One bad meal in a month is bad enough but two bad meals, one day after another? Incredible tho that sounds, that’s what happened to me and the hapless ones who ate those meals with me.
The first meal was lunch on Saturday ( Mar 13). As mum, her maid and I have had a good experience in the 5th floor food court at 313 Somerset, I thought Daffy, who lunches with us mostly on the week-ends, would like the experience too.
And for a change, I thought we would eat from stalls at the other end of the food court from where I, mum etc had eaten be4. In essence, we were switching from tim sum to something spicier and indigenous.
Baaaad mistake, as Suze Orman would say. Baaaad baaaaad mistake was I decided that we should take a particular stall’s set lunch at $6.80 a set, one set for picky Siti, and two sets for mum, me and Daffy to share, with the intention to load up from other stalls.
Siti’s BBQ chicken set looked OK as did our chicken curry set. However, both chicken drumstix — grossly large and clearly frozen meat — were merely slathered in sauce after they were cooked, instead of having the meat well marinated be4 cooking, so that the sauce gave the extra taste, not the only taste.
The complimentary soup which came with the sets was pure flavoured water with a pinch of chopped spring onion. Only the veggies (cabbage and carrots — how wrong can u go with them?) passed muster.
But what our really baaaaaaaaaaaaaad baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad mistake was to take the stall helper’s suggestion to have a BBQ pork set when I was dithering between an otak set (“sori, not available” — heck, if so, why put on menu???) and a fish set.
That set took ages in coming and after we had already divvy up our curry chicken set and added otak toast from Toast Box to supplement the meagre meal!
The slab of BBQ pork was pale grey, topped with the same gravy as picky Siti’s BBQ chik drumstick. So not attractive to the eyes. Worse, it wasn’t attractive to the tongue and teeth. It was cold, hard and tasteless, save for what was imparted by an overdose of gravy.
Mum refused to have any of the pork; Daffy gamely helped me to eat a bit while I ate the most. Even I had to give up in the end, doing what I seldom do: abandoning half the dish!
Needless to say, I felt I didn’t have lunch, especially when Siti brought me back the wrong dessert while she and Daffy got themselves an ice avocado drink that both enjoyed.
So, I swore, on Sunday, I must have a good lunch, come what may.
But remember what they say about man proposes, God disposes. My baaaaad mistake was to choose to go to Ngee Ann City, as I had a $15 voucher (balance of some refund) from Takashimaya to spend before it expired.
The second truly baaaaad baaaaaad mistake was to choose to eat at the basement 2 food court first, be4 shopping at Taka. What I didn’t realise was that large chunks of the food court were under renovation, leaving very limited choices of food and a huge rush for both makan and seats as a result of that reduction.
Poor mum got confused by the crowds as was her maid, so it was left to me to look for seats for us and then, instructing Siti to keep mum company, I rushed to get some food.
Lerk Thai, the stall nearest to where we sat, didn’t have either belacan or olive rice, altho both were listed on the menu.
I rushed to the rice dumpling stall, believing it would be easy and fast. It was, but with two dumplings ($4.50) unwrapped and unceremonously flung into two plastic bags (“we never give plates!”), I feared mum won’t be tempted.
She wasn’t, but because it was late and she was hungry, she ate gingerly. I rushed around to get us a drink from the herbal drinks counter ($3); bought a slab of otak ($3.50) from another stall and then a bowl of vegetables ($3.60) from the yong tou fu stall.
The meal for the two of us came to $14.60; we fed our hunger and our thirst in incredibly uncomfortable circumstances –people pushing past our chairs as well as the cleaners clearing plates, bowls, bottles and left over food around us and dangerously over our heads! But we didn’t feed our need to have a good meal which in my book means decent tasty food eaten in some degree of comfort.
Mum’s Siti fared better. She stuck with whatever Lerk Thai had available and rounded off her meal with a slice of fruit.
Afternote: arrggg, after all that agro, I didn’t get to spend my Takashimaya voucher becos I didn’t find anything I wanted to buy!