At long last, I know how it feels to look up one’s old love after an absence of many moons only to discover that all the attributes that sent me salivating no longer exist. Instead what’s there quite turned my stomach.
I’m referring to Uncle’s Kitchen, of course. Regulars to this blog would have read about how Uncle’s (originally known as Tea Shake Hut) went missing and how I was thrilled to bits to redisover its new location. And many a lip-smacking meal followed.
My initial love of its dry mee siam waned slightly when I discovered how to prepare similar at home by using tong yam paste. But my passion flared once again and burned even brighter when I discovered how lip-smacking its nasi lemak was.
I’ve often thought about going to eat at Uncle’s but somehow time flies and I went elsewhere again and again, till today when a confluence of necessities led me to Bugis Junction and Uncle’s for a quick bite.
Mum and her maid got there be4 me as I had to park the car. The eatery wasn’t as packed as it was be4, although it was still quite full.
But full or empty, that never bothered me. It was the food I was after. And that’s where I was let down badly on the latest visit. No dry mee siam. Not sold on week ends.
Huh? And nasi lemak sold only on Thursdays and Fridays.
That left me little choice. Would have walked out had I been alone or with easy going friends. But not when i was with my mum, who walks with difficulty and hates sudden changes.
So I settled for what looked most innocuous: Thai chicken with rice and fried tofu for mum and me to share. Picky Siti opted for fried kuay teow. Hers turned out to be the better choice, even tho she complained it was way too greasy.
The picks I made were baaaaaad mistakes. The chicken turned out fried to a crisp and smothered with chilli sauce. (I should have looked more closely at the picture of the dish be4 ordering!) The shredded lettuce was doused with mayo. OK, it tasted OK. Just that it’s not the sort of food I would deliberately choose to eat.
The tofu though a decent portion was also not what I wanted to eat either.
Still, mum enjoyed her almond tea, an old favourite. I took a sip and could have sworn it was sweetened by almond essence.
And to add to my disenchantmentt, I ordered water for Picky and me, quite forgetting that Uncle’s charged 50 cents per glass of water, a fact I had shared with Sparklette for her compilation of the 100+ restaurants in Singapore which charge for water.
The bill today came to $22+ which is expensive compared to the $23+ we paid for our lunch for three at Bumbu Desa (basement of Square 2 @ Novena) on Monday. Bumbu doesn’t charge for water and served far more tasty food.
Of cos, my problem today at Uncle’s is the result of my not finding the dry mee siam I was looking for. I compounded that by ordering dishes I would normally not eat.
Result: time to move away from this old love, as i don’t have the stomach to be disappointed repeatedly. An eatery must either serve my favourite food at my convenience or I must just say adios, amigo!