Thursday, May 12, 2011

Just Acia, Dhoby Ghaut

Bumbling out of Dhoby Ghaut MRT station one evening, we decided to have dinner nearby before hopping over to PS to order a cake for dad's birthday celebration (I do highly recommend the strawberry shortcake from Rive Gauche - delicious!). We walked past this place which was proclaiming set meals with free flow of drinks and ice cream.

We did a quick check on HGW before determining it safe to waltz in for a seat.

It was quite packed with a fairly younger (student) crowd. The seating space was spread out quite a bit, and we were led to a rather concealed area to be seated. Orders are taken at the table, and I believe at this point you should be handed dessert cups and glasses for drinks, but we were not given any (more on this later). And then you can go help yourself with hot chocolate / floats / ice cream. Set meals also come with a side of miso soup and small serving of kimchi-like pickle.

Set meals are generally just-over or just-under $10, which with the aforementioned package sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Mains were mostly korean / fusion style with a singaporean touch.

Bear went for the sambal salmon fillet on rice ($8.90), explicitly stating that he wanted it super spicy.

Came this monster of a plate with japanese(-like) rice topped with two surprisingly generous portions of pan fried salmon glazed in sambal with such copiousness I felt bad for it. Besides the two strands of leaves, a strangely trippy lotus root and a lemon wedge, I could barely see the rice under the huge hunk of salmon. And I dig in ...

... and surprisingly it wasn't half bad! The sambal used was the kind you find basted over ikan bakar, which goes oh-so-well with any seafood in general, including the rather dubiously choiced salmon. To be honest I've only ever had salmon japanese style - either raw, aburi-ed, in soup, or baked miso-style, and who would have thought it was go well with sambal?

The damn thing was truly spicy too, and the very slight crisp in the generous salmon portion was rather welcomed. Yum!

I had the spicy chicken set ($7.20), which was similar in taste to Korean bulgogi. Chicken was quite tender and the marinade was tasty and sufficiently spicy. Was quite a generous portion too. All in all, I did enjoy the dish on its own.

Can't say much else about the drinks/dessert and service to be honest. Hot drinks are obtained from a push-button dispenser, and I could not bear to drink my 'cappuccino'. It tasted like creamer diluted in hot water. Ice cream is the F&N Magnolia type, which I probably would have enjoyed better if I was 3 years old. Let's just say all the flavours tasted the same, despite being of various colours.

Service irked me a bit - I was greeted with looks of confusion when I asked where I can get cups and bowls for my ice cream and coffee, having had no luck finding them at the main station/ various counters. It was insisted that I should have this on my table. When I waved a hand to indicate my table a couple of feet away and it was plain as day that my table had no cups nor bowls on it, the waitress actually frowned and walked right to my table to, I don't know, make sure I was not hiding crockery full of diluted creamer and green ice cream. Having inspected this horizontal surface under her nose, she reluctantly handed me the cups and bowls as if regretting to part with them.

Turns out I should not have bothered getting ice cream and coffee anyway.

In summary, ice cream and coffee was rather craptastic.

In short, the mains are alright but don't stay for the frills! Unless you enjoy your coffee without actual coffee in it, and can stomach eating ice cream of undeterminable flavours.

HGW Link :

Rating (out of 4) :

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