A phone call at an unearthly hour breaking your sleep is unacceptable! But, when that phone call tells you that you’ve been booked for restaurant week at 2 fabulous restaurants in the city- all is forgiven. For a lot of you who are not familiar with the concept, restaurant week is an excellent initiative that helps you expand your dining experiences. It’s a weeklong celebration which allows diners to experience some of the finest restaurants through a pre fixed menu at a pre decided cost. In this case it’s Rs 1000 plus taxes.
For years I’ve heard tales about the culinary delights of the great India Jones. Many a times while dining at Frangipani I’ve peeked into the restaurant but that’s the closest I’ve gotten to India Jones. And tonight, thanks to my overzealous friend, that’s about to change.
The set menu starts with a steam chicken dumpling and a Som Tom salad. Som Tom is a Thai green papaya salad, which was crunchy and tangy and went nicely with a generously stuffed chicken dumpling. The spicy sauce accompanying the salad and dim sum was a hit and all of us got a little carried away with our tongues tingling for a while after.
Som Tom Salad with Steam Chicken Dumpling
We had a choice of a prawn and chicken soup (Tom Yang Gung). The chicken was a coconut based creamier soup with lemon grass and mushrooms. Almost like a subtle and very thin Thai curry which was perfectly flavoured.
The prawn soup was a clear soup, very tom yum like but much milder on the spice front. ( sadly I was so excited with my food i forgot to take a picture of the soups)
Next up for main course was a choice between chilli chicken and a steamed spotted grouper fish with Thai chilli sauce. The chicken was a hit with everyone else as it was a sweet and spicy mix. Neither flavour was overbearing. I thought the chicken was very ‘Chinese like’ and probably something everyone is use to taste wise. I found it a bit greasy as most Chinese chickens get but delicious.
Fish was steamed perfectly with light subtle chilli oil. One of my dinner companions found it too bland and I suppose after eating the chicken it might have been bland but I disagree. I thought it was wonderfully cooked with a hint of chilli. I like that it wasn’t in a heavy sauce or had too much going on and I could enjoy the flavour of the fish.
Steamed Grouper Fish with Thai Chili sauce
The stir fry noodles with vegetables “Singapore style” for me was slightly bland. I love my noodles but I felt this was something that could have been whipped up at home as well. I’m not saying it was bad I’m just saying I wasn’t wowed by it. I also found the noodles a bit too thick (or maybe that’s my imagination) or I probably thought it was too much because I wasn’t getting enough vegetables in them to balance it out. It was just an average noodle dish for me, nothing fancy.
The dish of the night for me was the stir fried assorted vegetables and tofu in a roast garlic sauce. I absolutely relish a good stir fry veggies and it’s a treat when they don’t get stingy on the choice of vegetables and this one spoilt you for choice from carrots, pakchoy, mushrooms, different greens, baby corn and tofu, each bite was different and I love that.
Stir Fry Assorted Vegetables and Tofu with Roast Garlic Sauce
The Penang curry with steamed rice had mixed vegetables gently simmered in coconut milk with curry paste. One of my friends said this was the best Penang curry she’s ever tasted and that’s high praise indeed.
Penang Curry with Stir Fry Vegetable Noodles – Singapore Style
Dessert for me was a disappointing end to a lovely meal. It was an assortment of baked yogurt, a walnut Ecuador with a green tea chilboust and a honey glazed banana ice cream. The ice cream was the saviour and I thought it was fantastic. One of the best banana ice creams I’ve eaten- rich or flavourful is an understatement. The baked yogurt was just about average. Nothing to write home, or to you about and I stopped after a couple of bites. The walnut Ecuador however was a disaster. I know I’m not a chocolate fan and I suppose I shouldn’t even bother eating it but I found it hard and just horrible. The green tea chilboust on top was the terrible icing on a terrible cake! I’m sorry but green tea is not a great flavour for dessert in my humble opinion. Those with a more superior palate might disagree but the tiny taster thought it was just plain awful!
Banana Ice cream, Walnut Ecuador with Green tea Chilboust and Baked Yogurt
The service was impeccable. I know you expect that at a 5 star hotel but I have to compliment them because they were really lovely. Something that surprised me was the portions. I thought that because this is part of restaurant week they would be stingy on the portions or have a smaller slightly limited set menu. I’m wrong on both counts. I loved the variety the menu offered and I’m very impressed with the portions. We were four of us (so 4 set meals) and a fifth person could easily have eaten with us.
For me first experience at restaurant week I’m not only impressed but delighted. I can’t wait for the next one.