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Deal Grocer Experience

Monday, October 19, 2015
Let me say this from the get-go, before trying out Deal Grocer, I am skeptical when it comes to group buying sites. Case in point, during the time when majority of the food bloggers I know were writing about their dining experiences made possible through the vouchers they bought at some group buying site sprouting those days, I got nothing to contribute. Simply because I do not patronize such.

Those horrifying group buying sites experiences documented on blog posts you can find all over the internet also didn't help. So, call me a less than smart consumer if you must, but I will still stand firm on my belief that if I want good quality food and service, I must pay it with fair price.

Deal Grocer Blog Review Dining Deal Xin Tian Di Crowne Plaza Manila
I have been blogging about restaurants for nearly eight years now, that cliche that says "You get what you pay for" holds truth in it. So, I would rather work hard and save money for those experiences which will guarantee a good quality food and service instead of pushing my luck that my vouchers will not disappoint me. It's food that nourishes the body we are talking about, I hate being disappointed when it comes to that, so I don't mind spending.

So why write about Deal Grocer now?

Truth be told I made few research about Deal Grocer before giving the experience and this write up a go. Several of my friends, including my very own sister trust Deal Grocer. No horror stories. So I figured why not.

Deal Grocer Xin Tian Di's Cantonese Feast for 4 Blog Review
Xin Tian Di's Cantonese Feast for 4

Php 3,970 (Original Price is Php 6,629 as stated on Deal Grocer's website)

Appetizer ~ Hot Prawn Salad in Crispy Noodle Basket
Soup ~ Braised Dried Scallop, Sea Cucumber, and Fish Lip Soup
Main Course ~ Steamed Lapu Lapu Thai Style, Sauteed Beef Steak Fillet with Mango and Pepper, Sauteed Seafood in XO Sauce.
Rice ~ Fried Scallop and Dried Scallop Fried Rice
Dessert ~ Puree Mango with Tapioca

On Deal Grocer, satisfied.
On Xin Tian Di, not so much.

Xin Tian Di Menu
First of all, I would have to say that doing transaction with Deal Grocer happened without a glitch. From registration to navigating the available deals - the whole nine yards, no glitch and I am happy about it.

When it comes to the dining experience, I am happy to report that we were given everything that was indicated on the menu. They didn't scrimp on the serving portion considering it is on a discounted price. It was not my first time at Xin Tian Di, so I am pretty much familiar with the serving portion of their food. 

Now the downside of the whole experience was about the service and the super long wait our group have to endure before we were fed. 

Braised Dried Scallop, Sea Cucumber, and Fish Lip Soup
Here's the story.

Our reservation was on a Saturday night at 8pm. It was supposed to be my birthday dinner with my sister and her family. I am more than willing to add other dishes on top of what was included on the Deal Grocer voucher because hey, it's my birthday.

Then the pouting and sour face from other diners at nearby table served as a warming. 

Sauteed Beef Steak Fillet with Mango and Pepper
We were seated at around 8:19pm (based on my camera time stamp as I was taking photos that time) but was only attended by servers after roughly 15 minutes. We gave them the voucher, then several minutes more, a food server came to our table showing us the Deal Grocer menu, just to set our expectation.

We were given water. Only water, which made me missed their super nice complimentary peanuts I was served during past visits. But no big deal.

Sauteed Seafood in XO Sauce
The soup which was the first food that hit our table came at around 8:40pm (again, based on my camera time stamp). Then there's more long wait right after that. We called the attention of the servers couple of times but it feels like they were avoiding us.

But in fairness to them, the place was jam packed that night. There's a lot of diners but as a hotel restaurant, I expected something more on their end.

Fried Scallop and Dried Scallop Fried Rice
After the soup, we were served the beef dish. We were already starving. There's only a short waiting period before the seafood dish was served. But then again, the rice was still nowhere in sight. We are Filipino diners, we need our rice especially when there are enticing viands in front of us.

My 2 year old nephew who could only eat rice was throwing a tantrums already because he was starving. We asked one of the servers to follow up our orders then a little while later, the rice came. 

Hot Prawn Salad in Crispy Noodle Basket
We were almost done eating by the time the appetizer which was supposed to be served before the main dishes came. The fact that the prawn salad was really good became the saving grace.

Now the fun part was when they served the steamed Lapu-Lapu at around 9:48pm ALONGSIDE the dessert. 

It's almost 10pm, of course there's no more rice and viands on our table. I don't see the logic of eating the fish with the dessert, so we just asked the servers to pack it instead.

Steamed Lapu Lapu Thai Style
I already lost my appetite for the long waiting dramas that happened so my sister asked the servers to pack the two remaining desserts as well. 

It was supposed to be my birthday celebration with family members I have not seen for quite a while. 

But instead, Xin Tian Di gave us such a dragging dinner. 

Puree Mango with Tapioca
Then again, I understand that it was a busy night for them. I saw one server apologizing to my sister in the middle of the dinner but I am not sure about what because I was too starved to care. 

I cannot say that we got that kind of service simply because we were using a discounted voucher because I can see nearby table was also suffering from the long wait and the food on their table was different from the menu indicated on Deal Grocer.  

I rarely write about a not so nice dining experience but the main point of this blog is about the trust I now have with Deal Grocer. That glitch from Xin Tian Di is forgivable as well since previous experiences especially when my family and I were staying at Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn were okay as I remember. But I don't want to have this kind of experience ever again. 

Xin Tian Di Crowne Plaza

Now in conclusion, I am still a bit skeptical about group buying sites but not with Deal Grocer. My sister who is quite a fan told me that Deal Grocer can really be trusted based on her experiences. And I believe her.

I was given the deal exactly as indicated on their website. Had it not been for the disappointing service at Xin Tian Di, it could have been a perfect experience. 

Check out Deal Grocer website at for exciting deals at discounted price.

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