PEr FYI

September 30, 2017

The Coconut Club, Singapore…terrible waste of time and money

As you may make out of the title of this post, The Coconut Club isn´t good – or rather a terrible waste of money and everybody´s time. They’ve put effort into the décor. Obviously you know it’s going to be nose-bleedingly expensive. That doesn’t mean it can’t also be good.

A plate of nasi lemak with coconut rice, chicken leg, ikan bilis, peanuts, cucumber, fried egg and sambal set me back SGD12.80. And this was before adding on the otak-otak which was another SGD10.50. Sorely lacking were the things that make nasi lemak great: the flavour and fragrance. This is a restaurant predicated on one idea: that a single really expensive ingredient – specially brought in from Malaysia – will make your life better.

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but it won’t. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

coconut club sin

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September 1, 2017

Bund’s secret, Shanghai…DO NOT GO IN THERE

Some restaurants get it wrong, others are for outrageous pricing, some have disastrous experiences and then there’s the ones that, well, just don’t serve very good food. This one is all of the above.

We ordered braised pork with sweet soy sauce, sautéed Australian scallop with wild mushroom and braised tofu with hairy crab meat. All impressive sounding names on the menu. I can’t report any of the flavours at all: there was nothing for me to swallow during this worst restaurant meal.

DO NOT GO IN THERE. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

bund's secret sha1

August 12, 2017

East and West Rendezvous, Melaka…overpriced, overhyped and over-rated

I’m often a little nervous when visiting ultrahyped eating places found online, and East and West Rendezvous proved why. It was a complete fiasco. The food looked good from a distance but turned out to be rather unappetising

Nyonya dumpling (Nyonya chang) is the only type of bak chang I eat, so I know a tasty one when I eat it. The ones you get here are pretty average. To rub salt in the wound, the staff here wear their rudeness on their sleeves.

Get this place off your list. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 18, 2017

Picnic, Singapore…Don’t waste your money!

Overpriced, food average, service was poor, lack of atmosphere. The rosti is bland, the pizza is like school lunch fare, and it’s best to pretend that the signature pork belly prata never existed at all.

A critic’s job is to be unbiased. I get that. I try to ignore all the peripheral aspects of a restaurant—just focus on the food. But then, I have as moral obligation to cross that line for the greater good.

If I think you can have a better dining experience at the same price eating somewhere else, it’s my duty to say so.

picnic sin

Picnic isn’t a bad restaurant. Some people might even love it. I just doubt I’ll ever be one of them. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

 

April 15, 2017

Donald & Lily Nyonya Food, Melaka…overrated 100 times

If nobody’s told you yet, it’s average food and unjustifiably pricey. Save yourself the wait and the drive.

And the food is not even that good! The food looked good from a distance but on closer inspection turned out to be rather unappetizing. I had nasi ketuk ayam rendang and taukua rojak. Neither dish was as good as their equivalents in any food court. Both were decent and edible, but as has been mentioned, was ordinary at best.

Honestly, there are many other underrated, inexpensive places to grab nyonya food in Melaka– just take my word for it. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 8, 2017

Shi Li Fang, Singapore….profoundly awful

An executive summary: it’s pricey and the food isn’t even that great— likened to “corporate catering,” it’s merely expensive food without a narrative.

Shi Li Fang is a Taiwanese steamboat joint which is misleading with hidden costs, serves mediocre food and service that sucks. Be wary. Be very wary.

I ultimately concluded that “you probably shouldn’t eat at this place.” This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

shi li fang sin

March 18, 2017

Candlenut, Singapore…a study in average

Last year, Candlenut was awarded one-Michelin-star status, an accolade that means its cuisine is “a very good restaurant in its category.”

So I went.

It being the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant, I was really looking forward to my dinner – expectations were high but realistic. My meal at Candlenut was a study in average, unevenly cooked fare, a tough sell in a city like Singapore. The kitchen seemed to try too hard to be “different” but the food was often too bland. None of the plates served barring the homemade kueh pie tie shell, crab meat, yeye curry, pickled shallot, laksa leaf – were, in any way, remarkable. When you are paying good money for a meal you expect at least a few dishes to be memorable.

Overpriced. A one-star disappointment. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 11, 2016

Yung Kee, Hong Kong…eye-wateringly expensive.

For every awesome restaurant in Hong Kong, there are also a good number of food establishments that make me want to roll my eyes. This temple to charcoal roasted goose is unashamedly, perhaps reassuringly, eye-wateringly expensive.

The quintessentially Cantonese goose comes full of flavor with glossy, lacquered crispy wafer-thin skin, a light chew, and a slightly citrussy mandarin-peel high note throughout the juicy, gamey meat. The char siew (roast pork) meat was so soft could almost feel it melting on my tongue but the sauce lacked flavor.

Honestly, there are many underrated, inexpensive places to grab a bite to eat in HK– just take my word for it. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

yung-kee-hk1

December 6, 2016

Shanghai Min, Shanghai…ordinary and unmemorable meal with a stunningly hefty bill

While it’s easy to find a cheap meal in Shanghai, there are also plenty of pricy restaurants. The prices at Shanghai Min are pretty steep, and even the mega-rich like to know that they’re getting value for their money.

Whether you’re willing to splash out or budget dining is more your style, here’s what the food is like at this overpriced place: Sauteed prawn ball (pan-fried/chili sauce/mustard & mayonnaise), braised pork in brown sauce of nostalgia, scallion noodles, steamed original recipe chicken sprinkled with minced ginger fries.

Can diners be sure that the food is worth the stunningly hefty bill?

The answer is no…it was an ordinary and unmemorable meal. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 4, 2016

Seven Oaks, Johor Bahru…JB’s most out-there place to while away an afternoon

The humble Johor Bahru cafe is rarely just that anymore. At just a few months old, Seven Oaks is already proving to be JB’s most stylish cafe. Nothing in JB can yet match the beyond library-themed chic interior drugged with palace opulence facade.

JB’s not a city that’s short of a good bakery or cake shop, but separating the outstanding from the ordinary can take a fair bit of munching. I’ve kindly gone and done that for you. The ground floor at Seven Oaks is a bakery with scrumptious looking cakes and pastries that cry: eat me! Their salted egg lava croissant is of course their fame and fortune. The upper levels serves as a cafe.

Sure, these expensive go-tos might set you back a bit, but they’re worth every cent. It is worth the visit for the décor alone. This is JB’s most out-there place to while away an afternoon. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

seven-oaks-jb

 

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