26 November 2013

The Royal Mail

With a name synonymous with the Britain postal service, it is natural to associate The Royal Mail with prestige, elegance, and hmm expensive. Thankfully, there was the bi-annually Restaurant Week which allows peasants like me to be able to feast like a royal without having to sell my farm. The Restaurant Week sees participating restaurants rolling out 3 course lunches and dinners starting at $25 and $35 respectively.

The Royal Mail restaurant is located in the CBD in Ascott Raffles Place hotel. Decor wise, I like its sleek and classic setting which oozes a contemporary touch. The tables were set pretty far apart which makes it conducive for an intimate dinner date or a confidential business lunch. 

The Restaurant Week menu was a mystery menu which means we did not know what we were in for at the time of reservation. So it was a gamble of whether a dirty old boot or a big fat fish ends up on our fishing rod. Honestly, I wasn't flattered by the menu on the actual day. The only thing which I was looking forward to were the desserts.

The bread served was an excellent starter. It was warm, fluffy and quite an appetizer on its own. Too bad the saying that "a good start means half a battle is won" was not applicable in this case because things went kind of down hill from here. My choice of appetizer, the Green Pea Soup with Semi-dried Tomato and Prawn, was bland and the prawn could not revived the dish. My friend had the Sous-vide Duck Breast which was glazed with balsamic and cranberry sauce, and came with mango and potato crisps. I hate balsamic so this dish was also no love for me. For me, it tasted like some pungent chemical mixture. Overall: 3/5

The Sous-vide mozzarella stuffed chicken breast (below) sounded delicious so we went with it. The thin layer of roasted skin was just enough to add flavor and moisture to the dry and somewhat hard chicken meat. We wondered whether the mozzarella evaporated during roasting as we barely could find it. However we were a bit surprised to bite into pepper seeds since we didn't recall it being a listed ingredient. And there were plenty of them and it was quite an annoyance to pick them out. That just killed the dish for me. 3/5

From such a place we would expect great desserts. The red velvet cake with cheese frosting and strawberry sorbet (below) redeemed the ticket price. Combining the light velvet sponge with the cold and smooth sorbet - perfect for the sweet tooth. 3.75/5

We were full of anticipation of the Trio of dessert, supposed to consist of passionfruit creme brûlée, raspberry financier cake and lychee sorbet. It was the only item on the menu that was made up of my favorite ingredients. However, the trio that greeted us was different from the menu. Turned out that the menu was not printed correctly after a long investigation by the waiter with the kitchen. It was actually the apple mouse with caramel drizzle, raspberry financier and red velvet cake (left to right). I quite fancy the raspberry financier. 3.5/5

And one more thing, we were kind of upset with the service staff who only offered us sparkling or still water instead of telling us upfront there was tap water provided. We overhead another customer who just cut to the chase and requested tap water instead of obliging to the waiter's offer of sparkling or still. So we spent $7 on still water. It was probably the most heart-breaking water I've ever drank. Sorry I'm such a cheapskate.

In all fairness, I must agree that at $25 per pax, it appeared to be a good deal for the amount of food for a three course meal during Restaurant week. Though I didn't think the food was great. Maybe it was the high expectation we had at the onset that let us down. Maybe it was the mystery menu that had quite a few items that we didn't fancy.
  But if there was another Restaurant week, I would recommend you to try other establishments for a better chance at other restaurants, or at least one with menu available.

No 2 Finlayson Green
Singapore 049247

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