The food and beverage industry (F&B) is a tough business to succeed in, you either make it or you don't- simple as that.
They were the words uttered by UK Cuisine outlet manager Tan U Keong who has been tasked to transform and turnaround the fortunes of Movida Kitchen+Terrace at d' Tempat Country Club in Sendayan, Seremban.
"The food here previously was only so-so and the service was considered not too good so I was asked to take over the management and bring this restaurant to a new level," he said.
Tan is passionate about his mission to reignite the eatery, even before it was announced he would take over the management he secretly went to the restaurant as a mystery diner, in order to try and determine the problems, then plan a road ahead.
"These days you cannot afford any mistakes serving food to customers as the punishment online through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can put you out of business, so you must perform at the highest level in all facets of the business, every day, every night."
"Firstly, the service must be good. It has always been vital to all generations of diners that the presentation is excellent and then the taste matches what the eyes have seen!"
"Last month we changed the whole menu, keeping some of the old favourites, but 95 percent of the dishes have changed, he said."
"We are going to bring the restaurant to a higher level by altering the outdoor area which will become a glassed in restaurant with lots of greenery, flowers and plants to make it more conducive for families to dine here. It is going to be something fresh because I've never seen this concept in Seremban before although it is common in KL and Singapore.
"We want families to come and eat our great food, lounge around by the pool and have a good time, that is why we will have two separate distinct areas to cater for the different patronage."
The contract with MoVida expires early next year in January and with his more than12 years experience in F&B at places like JW Marriott, Ritz Carlton and Botanica + Co, Tan believes the transformation, predominantly of the outdoor area, will offer guests of all races and cultures a great foodie experience.
Tan's passion with food is evident as he tucks into a piece of pizza. The base, which is made fresh every day is dripping with cheese and other delightful herbs and sauces. Tan evaluates as he eats, questioning out loud if the pizza requires small refinements, perhaps a different spice or flavour is needed to enhance, what is evident to me already, a very good taste experience.
"It is all about family, we want this to be a family friendly outlet where you can come and have lunch or dinner and have a good time around the pool and facilities, not to mention utilise our super saver lunch promotions regularly on offer, everyday 20% off from 12 -3pm every day."
The indoor bar area at MoVida will stay much the same but the outdoor area will be remodelled with the ceiling being hacked to utilise the overhead sunlight, which is the perfect lighting situation for guests to take quality food photographs, without dark shadows lowering the picture quality.
"Everything will be different, the chairs, the tables,the ceiling, the cutlery, but mostly the ambience and greenery. We want it to be a whole new experience for diners and families."
The new restaurant will also launch a new menu next year to go with the change of decor and atmosphere -watch this space for further updates.
But for now, the food on the new menu is delicious and all of it is sourced from halal approved outlets with advice given to customers about the menu options if they require clarification. For example one dish, The Flaming Bean Can Chicken, requires vodka to be poured onto the chicken which is then set alight. Customers can request to not take the alcohol option.
As part of a blogging network group I was one of a few lucky attendees at MoVida at d'Tempat Country Club to sample their new menu which was a western fusion mix and it was damn good.
So many times I have tried Western food outlets in Malaysia and it was not good. Eating the meat on offer was like chewing through the sole of a shoe - not here.
The dishes we tasted all lived up to the hype, absolutely.
The seafood aioli was flawlessly fresh and flavoursome, mussels and prawns, can't go wrong. The burger pattie was superb and the chips were nice and crunchy. Yummy, yummy sausages. Fresh crispy dough pizza with an assortment of ingredients and a steak that was soft, delicious and very tastily seasoned. Melt in your mouth meat.
I have a confession to make.
Up until now for fifty years or so, I thought my mum made the best mint jelly sauce, ever, no competition. Every time I return to New Zealand I ask her to make her lamb and mint sauce dish.
I still will make the request, but I'm sorry mum. Their's is the bee's knees, and so good I will return there just for that succulent lamb and mint sauce dish. If you haven't tried it get down there now, the sweet potato chips are also the perfect companion for the lamb. Top notch. They should bottle that sauce it and sell it!
Listed below in no particular order is our lunch menu:
1. The Sausage Platter - Cheesy Chicken / Black Pepper Chicken / Lamb Sausage / Mustard / Aioli / Pickles.
2. Char Grilled Lamb - Sweet potato chips / Watercress / Mint jelly sauce.
3. MoVida Gourmet chicken burger - Cheese / Caramelised Onions with Mushrooms / Fries / special sauce.
4. Seafood Aglio Olio Spaghetti - Mussells / Prawns / Squid / Garlic / Chilli / Olive oil.
5. Mexicana Pizza - Chicken Sausages / Mixed Capsicums / Mushrooms / Mozzarela.
6. Flaming Bean Can Chicken - BBQ Whole Spring Chicken / Baked Beans / Mushrooms / Coleslaw / Vodka (optional). (See video above)
7. MoVida XO Fried Rice - Spicy Shrimp Paste / Chicken Boxing / Fish Cracker / Mango Salsa.
8. Charbroiled Australia Rib Eye Steak - Garlic Confit / Truffle Mushroom Ragout / Roasted Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes.
1. Oreo Smoothies, a blend of Oreo cookies with vanilla ice cream, topped up with fresh milk.
2. Tropical Delight - Pineapple juice, mango juice, coconut milk and banana.
3. Strawberry Shake - blend of strawberry ice cream and fresh milk.
4. Chocolate shake - Blend of chocolate ice cream and fresh milk.
The bar is a very popular venue and is offering new promotions regularly. Check all this info on beer, wine and spirit's on their FB Page at https://www.facebook.com/movida.seremban/?ref=br_rs
There are also theme nights, see picture below, which are very popular and will help save you some coin.
The bar has a DJ in the evenings and you can watch the local, EPL and world football matches on the Astro service on offer there. Check out the extra offers, directions to get there and happening events on their Facebook page. (see link above)