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Ambience: Very homely feel with traditional table settings and shelves displaying antique and old household items. Very community feel, although it does get a bit noisy.
Food: We decided to try the claypot dishes that they are famous for, and ordered the Claypot with Marinated Beef and Egg ($13.80) and Claypot with Kampong Chicken ($13.80). The beef strips were well marinated and tender to the bite and the chicken was also tender and flavourful. Between the two claypots, four of us had about 2-3 bowl servings each.
There was a promotion on the Preserved Vegetables (Mui Choy) with Kailan ($9.00) which we ordered. The kailan was blanched and therefore quite bland but this was quickly covered by the (oily) muichoy drenched over the dish. So-so taste.
Dimsum wasn't available for dinner, so we tried out the intriguingly-named Salted and Preserved Egg with Pork Congee ($6.00). Very large portion, adequate for all four of us to have 1-2 bowl portions each. Very flavourful, with reasonably-sized morsels of the salted egg and preserved egg.
Service: The young staff were quite prompt and attentive and alternated between expressionless masks and soul-less smiles. Guess they were busy ...
Verdict: Worth a second visit, perhaps on a weekday. Food is quite good, prices are reasonable, service is good too. Helps that there are nice coffee places (Starbucks/Oldtown) next door for after-dinner drinks.
Can be more authentic
This is a good althernative to the noisy seafood places at East Coast. The Big Splash itself is a much better dinner option if you ask me, with better parking options too.
730pm on a Sunday night was crowded. They do not take reservations so we had to get write down our names and contact numbers and the staff will call you when your table's ready. The system seems to be a bit messy though, with people going off to 'take a walk' after leaving their details and not answering their phones when called. Under-staffing also seems to be an issue here.
Claypot rice with mushrooms and chicken ($16.80) - the menu says its for 2pax but it is sufficient for 3 smaller eaters actually. I'm not sure if they actually cook the rice from scratch in the claypot itself as it didnt quite have the fragrance that it was supposed to have. Topped off with a handful of half mushrooms with thick chicken strips. It doesnt come with the dark sauce but instead light soya sauce. When asked, the staff just said their version is like that. The taste was really only so so, nothing too spectacular.
Spinach in soup ($6.00) - Generous serving of spinach claypot in what seemed like very bland stock (not tasteless but something very watered down). Healthy but can be more tasty I guess.
Lotus root and pork rib soup ($5.80) - Disappointing as it tasted watered down too.
Prawn gyoza ($6.00) - we odered this from the neighbouring Yoshimaru Ramen Bar which is helmed by the same management, while waiting for our proper food to arrive, which took almost 45 mins. 6 small sized gyozas nicely browned the prawn bits could have been bigger.
Food wise, I feel it is nothing fantastic. But the place itself is a refreshing change from the usual noisy packed seafood crowd.
Read a rave review about Claypot Fun in one edition of the Sunday Times so made it a point to try it out one weekday afternoon (The very day the article was published, I attempted to try it out but was put off by the 45min wait for a table). Apparently the outfit is a collaboration between the Jumbo Group, Palm Beach and Seafood International.
This newest entrant to the culinary scene at Big Splash is tucked in between a ramen shop and Starbucks. The interior is tiny and can probably seat about 20 odd pax while the tiny alfresco area can take another 10 tops. You probably wouldn't want to sit outside unless you don't mind the queue forming just behind you. One thing that irks me about this place is the seeming biasness in table allocation. Apparently the booth seats are meant for 4 pax and above and we only had 3, so we didn't qualify. However I spotted 2 people sharing one such booth and when I questioned the waitress, she said that there were 4 people. Well I sure didn't see an extra 2 people when they paid up and left.
Watercress Pork Rib Soup - I thought that the watercress soup was a good start to the meal - light yet savoury. However the ribs were limited to 3 small pieces that looked more like a joke then anything else. Then again, its $5.20, so I probably shouldn't be expecting much.
Sesame Chicken - I'm no fan of sesame chicken and this one wasn't just about to change my mind. The chicken pieces, though soft, were very oily and portion size was small. Overall an average dish.
Claypot Rice with Chinese Sausage - Amidst all the hype about the claypot rice, I was disappointed to say the least. And I'm sure I echo the sentiments of my dining partners as well. Apparently the claypot rice was done (according to the waitress) HK style, which meant no black sauce. In lieu was a concoction of sesame oil and soy sauce, which had to be added by the customer himself/herself or by the wait staff upon request. I noticed that the "sauce" was segregated into 2 layers because oil floats and what went into our rice was mainly sesame oil. That obviously didn't sit well with any of us as the rice was quite oily yet dry at the same time. The Chinese sausages were alright but I prefer mine drier.
See all my pictures here.
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