Had dinner at Tung Lok Seafood @ Arena Country Club, a rather obscure club (if you even call it a club) just opposite SAFTI MI. Strangely enough, the same stretch of low rise buildings also host a go karting track and a huge burger king outlet.
The place is quite a size and can easily fit up to 200 people. However, the interior is a little dated but still presentable nonetheless. Definitely more suited to family dining than business meals.
Homemade Beancurd with Spinach - Sitting on a bed of spinach and topped with mushrooms, this dish lacked consistency. Some pieces of beancurd had a nice savoury taste but some were just outright bland. Pity really.
Sweet and Sour Pork - While I will admit that the sweet and sour pork had a nice smoky taste to it, the meat to flour proportion was greatly skewed in favour of the flour, which was a real bummer. Not to mention that portions were tiny for $18 .
Stir Fried Kailan - Drenched in light, mildly salty gravy without being overcooked. Very decent.
Roast Chicken - Served with the de facto crackers, the roast chicken boasted razor thin crisp skin coupled with tender flesh and a generous splashing of salt. Only gripe I had was that the meat could have been juicier. Still good though but nothing compared to what I had at Lung King Heen of course.
Deep Fried Prawns with Wasabi Mayo Sauce - Apparently Tung Lok came up with this dish many years ago. I am not sure how accurate this piece of information is but the prawns were really quite good. Huge, crunchy and coated in a thin layer of flour with a mild tolerable level of wasabi. But it's $52 for a large serving for 9 pax.
Horfun with Prawns - Although each of us managed to snag a huge prawn each, the hor fun itself lacked wok hei but I did like the not too starchy gravy with generous amounts of egg. But at $40 for such a small portion, I'm inclined to think that it's quite overpriced.
Total bill for the 9 of us stood at $238 with a 20% discount. Sure, we were all stuffed at the end of it (courtesy of the ever reliable bowls of rice) and food quality was generally above average, but I wouldn't term it value for money. Portions were less than generous and honestly, none of the ingredients in our dishes were anywhere near expensive. But still, if a family dinner is at hand and you would like an "established" brand name with decent food and prices that won't break your bank, Tung Lok Seafood may just appeal to you. See all my pictures here.
Bologna has a very generic restaurant layout with standard fittings and honestly doesn't come across as an Italian restaurant in my humble opinion. The sole redeeming factor is that one side of it faces the pool, which offers a temporary respite from the usual hustle and bustle. That's provided you manage to snag a table by the window.
I kid you not. The buffet variety during lunch was limited with about 6-8 cooked dishes, 2 varieties of pizza, a couple of cold appetisers/salads and another 5-6 types of dessert (mainly pastries).
For the most part, food quality was average at best. The chicken came across as dry and so did the seared tuna. Pizzas fared slightly better with a thin base topped with boring ingredients (ie. vegetarian pizza). Desserts were mundane and I gave up after a few nibbles.
Generally attentive and professional but can be a little too attentive at times. Think someone standing beside your table and observing your every move. Uncomfortable.
Value for money
With a 50% discount, the lunch buffet for 2 cost to the tune of $54, which is cheap by hotel standards. But factor in quality and variety of food and it does come across as relatively expensive. I can't speak for the ala carte menu but the lunch buffet in my humble opinion, is a wash out. Definitely not a place I would patronise again, even @ 50% off.
Had dinner at this latest outlet of Botak Jones since we were in the area. The burger patties tasted machine made and were too dry for my liking. Honestly, I think Carls junior does better and bigger burgers for a slightly cheaper price. The black pepper chicken was decent but run off the mill. You could probably get similar quality chicken at western food stalls at random hawker centres. For the price, I wouldn't return. Service was decent but it was quite difficult to catch the attention of wait staff at times.
Was staying in nearby Conrad for the weekend but didn't fancy anything too elaborate for dinner so settled for a quick meal at Space @ My Humble House at the Esplanade.
Playing neighbour to it's more illustrious sibling, My Humble House (which by the way didn't quite impress me on my previous visit), Space has a nice modern, minimalistic vibe to it - definitely not some place you would expect to find local favourites like chicken rice, hokkien mee and the likes. But at a premium of course.
Mama Leong's Chicken Rice - Apparently this humble dish was named after Sam Leong's mum. And I thought it was good - tender, moist and seeping with flavour. You have the option of ordering an entire chicken ($32), half a chicken ($18) and single portion @ $12. Rice is an additional $1/head and though fragrant and seemingly prudent with the oil, lacked the fluffiness that I would have liked.
Fried Radish Cake with Freshly-peeled Crabmeat, Whole Prawns, Juicy Scallops and Egg - I loved the extravagance of this dish - huge prawns and scallops coupled with copious amount of egg. However it lacked the slightly charred taste and came across as bland. Somehow everything just didn't seem to meld together. The radish cake wasn't exactly smooth and silky either.
A quick meal of local dishes cost us to the tune of $48 (inclusive of a small cup of watermleon juice @ $6). The chicken rice was good but the radish cake only made it to average based on the merit of the prawns and scallops; without which, it would have languished at the bottom half of the scale. Service was decent but hardly a selling point.
We were at Robertson Quay on a Saturday afternoon and we were hungry. Brasserie Wolf beckoned with its crowd free premises so we settled for it.
It was a warm day and the sufficiently cooled interior provided a nice respite from the heat and away from the al fresco crowds that littered the establishment next door. The setting is decidedly modern with splashes of retro, depending on which area you sit at.
Traditional French Onion Soup - I liked the richness of the soup but did find it a tad too sweet. The gruyere cheese and toast was great though, with its gooey-ness and mildly charred undertones. Great way to warm up the belly! And if you noticed, the serving bowl is in the shape of a heart. Perfect for those romantic dinners eh?
Traditional Nicoise Salad - The aesthetics were pleasing and the greens were fresh and crunchy. But I didn't quite take to this dish due to my personal opinion that the grilled tuna was overly fishy. I did like the texture though.
Pork Belly - "Extremely fatty" was the first thought that popped into my mind when I had a glimpse of the pork belly. Never mind that it was tender or that the sauce gave it a unique oriental feel (tasted like it had hoisin sauce in it). I just couldn't bring myself to stomach (and savour) that proportionally imbalanced piece of pork, not with the skin mildly crispy and sticking to my teeth with every bite.
USDA Prime Sirloin - The sirloin was more well done than medium well and thus the meat came out a little too dry and tough for my liking. But I did like the natural bovine flavours and the pinch of salt seasoning. What I particularly liked about this dish was the shoestring (irony!) fries and the dip. Free of any rancid oil taste and dipped in creamy goodness with nuances of spring onion - tasty!
Steamed Toffee and Date Pudding - I fell in love with this dessert at Marmalade Pantry @ Palais some years back. And seeing that Brasserie Wolf served this dessert as well, I decided to take my chances. It wasn't half as good as the one as I had at Marmalade but it was decent. The pudding was much less compact and had a spongy, cake like texture. Topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, the whole combination wasn't overly sweet but sans the toffee sauce, it was reminiscent of steamed cupcakes (发糕). Well, the taste at least.
With the palate discount of 50%, 2 of us forked out close to $70 for a filling but not entirely gratifying lunch. Food quality hovered a notch above average but service was decent. Coupled with the lack of crowds, I might just be enticed to pop by again for a quiet meal if I happen to be in the vicinity.