surprisingly fantastic laksa in katong, one of a couple famous places serving this dish. I have eaten laksa less times than the fingers on one hand, and its very attributes are the reasons why I typically eschew local food: too-much-richness as with the coconutty soup and chilli oil, too-much-carbness as with the large bowl of noodles with nominal pieces of protein, and too-much-stress from the heaviness that calls for a post-eat run.
a short one for a bad one – this one was nearly on the same scale of disappointing as the refurbished lau pa sat. I had read rather lackluster reviews about this place before visiting, but one must appease one’s mother confirm such opinions, so we came here for supper one late saturday night.
the turn into the carpark is a pretty out-of-the-blue sharp ninety-degrees, so be careful – and we missed it once before finally arriving at a half-occupied complex smelling very strongly of satay (I know, duh, but this was a clothes-soaking, grease-sticking sort of smell). many stalls were actually closed, or closing (and it was only just before 10), so we settled only for a plate of chicken and beef satay and some cut fruit to wash away the fattiness.
I applaud the effort that went into creating such beautiful space, but really, it’s nothing without good hawkers. the satay was average at best, and could do with rendering a bit more fat and grease, and the fruit was cheaper than I expected.
neither of which makes for good advertisement or reason to return, however.
Satay by the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive
$$: 5-15 a person (it really depends on what you’re ordering)
it’s refurbished and very pretty – but it’s now pretty much officially a tourist trap. and by that, I mean the food is bad, the food is expensive, service is pretty much non-existent, though I suppose at least it’s clean and gorgeous.
I’m not impressed, at all.
at the top of my list of why-I’m-so-irritated-with-this-place (besides the mediocre food):
no table numbers. that means everything is self-service, and you can’t order at hawkers that offer to bring the food, since you can’t describe how to get it delivered to you.
little variety. the hawker centre stores are all tenanted out, sure – but the apparent choice doesn’t translate to any real choice at all (they mostly sell the same things, and it doesn’t look very good either).
expensive. I already expected this, but the (lack of) quality made this really annoying.
enough said, I’d think. I suggest paying more and hitting up a restaurant, or going to chomp chomp if you must have some local hawker.
Lau Pa Sat (or less colloquially, the Telok Ayer Market)
18 Raffles Quay
$: perhaps tenish a head, but it’s not worth it