I have had my share of not so great deli-cafes but none has invoked such a strong urge to pen my dissatisfaction down except for Epoch, located at Star Street Hong Kong.
Previously, I had read a positive review about the place in the HK magazine. I went to their website (http://www.epochdesserts.com/) and it was a sophisticated, slick and happening little site that seemed to know exactly what it is. A cool chill place that serve great beverages, cakes and decent food to say the least. How sickeningly disappointing and a vast letdown reality was.
We went down to Epoch at about 2.30pm and while it wasnt crowded, there was relatively a few filled tables. We decided to go for a "Chicken Avocado" Foccacia sandwich and a "Steak and onion" Panini.
The first disappointment came when my Chicken and Avocado sandwich was stone cold. I was alittle surprised since I had assumed the sandwich to be warm but I could do with a cold sandwich since the Steak and Onion was lukewarm.
Biting into the steak and onion, all I could taste was really cheese and cheese. The steak or really beef slices were tasteless. Still, it was bearable if I remind myself this really isnt a gourmet sandwich place.
The next bone to pick was the Chicken and Avocado sandwich, that promised diced apple and obviously avocado was sorely none in existence! My husband went to the counter to ask about it, and the girl at the counter merely looked at him and replied "Oh is it." 30 seconds later, "So you want another one?" He was so put off by the lack of service that he just shook his head and came back to the seat. I told him he should have just have a new one made since he didnt have anything and we already paid good money for it.
I waved a waiter over and showed him the open sandwich with all the missing bits. He looked lost but politely replied he would check and come back.
Moments later, he returned and told me that "the avocado is already mixed into the mayo sauce." The sauce was watery and WHITE. Anyone had a WHITE avocado before? I certainly havent. If it was thicker in texture, I would have been more convinced but when it was as watery as apple juice, then it is plain insulting to my intelligence. Otherwise, Epoch will be one of those cafe that mixed 1tsp of avocado to 2 gallon of mayo to befuddle patrons like us and have us convinced what we were eating were real avocado.
The waiter must have seen my skeptical unconvinced look and quickly added that we could opt for avocado slice instead, which we did. The new sandwich was just as dry, unappetitising with 2 miserable small slices of avocado.
We tried to add a new order, a hot chocolate and was told flippantly "Sorry no hot chocolate." At 2.30pm and you ran out of hot chocolate beverage for a supposedly cool cafe joint? To me, it is balantly disgraceful, uncaring.
The staff were amany, mostly teenagers or maybe they just looked young for early twenties who acted as if they didnt give a shit about who comes and goes. I suppose that is the problem when the boss isnt around to ensure whatever vision he or she had for the cafe gets translated into reality, instead being run to a stop being manned by uncaring young inexperienced staff. They werent rude to be fair, they just didnt give a hoot or shit about the business or their customers that walk through that door.
This is significantly the worst experience I had in these few years. Granted I didnt try the cakes, but honestly if you were in my shoes, would you really? I only have so much leap of faith to spare for one joint in the same hour.
So if you are looking for a good cafe, please WALK ON AND PASS THIS BY because it certainly isnt worth your time unless u just want a quick coffee. Otherwise, you will be happier, WAY much happier at Star bucks or Prets a Manger just round the corner. Epoch has certainly lost its way if it wasnt this bad at the start.
I am a non fast food eater. Epoch made me think of a Macs hot burger, and actually thought it would have been a more satisfying lunch.. This is how bad this place is.
PS: 2012 update:
I went past the same area and seems like Epoch has folded, gone bust, kaput. See what I mean by crappy cafe can only deserve one ending?