Looks great but tastes okay only

There are only two reasons people should blog about food.

1. The food is really great and you want to gloat.

2. The food is really bad and you want to spread the misery.

But some people subscribe to a third reason:

3. The food is only okay but you took lots of pictures so you must put them all in your blog to show people that you took lots of pictures, never mind if the pictures are bland and uninspiring and the food is only okay.

I think food blogs should never be done for the third reason but people will do what people do, so who am I to stop them?

In retaliation, I’m coming up with a fourth reason, which I feel has more validity:

4. The food is only okay but the photos are great.

I’m not much of a photographer myself, so I made Erwin take the photos this time since he just picked up photography and he’s got a fancy camera.

Everyone in the group had to endure the torture of seeing their food get cold while Erwin spends five minutes setting up each shot because the lack of light made it very difficult to get a good shot.

“Can I eat my food yet?” whined someone.

“Wait lah. Almost done.”

“Can’t you do mine first?” whined another someone.

“Wait lah. Go and bug QY because she’s the one instigating all this.”

After putting everyone through this, I cannot not post the pictures up.

But at least they look good, the photos, which is amazing because there was hardly any light because we were in one of those alfresco candlelight settings.

I’ll show you how dim the place was.

The restaurant was really dim
Photo taken by me, with my camera.

Now I’ll show you a picture that Erwin took with his camera, without flash:

Looks great but tastes only okay

I don’t know how the heck that’s even possible, but he did it.

That’s the veal, by the way. I ate that. It looks great but tastes only okay. It’s not even consistent. There were two slices. One slice was tender and juicy. The other slice was tough and dry.

Next picture:

You can't see it but there are prawns in the tin

This is sauteed prawns with grilled mango. Looks really good. You can’t see the prawns because they’re hidden inside the tin. Too bad for you.

The menu says that it’s “to die for”.

So I asked Johnson, who ordered it, “How are the prawns?”

“Not bad.”

“Is it to die for?”

“Not really.”

Bad menu! Didn’t your mommy teach you not to lie?

Menu tries to change the subject.

Menu says, “Oh, look! Soup!”

Some soup with a too-long name

Okay, let me try to recall the name of this soup.

It’s…

Cream of white asparagus with minced tuna soup.

It’s the soup of the day so the name is not in the menu. The waitress told me the name. Nobody else could hear it so I had to repeat it twice to different sides of the table.

Isaiah had a hearing problem that day.

I said to the table, “Cream of white asparagus with minced tuna soup!”

Erwin said, “Sounds good! I’ll have one.”

Isaiah said, “What?? Please avoid asparagus in the hoola hoop?

Morte said, “Wahaha. Nice name. I’ll have one, too.”

Morte is a… poultry of the male gender. (Insider joke.)

Moving on!

This is a plate of food

I’m not sure what this one is. You have to remember the whole place was so dark I had trouble seeing my own food, much less other people’s food. Maybe it’s the tenderloin pork. I remember Erwin ordering that and orgasming with his first bite.

“Oh, gosh, the fats,” he said, “Damn shiok, man! Wah lau, it’s damn tender!”

Erwin enjoyed his main course so much that when the waitress came by at the end of our meal to ask cheerily, “How was the food?” Erwin answered, “Not bad.”

I admonished him. “I thought you said your pork is damn shiok? Why didn’t you tell the waitress that??”

“Oh, yar hor! I forgot!”

I don’t know if that means that Erwin (like Morte) is also a… male poultry, or that the food at this restaurant is so unremarkable that even when it’s good, it’s forgettable.

Fish and chips:

Fish and chips

Siya said she ordered it because it looked like the safest thing on the menu.

When I asked her how she liked the taste of it, she said, “Okay lah.”

I realise that Singaporeans are really, really fond of saying “okay lah” and “not bad” when asked for opinions.

It makes reporters’ jobs really, really hard.

Glasses clinked as they toasted to friendship under the star-lit sky. Pairs of rustic candlelight gave off a soft glow, accentuating the romance of alfresco dining. The friends enjoyed the company, the sweet red wine and the promise of an exquisite feast that was to come.

The first course was Soup a la Fragrant Rose Petals Cascading in Delectable Waterfall of Cream.

“Not bad,” was the resounding consensus, accompanied by thoughtful nods of approval.

How would Jane describe the taste? this reporter asked.

“Okay lah.”

Next!!

I think this is the lamb chop

This must be the lamb chop because there are cute little leafy thingabobs on it.

I wish I had ordered that because Minou said that it’s “not bad”.

Well, my veal’s also “not bad”, but I think Minou’s lamb is a better “not bad”.

After being in Singapore for some time, you learn to differentiate one “not bad” from another.

There are signs. Subtle, but there are signs. Like how there is a cheerful lilt in a Level 3 Not Bad, while a Level 5 Not Bad comes with a slight widening of the eyes.

For example, the following dish is a Level 4 Not Bad.

Corn on the Cob Drowned in Creamy Stuff

The delivery of a Level 4 Not Bad is accompanied by a tiny hint of a smile, some teeth showing. Teeth which are most useful for biting into the succulent grilled corn on the cob.

It’s tasty and juicy on its own so I don’t know why it’s sitting in mayonnaise.

That’s the last picture of the lot.

The meal happened at Barracks at Dempsey Hill, where we went to celebrate Johnson’s birthday.

It’s a good place to chill out for the ambience… if you don’t mind spending 20-30 bucks on a main course that is rated between a Level 2 and a Level 5 Not Bad, and… if you don’t mind cockroaches (Minou has the story).

That's Us

On the whole, it was Okay Lah (Level 3).