Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Meal in the City: Singaporean food at Orchard Road, SM Megamall

In the previous post I mentioned heading to SM Megamall in Pasig City - actually, we went there specifically because we'd heard that there was a Singaporean restaurant that just opened on one of its floors and we wanted to try the food there.

Me and my now-infamous Zombie Head hat, photographed by my partner at the entrance to the restaurant, named Orchard Road.

The ordering system at this place is supposed to be very simple: pick up a menu-slash-order-slip from the counter when you come in; walk around the enclosed/island kitchen to see what whets your appetite; tick off your choices on the order slip; turn in slip to cashier and pay up; wait for staff to bring your food.

There are so many ways this could go wrong....

Well, actually, there was only just the one: the place was so new. So green. The inexperienced cashiers themselves were the bottleneck for lines of hungry patrons who were gradually getting irritated at having to queue up to pay for their food. And the rapidly-overwhelmed kitchen staff got confused at the sheer number of orders coming in, meaning dishes were delayed or mixed up before getting delivered to the tables.

My partner and I split up and decided to order two entirely different things; here's my order:

In the foreground, my Hainanese chicken rice; that's a partially eaten order of kaya toast in the middle, and then the two drinks are my milk tea (with the straw) and my partner's peach iced tea.

The milk tea was excellent, but that was just about the only good thing about my meal. I've had better Hainanese chicken rice and kaya toast at Toast Box in Trinoma. The rice was too sticky for my tastes (and I wound up leaving quite a bit uneaten on my plate), the chicken was haphazardly chopped, and the toast only had just enough kaya spread on it to be detectable to the tongue - mostly I was eating butter, not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely not why I ordered it in the first place....

And as my partner noted as we got ready to leave the restaurant, you can tell that the folks behind the restaurant really spent for their ingredients - so then why was the cooking so damn indifferent?

So, yeah. We were disappointed and unimpressed by our lackluster food and the pointlessly held-up service. We're probably not coming back, and we don't recommend this place to you.

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