiting at the kitchen counter to be served for such a long time.
  • The food portions (specifically the sliders and the burger) were obviously a looooot smaller this time compared to my previous visit which was quite frustrating for me really. Why? Because I feel like I’ve been fooled the first time. The portion served to me as a blogger was clearly not the same portion as what they would serve a normal diner. I was raving about it to all my friends, how amazing their sliders were but if I had the same quality the first time – I wouldn’t have recommended it.

From all the food that we ordered that night, I have to say that only the calamari was great! However, we waited for such a long time for the food that by the time it arrived – we were all no longer in the mood to enjoy it fully.

As a compensation, they refunded what we’ve paid for the food however I have to say that it didn’t make any difference – we still didn’t enjoy eating it. It wasn’t about the money really. We were willing to pay for it in fact, we already did. It was more about the service that we didn’t get from them.

Food and service-wise, it was definitely a disastrous night. You’d think that after this visit I would totally boycott Backyard At The Lagoon but I just can’t. Call me a masochist but I would still go back there over and over again. Why? The ambiance is just so amazing that I’m willing to overlook what they lack in service. Seriously, this place is something special. Maybe not the food nor the service but the place itself is incredible!

Backyard at The Lagoon, The Ritz-Carlton Doha

Backyard at The Lagoon, The Ritz-Carlton Doha

Click here for more photos.

How can you not fall in love with that? :p I’m probably going to have dinner somewhere else first before going back there next time. 🙂

This is obviously, NOT a sponsored post.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Mitzie Mee November 19, 2015 at 22:27

    Looks like a really cozy place! Let’s go there when I come to Doha and we could bring our own picnic basket:) Experiences like this is why I decided not to review restaurants based on blogger events. I’m happy to hear that this is one of the only bad experiences you’ve had regarding the differences in service and quality compared to blogger events. In Dubai it’s more often than not that I get disappointed when I return, except for Busaba. It was the other way around. They kind of sucked at the opening night, but then took a great leap forward:)
    Mitzie Mee recently posted…Hamburg: Oberhafen KantineMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 20, 2015 at 10:41

      There has been differences in some of the restaurants I’ve visited as a normal diner compared to as a blogger however most of the time, it’s very minimal and not really worth noting about. This time however, it was a totally different experience and I really felt bad since I love the place and the concept. I’m definitely going to bring you here next time you come visit me. 🙂

  • Reply Karen November 16, 2015 at 09:02

    Hopefully management has read this and will improve on their service cause I really wanna check it out! But if it’s gonna be a disaster like what you’ve mentioned, I’m gonna be turned off so quickly. Love the honest review 🙂

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 16, 2015 at 11:06

      Oh you should go and visit it Karen! As I’ve said, the place is too cool to miss. I’m willing to overlook the lack of service we received and would go back there over and over again. 🙂

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