Service was a hit or miss. At the beginning we had someone helping us that was really wonderful (non-server, management's assistant). She was so friendly and made us felt so welcome. But since it was not her job to look after us, service went down hill from there after she left and gave us Champagne. Even though we were one of the first groups to arrive, we were the last table to be notified that the buffet was ready (they were still setting up the buffet 1+ hr past the reservation time). We didn't mind too much about waiting since we could catch up in the meantime, but it was the next events that put a damper to the experience.
My friend walked up to someone to order wine (our package included Champagne, but not endless). The staff she spoke to (a young female in a white skirt suit) appeared to be chatting away with another, and was quite rude to her. We obviously expected a surcharge (the price list was on the table), but the tone of voice and they way they spoke to my friend sounded very condescending.
We understand that regular customers of the restaurant gets priority service (and I know there's a slight differentiation between the actual Vida Rica restaurant vs. the Bar (lounge area) where they had the buffet, but the fact that all of the tables next to us were constantly checked on vs. no one checking on us was kind of sad and not what I expected from Mandarin Oriental.
The restaurant decided to move the couple to the back once happy hour was over, (which still has beautiful views as the windows are floor-to-ceiling). If the couple were nice about it, we would have gladly given them the table (I did put in the reservation a month+ prior, while they sounded like walk-ins).
I would like to visit this restaurant again as the food selection was really good in terms of taste, freshness (for the seafood), variety, and price. I really hope this was an isolated incident (as everyone else's review online didn't mention being treated this way. Was it because of the nationality of my friend? To be fair, the last person that helped us with our bill and drinks was very friendly (a guy server), but service was still slow.