California Pizza Kitchen, Singapore
I remember way back in college when CPK was the hottest thing around in SoCal, when people would flock to what at that time was a very different and innovative kind of pizza, be it the Peking Duck or Thai Chicken varieties. After enough times though, I grew a bit tired of it, and they had expanded to so many locations that I never really went back anymore. So while this location here in Singapore (The Forum #01-42, 6836-0110) has been around for ages, this was the last of places I thought I'd ever find myself at. Yet we stopped by today, partly out of convenience, partly out of at least half-decent memories of that Peking Duck pizza, and partly out of lack of alternatives (the Marmalade Pantry across the street was fully packed).
I immediately regretted it. All my worst fears about chain restaurants materialized, with the Chipotle Chicken pizza being just a monstrosity of unnecessary toppings (corn and beans??) sitting on crust that was too thick for my liking (and no, it was hardly the "HOT & SPICY" item that the menu claimed it to be). The Chinese Chicken Salad, I recalled, was also quite an addictive thing back in the day, but this was just way too sweet (was that Peking Duck sauce on it?). While my memory has faded, I was hoping that it would at least be somewhat like Feast from the East. It was not. What the heck did I ever see in this thing?
Well, it has been so long that I really can't tell whether this was the result of any rapid commercialization of theirs or not. In all honesty, the food probably hasn't changed at all, and perhaps the only reason why I liked it back then was because I plain and simply didn't know better. So I guess while I may not be too happy about the years that keep getting added to my age, I can take comfort in the fact that it at least helps me to separate the wheat from the chaff. And after this rather unsatisfying meal today, I know that I won't need to come back.