I think that the hype built up from the opening of a new restaurant sometimes increases one’s expectations so much that the actual dining experience can be a huge disappointment. Hence, I try not to get too excited I see news of new eateries, with their celebrity chefs and rave reviews from their place of origin. News articles described about how awesome MEATliquor was and the owner enthusiastically depicted about how awesome Singapore was (and still is). I helplessly fell into that same hype trap again.
After our visit to the Art Science Museum at Marina Bay Sands, we took a taxi over to Duxton hill. There was no queue yet, but no seats available either. Leaving down our name and contact details, we took our time and browsed at the book store directly opposite the restaurant. 20 minutes later, we came and were shown to our table shortly. The music was pumping at full volume and that was worsened by the noise of chatting diners. This is definitely not a place for a quiet dinner. We quickly ordered our food and waited, while checking out what the neighboring tables are having. 20 minutes later, we were still waiting. Hungry and annoyed, we checked with the server on our orders. He merely acknowledged and walked away, but did not come back to us on where our food is. Another 15 minutes later, he came with our order and explained that the kitchen ran out of buffalo sauce, so they had to make a new batch for the burger I ordered.
To me, there are a few issues here. 1) If that’s the case, shouldn’t you be asking the customer whether we want to change our order or are we willing to wait? 2) Must you serve all the food at once? Why can’t you at least give us the rest of the orders first so we don’t have to sit there and watch people around us eating? 3) Would have been great if you at least inform us what is happening. So they did try to make it up by offering us a free drink. Big deal. Would have been better if you offered us WHILE we were waiting.
Nevertheless, we dug into our big tray of food – 2 burgers (Dead Hippie and Buffalo chicken), chilli fries and fried chicken tenders. At first I thought that the chicken tenders were insanely good. Crunchy, with an appropriate amount of tang, and a very familiar cheese taste. After the third piece, I started to realize how salty they were. Then it suddenly hit me that it tasted exactly like Cheezels!!! Even the color looks similar. I suspect they must have grind Cheezels into powder and added into the batter. Good idea, but would have been better to go easy on the sodium levels. Fat Man thought the chilli fries were not good. The cheese used here is not gooey enough and hardens after cooling.
Both the burgers we ordered were good but drenched with way too much sauce such that the bottom bun was soggy and disintegrated halfway while we were eating. It also made for a very messy meal. We were lucky to get the meal for free due to the opening promotion going on in June. (We felt guilty and left a $30 tip in the end.) Needless to say, I don’t think we will come back again and pay the full price for such quality of food and a near deaf experience from the booming music.