Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Friends @ Jelita Shopping Centre

 We seem to be living off coupons in times of hardship ... Friends @ Jelita at Jelita Shopping Centre in Bukit Timah has had quite a few deals with Deals.com recently. After reading some reviews we decided to pick up one of them coupons which was a 74% off 4-course Steaky set meal ($19.90 instead of $76.50). Wow!!! 74% off! Even if the food wasn't great we'll have gotten a good deal!

Being kinda outta the way I was trying to wait till I had the car before heading there. Eventually I couldn't and had to bus there from Outram - poor decision, long long hungry wait through crowded buses and roads and we finally arrived 15 minutes late from our reservation.

Place wasn't full anyway, we ordered stuff and waited. And waited.

And waited.


Seriously the place was about half full, and even while starving and grumpy it took 20 minutes for the first course to arrive!

 There must have been only one single chef in that kitchen that night! After what felt like a century later, food was finally directed to our table..

{ Tempura Soft Shell Crab }
 I had the tempura soft shell crab - must say it looked pretty impressive (and extremely fried). Somehow it didn't taste like panko breadcrumbs, and it was way oilier than usual tempura, but still it was yummy. One of the bigger soft shell crabs I've seen! Complete with all the juicy bits in the mid-section, yum - though the extreme oiliness kinda put me off.

Came with drizzled tempura sauce and greens.

 I had a little bite of this and it was good and sizeable with surprisingly not a lot of batter. My only concern was that it was a tad oily and I probably wouldn't be able to get through this whole chunk.

{ Japanese Konbu Smoked Salmon Carpaccio } 

 This wasn't as generously portioned as the crab. I guess my description of this dish would be 'dainty' - I liked how this was presented, although I had expected a bit more salmon. 

 My first question was "where's the konbu?". I think the little bits around the carpaccio was the konbu, which was kinda purpose-defeating cos I couldn't really taste the flavour without at least a decent konbu strip. But the carpaccio was nice, and the flakes of konbu added that sea-saltiness.

{ Chef Hot soup of the day (Cream of corn??) } 

 Second course was a soup - cream of corn? Exceedingly normal, tasted like Campbell's or a derivative. Meh.

Again pissed off and hungry, we waited a further 20 minutes for the main course to arrive. Seriously people.

{ Char-Grilled Grass-Fed Ribeye Steak (220gm) (+$5) } 
 Being a steaky course, we had a choice of tuna steak, pork steak, green curry chicken steak, ribeye steak, or japanese soba. Not sure if it was soba shaped into a steak. Anyway I really wanted beef so I paid $5 extra for the ribeye - medium rare of course. And I must say, it was decent. Pretty good hunk at 220gm, vegies and mash was normal. Steak was soft, pink, flavourful and medium-rare done right - it was a good, 'what-I-expected' steak but nothing great IMO.

{ Pan Seared Tuna Steak }
 I thought tuna was an interesting option (the most common being salmon), so I had to try this. Turned out pretty good actually, just wished it was left a bit more raw inside rather than cooked through. It went well with the balsamic drizzle and I must admit the potatoes were really nice!

 Dessert was a fanciful sounding cup of cut fruits.

Now the biggest question is - without the coupon, was it really $76.50???? Considering I paid $5 extra for my steak, say my set value was $80. The soup could not have been more than $5, and the crab not more than $10 - 15. Even if my steak was $30 - $35, that's still nowhere near $80. While the food was definitely worth the $20 coupon, there's no denying the false marketing. 

Though I had a good deal and the food was decent, unless you live nearby there would be no reason to venture to Friends. Service and customer expectation could use a big big improvement. Walked 15 minutes and waited 20 minutes for a bus ride back to Redhill.

HGW Link (61% at time of writing) - http://www.hungrygowhere.com/singapore/friends_jelita/
Main website : http://www.friendsfoodandwine.com/
Rating (out of 4) : 

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