Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Prawn Star on Duxton Hill, Singapore

Banh Mi Fries

I'm not exactly sure what is the best way to describe this place. Some comments online say that it's a seafood place. Some say they've reinvented cze cha. And I think others mentioned that something about Melbourne, but I couldn't quite figure out the connection aside from the fact that this is on the grounds of the former BROTH (21 Duxton Hill, 6323-3353). Either way, it sounded like some kind of upscale cze cha run in a Western style, so I suggested that we go to an "ang moh cze cha" for a team lunch today.

In retrospect, that wasn't a bad description. In terms of decor, it was indeed a more upscale, moderately hip kind of place. In terms of food, it was rooted in local origins, but done with a modern flair...and not in a tacky way either. I liked a lot of what we had today, including a lot of greasy (in a good way), garlicky (without being overwhelming), and spicy (but not burning) clams that were much better than that Gurney Drive place. A small claypot featuring grilled prawns and vermicelli noodles also went down in a flash. If anything, the least interesting dish was those bánh mì fries above, but it was still edible too.

It's just too bad then that the service here was appallingly slow. We were only one of three tables filled at the time, and yet it was very frustrating waiting for the food, especially since it was a midweek lunch (you'd think that they'd know how to cater to a busy office crowd). One of the prawns that I encountered was disappointingly powdery, and we actually left hungry because there really weren't many carbs on offer. Despite all of this, I liked the taste of the food enough that I'd be willing to go back again...just not for lunch midweek if the service is going to be as slow as it was today.

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