Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hog's Breath Cafe, Singapore

Blackened Prime Rib

This is apparently a big Australian chain that opened its doors in Singapore recently (CHIJMES #01-26, 6338-1387). And a chain restaurant it was indeed. It had all the hallmarks of a successful chain restaurant: very friendly and prompt service, a fun - if plasticky - atmosphere, and...ahem...mediocre food. I started with the buffalo wings, which had everything I that comes with bad buffalo wings: soggy skin, way too much meat on the bones, and a lack of spiciness (it was a sweet BBQ sauce). Then came the blackened prime rib, something they seemed to take a lot of pride in. I'll admit that I was caught off-guard by how amazingly tender the meat was (could it be natural?), but the taste unfortunately couldn't keep up (and the Cajun spices had absolutely no kick to it). I got the fries on the side instead of my usually-preferred baked potato since the menu seemed to make a big deal out of their special fries, but it was nothing but curly fries (and without any special seasonings worth mentioning). Finally, I got an apple crumble, which wasn't bad, but was just too much food in the end, so I stopped.

Buffalo Wings and Cascade BeerThat was enough. The food wasn't horrible, but it tasted so "clean" and "safe" that I really didn't want to eat anymore. Perhaps this is just part of what I assume to be a proven chain restaurant formula: provide dependably consistent (read: boring) food. Even if the food is not spectacular, people will come for the happy ambience (it was a bit excessive: even when they delivered ice water to my table, they told me, "Enjoy!"). They even gave me a little fabric Hog's Breath patch that could have been from a souvenir shop.

Apple CrumbleI'll admit that I briefly considered coming back on account of some burgers and a Jamaican chicken that I saw on the menu. I got excited when I thought that the latter meant jerk chicken, but the menu mentioned some mango sauce on it, which didn't assure me too much (the burgers featured beetroot too - an Australian signature that I'm not a big fan of). This place just reminded me of a bunch of American chain restaurants, be it the Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, Bubba Gump's, or Applebee's (cue the flair scene from Office Space). Oh well - I don't think I'll be coming back.


bobochacha said...

And i was just thinking of trying out their fish & chips ! i wonder how that will turn out to be ....

Amazonian said...

You keep mentioning that the tender meats (beef) you ate could be unnatural. What do you mean? That the meat is not really meat, or that they might use chemicals to make them that tender? Cuz I've had Chinese or Thai beef dishes too when the meat tasted tender yet... jellified, sort of. Do enlighten?

Anonymous said...

I know your post here is pretty old but I just wanted to mention that I went to Hogs Breath in Hollad Village and it was the worst food I can remember eating. I had a burger which was a frozen patty which actually had a really foul taste, and my girlfriend had the Jamaican "jerk" chicken. I LOVE good jerk chicken which that didn't resemble at all.
Both were so bad we only had a few bites before cutting our losses and going someplace else (it might have been BK actually, so I'm not setting my bar extremely high here). It must have been a bad day for them, but even their worst day should never be this horrible. Even the fries were soggy and gross - where I usually love curly spicy fries.

Anonymous said...

The reason why the Prime Rib is so tender is because it has been slow cooked for 18 hours before it is char grilled. That is what makes it so special and different frm any other steaks u have tried.

and the fish chips?? i say don't bother. Hogs Breath is a steak house.so go there for the steak not the fish and chips!

and i also want to say.. try the hogs breath at chijmes. it is the best outlet in singapore as compared to holland village or vivo city.