Patara Fine Thai Cuisine, Singapore
Man, did we get duped tonight. Drawn here by a S$40 (S$27) voucher from American Express, we figured that getting S$80 (US$54) worth of food - the voucher's condition of a minimum spend - for only half of that sounded like a good deal, right? It wasn't quite that easy. Not realizing that things like the tom yum goong were charged on a per person basis (at a whopping S$12/US$8 each, mind you), we unconsciously broke through the triple digit mark when picking our dishes. And while we got the forty bucks off, our price tag was still rather high after adding in the tax and service charges afterwards. Damn! We got suckered in by one of those half-off deals again.
Was the food here (163 Tanglin Road #03-14, Tanglin Mall, 6737-0818, with another location at Raffles City) worth it at least? The tom yum goong was refreshingly spicy, and a couple other items fared fine too, but I was really bummed with the "grilled pork neck" off the Essan Signatures section of the menu. This was supposed to be namtok, right? Instead of exhibiting the excitingly spicy taste that I was expecting of Issan cuisine, the sauce was thick and sweet. Was this a result of them billing themselves as having a modern twist to their food?
In the end, I suppose that they did use quality ingredients, and the classy linen-strewn ambience helped to justify the lofty prices. But given my disappointment with the pork neck (and simply being accustomed to paying very little for Thai food), this ended up being a rather regretful meal in the end. At least we had some extra food to take home for a snack later.