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So Much Drama — Why not show the full email?

Two Sides of the Story — Arun Ratnaa vs Ken Lim

  • Arun Ratnaa, Head of marketing at Shiraz
  • Ken Lim, Proprietor of Don Quijote Spanish Restaurant

What’s Going On?

It started off with this Facebook post and comment with 1 side of the story:

Arun Ratnaa Said:

As many of you would know, I’m a huge fan of Dempsey. It is home to many lovely establishments and I’ve never had a truly bad experience. However, that all changed over the weekend when I went to Don Quijote. Having received rather bad service at the door, I sent the management a note. Being in the F&B industry myself, I appreciate it when someone gives me a heads up on bad service.

However, I wasn’t expecting the reply that owner Ken Lim sent. 
“In eight words, who the fuck do you think you are?”

We are constantly complaining about the lack of service culture in Singapore and attribute it to a general lack of staff in the industry. Sure, the lack of staff is one reason – less staff, lower standards of service. We’re in an industry wide crunch and everyone’s trying their best to cope. So Mr Ken, I do understand where you’re coming from. What better way to save time on service recovery then a templated “Fuck you?”

Of course it does not help when owners themselves validate bad service but Mr Ken, I’m neither mad nor upset about your reply. I’d just like a glass of whatever you were drinking.

Then the second part of the story came out:

Ken Lim Said:


People like to react to sensational tit bits… without actually knowing the facts… You posted what you wanted everyone to see and hear, without the full facts and I wonder how you manage to call yourself a professional of any industry, whether F&B or other..

Here’s the parts you left out.. That my staff in question was at no point rude to you and in fact apologized several times that we were not able to accommodate you, but for whatever reasons you had, maybe showing off to friend, you decided to get abusive instead and even your email was racist, pointing out a Filipino staff with bad service, where because her command of the English language isn’t as high as yours, and maybe could have explained things better, but instead you flew the coop and then followed up with a scathing email, signing off with your company credentials..?

Was your visit in a personal or corporate capacity? Were you emailing us in your “professional” (I would have to use this word very loosely with you) capacity and complaining as a representative of your company?

I will not engage any further exchange with you, whether be it online and in any other medium so you may continue with your banter about how professional you actually are and what a victim you were when what I have is my now 8th year reputation for having higher-than-most standards of service to stand on.

Bottom line.. If you had written to us in a personal capacity, I would be bestowed every courtesy that is bestowed on ALL our customers.. But because you chose to do so with your corporate details and titles, to me, seeing that you are “a professional in the F&B industry”, to me, you should not go up to someone else’s house and kick the gate because if you do, then you should be prepared to get bitten by the dog. In my opinion your deplorable behavior towards both my staff and us all collectively was bully-like and racist-like which just added to things and I responded accordingly.

Ken Lim

Then Arun Ratnaa Said:

This was the original email folks. You decide.

Then We Said:

Indeed..funny how both sides never showed the FULL email exchange between them huh? But I guess it doesn’t really matter anymore huh?

The Newspapers & Other Online Media Said:

Arun Ratnaa Said:


A whole lot has been said and shared with regards to what has happened. But here it is again:

I received questionable service, I sent a message to the Restaurant’s email address. I then received the now infamous reply from the owner. I posted his reply on Facebook. It went viral.

This has nothing to do with Shiraz nor with any marketing ploys or was it intended at any point in time. I was at Dempsey on an off day with my friend looking for Spanish Cuisine.

I was a hungry diner who got turned away. I ranted like anyone would.

And for those wondering if I’m Foreign Talent: I’m proudly Singaporean, born and bred 

So if you were wondering – Yes, Arun Ratnaa is a Singaporean

Finally Ken Lim said:


I am humbled and grateful as to the number of people who have come out “in support” of both myself personally, as well as a team on the whole. It truly warms the heart to have strangers come out and write emails directly to me telling me to “keep your chin up!”… Of course those who actually know me, and us as a team, have come out and voiced their support both online and via direct messages to me, and to all of you, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for both your understanding and continued support… but we are also thankful that a vast majority of all of you have also looked beyond what was meant to be a direct and private response from me that was meant for just one person to see, but he chose to try to “do me in” by gathering a public mob against me, which has since unfortunately for him, backfired.

For the record, this was never meant to be a popular vote on who should’ve said what and who shouldn’t have said what.. Whatever has been said and done, is exactly just that and that should be the end of it..

Please note that at some point today, probably at or around sunset, we will be removing all posts and threads both past and future, pertaining to this matter, from our FB pages as we sincerely believe that we have let enough people know enough about this and that it’s time to move on to more pressing matters, namely the struggles of running a business in Singapore.

Again, our sincerest thanks to all…

Ken, and everyone else, at DQ

Taken from: SMRT Ltd (Feedback)Don Quijote Spanish Restaurant & Arun Ratnaa

I know most of us want to know the full email, but I think that’s all folks – I think it’s the end.

Or isit?

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Till later,
♥ mitsueki

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Author: mitsueki

Hello! I'm mitsueki aka Daphne and I blog at mitsueki.sg! Follow me on IG for more updates too!

2 Comments on “So Much Drama — Why not show the full email?

  1. So.. basically Mr Arun’s feelings got hurt because he was turned away and Mr Ken Lim was pissed off because of the way Mr Arun worded his email??
    Now let’s be fair.. had Mr Arun intend it to be a personal email, that reply would be “OK” but clearly it was left as a customer feedback, Mr Ken Lim was behaving and replying in a totally unprofessional manner which is a shame given his “8 years of experience” in the business, he should have known better. So what if he felt Mr Arun was throwing his weight around by flashing credentials, it is still not acceptable to reply in that tone.
    Now Mr Arun is to blame too, I mean come on, his feedback was wrote in a provoking manner despite his “nice” wordings, let’s not kid anyone around here, we can tell you were unhappy of being turned away, maybe your pride got hurt but do you really have to flash your credentials around as if it was supposed to meant something and do you have to provoke Mr Ken by mentioning his competitor? And then you decided to take the fight online thinking the whole world would side you? Really?
    We are not sure what really transpired between Mr Arun and the waitress so it is hard to tell what actually happened. But this whole mess could have been easily avoided if both Mr Ken and Mr Arun had put their hugely inflated egos aside and handled the situations in a calm professional manner like real men. Shame on both of you for behaving like sulky spoilt kids.

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