Saturday, January 28, 2006

Gastroliterary 32: Asian iv, Lei Garden

8 Jan 2006
With Chinese New Year approaching, time has arrived to introduce Lei Garden. Located in downtown Orchard, Lei Garden has a location far off the upbeat crowded streets. But this restaurant was filled with many customers, including foreign blood who prefer to dine Chinese food in al fresco style.

Food: 8
The general impression of the food was pretty good; some innovative combination of ingredients, yet skills of the chef was well presented, with most dishes having balanced taste. Unlike most Chinese restaurant, this place have a heart for providing healthier food for their customers in hope that even they would live long enough to celebrate their grand 60th birthday here.

However, the first dish which was Peking duck, the skin was greased with unhealthy juices. But the taste was great, especially with contrast with the spring onion. This is one of those rare moments where the health has got to be conpromised for the taste; worthy of taking the risk.

Prawns in steam egg had got to the impression for the day. The prawns were overcooked but the main focus is the egg. It melts in mouth while oozing out Chinese wine fragrance. Having such unique taste, there were questions about what egg or what secret recipe the chefs.

Very surprisingly, the noodle dish which was the finale before dessert, was really wonderful. It was supposed to fill the customers up and make sure that their stomach feel satisfied with before they leave, and that having leftovers is the common situation. This, however, under the skilful chef has got to change and their secret weapon-taste.

Service: 8
Service was quite attentive, with careful distribution of food by the waitresses. Clean plates were changed with every change of course. However, unlike some other Chinese restaurants, this place has an additional charge for their service. Even after the customers foot the bill and are leaving, they still have great and polite attitude.

Ambience: 7.5
Chic Chinese setting, with live seafood and dry food on public display. The door to the toilets is another catch of the day.

Overall: 8
This place has the potential of being really expensive. The luxurious giant crab from Australia cost well over $600 for a 2kg piece. There are also abalone, bird nest, of exceptional quality and of really special prices. Being conservative and with some alertness in ordering food, helps in countering the shock when the bill arrives. Their simpler fare, if one is not so well-to-do, is certainly most unbeatable for Chinese restaurants around. Total dinner package costing $330 for 9 people is quite worth the effort of being there. This is certainly an agreeable place for a Chinese New Year dinner.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Gastroliterary 31: Hooters

14 January 2006

Clarke Quay was filled with the weekend crowds and that includes the relatively famous Hooters.

Hooters have alluring waitresses with exotic wear. Being the first branch to be opened in Asia, the rest of Asia has a long way to go to be as liberated as modern Singapore. The waitresses go beyond looking appealing; they sound polite as they take your order while trying to snuggle up close, hoping that you would order more. They even danced in the restaurant; one to provide entertainment, the other to maintain their hour-glass figure in order to stay employable.

After much sizzling hot ambience, the food arrives. The food was much dissimilar to the surroundings. Food was hot but not as desirable. Perharps the eyes were the only ones to feast for that day. Nope, the hands cannot get the same treatment as the eyes, for the place is 'Hooters' and not 'Hookers'.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I Love Globalisation 7: It has accelerated

Globalisation has developed further and deeper. And the steam of globalisation is set to wipe the away the specks of untalented mites by a lush of industrious bees. No, it is not going to stop soon.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Gastroliterary 30: Japanese vii

Liang Court Basement

There was a ramen promotion ongoing during this period of time at this family-oriented restaurant.

Food: 7
Ramen could not be missed. The soup was made from salmon broth. However, it was too salty for the tongue. Sushi here was not too costly and that the quality matched equally to the price.

Service: 7
The staff were mostly busy and rushing with their work. However, this is to be a 'family-oriented' restaurant, so no extra fuss over extraordinary service.

Ambience: 7
Modern Japanese style indoor decor, with some magazines free for browsing.

Overall: 7
A restaurant suitable for the whole family, with baby chair provided.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Gastroliterary 29: Japanese vi, Nijumaru

Most restaurants were filled up but Nijumaru was not.
The menu was in Japanese, so ordering food was quite a challenge as there was a need to make sense of the romanji. This place pale in comparison with well-established places like matsuo, although it was still a great place for dinner.

It was eve of eve of Christmas and there was a gang of santas promoting Tiger Beer. We had a jug and was showered with a teddy and took an instant photo with two baring santaress.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Durian Daily 26: Is It Fair?

Vandalism discovered in a bus stop, situated in downtown Singapore.Is it fair? Is it fair that this vandal by expressing his own thoughts, had to vandalise public property?
Is it fair? The lady in red or the table-tennis champion; the scholar from a thousand miles. Moon-dimmed night and the weather, is it fair?It is fair.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Gastroliterary 28: Coffee Terrace

A great welcome of the new year of 2006.
On the New Year's day of 2006, there was a delightful opportunity of visiting Coffee Terrace situated at Genting Hotel. It is a newly renovated buffet restauratant, stocking an array of international cuisine and local favourites; and an interesting modern decor for an exceptional dining experience.

Prices is RM58 for an adult and RM 29 for children and senior citizens. I did not realise that Malaysia does care for their senior citizens, perhaps a little more than the ageing Singapore. However, customers are required to pay first before entering their restaurant, an exotic phenomenon.

Food: 7.5
The food array was exceptional. It has a whole range of international cuisine including local delights. The variety of food was so great that unless you are a sumo-eater, trying out every single item is an impossible task. Credits however, have to be given to their Hainan chicken rice. The sauces along with the condiments complimented with the rice and chicken very well. It can simply surpass most chicken rice of Singapore. On a second note, it seems that Singapore prides Hainan chicken rice as its local dish and so does Malaysia, so who can rightfully claim the ownership?

Anyway, there was Western, Chinese, Japanese and Indian culinary cuisine, including pastry, fruits and ice-cream. There was great satay, a truly Malaysian food and sashimi was fresher than the average buffet table. Quality of food, in generic terms were average but quantity should scored a high point.
Service: 6.5
The service provided was quite ambiguous. We were welcomed in warmly, with New Year well wishes but upon ordering of some alcohol, the staff were quite clueless about certain request made. And customers are made to pay immediately. Some of the staff were polite and plates were cleared promptly but it would be great to improve in some areas like serving coffee or tea with more eagerness. However, it provided an ugly contrast with the general service outside of this restaurant; poor, most of the time. Staff talked amount themselves and there were, in some cases, absolutely no smiles on the faces, only agony.

Ambience: 8
The inner decoration was great. With a touch of the zen concept, modernity, and interesting art works, it was a wonderful place to chill out, even though it was the hectic buffet restaurant.

Overall: 7.5
A very agreeable place for a wonderful buffet that does not cost a lot. Definitely a place where value counts a great deal. Just take note of the recently introduced of charging a 10% service charge and 5% tax in most restaurants, which make travelling to Malaysia a less economical place to visit.

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