2 Orchard Turn
Revel in some of the best Singaporean hawker fare in an upmarket setting with a price and a dismal dessert counter.
A new food court has opened in town. Yeah! Once more, the unique creation of Singapore strikes yet again, and this time round in the very heart of the city. Bearing the name Food Opera, I kinda expected going in the theatre and being entertained by performers and singers singing with either their mouths full or throwing cuisines at each other while giving their best shot at a musical.
Fantasies aside, the establishment instead draws in some of the most popular names in the local food fare industry conglomerating together in one tiny, tiny, extremely tiny spot in the prime district of Orchard Road, buried 4 levels deep. Almost a haunting grave of a foodie excitement.
Indulge in your orders amongst the animals, well that is what Food Opera is trying to establish with sculptures of fauna placed strategically around the theatre (not the surgical one though), enough to raise an eyebrow while slurping up that bowl of laksa.
First stop for me, Yong Heng Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee. I ordered the Scallops variety for a lovely price of $8.00 and it came with two pieces of scallops and two large prawns. While I lament yet enjoy at the miniscule proportion of seafood at such an exorbitant price, I have to agree extremely well with my stomach on the fantastic broth the mee is soaked in.
The noodles were well flavoured throughout and the seafood broth which the noodles were cooked in had that extremely savoury sweet complex seafood taste. With fresh seafood, good noodles and even though at a price, I think its well worth it. But now, where are those little pieces of pork fat to complete the meal?
Now I have to say my thanks to the chefs who whipped up the dish called Or-Luak, or commonly known to those who love to speak Ang-Mo, Oyster Omellete. Fatty Weng Oyster Omellete is definitely a strong contender to fight against in the battle ring for the Singapore Fried Awards.
Very crispy omellete that emanated that “pang” flavour in both taste, texture and aroma. Juicy oysters are also generously thrown in to be paired up with the sour chilli sauce. Almost an indulgence and definitely a comfort food after that hustle and bustle for the purchases at Cartier.
For $5.00 (updated 12 sep 09), receive a standard portion without feeling too much a pinch in the wallet =)
While Fatty Weng might specialize in Oyster Omellete, he still whips up a mean dish of Char Kway Teow. Beautifully smoky in flavour with a little spice to tickle the tastebuds, it is neither too sweet nor too salty. A good combination of the sauces were a great boost to the generous portions of lap-chiong (chinese preserved sausage), squid and egg. $5.50 for 1 very large serving.
Satay was simply a dish that could not be avoided. At $0.70 a stick (either pork/chicken or mutton), something inside me craved for that stick (rather many sticks) of skewered meat.
The pork satay which was ordered was considerably good with the fatty parts having its edges slightly charred for the crispy yet tantalizing taste.The satay sauce was nutty and thick, with a slight hint of sweetness and spiciness. But would definitely be more fantastic if some scoops of blended pineapple were added together.
On a side note, I enjoyed the Abacus Seeds from the Hakka delicacies stall. Chewy, savoury with the dried prawns taste, it proved to be a very addictive dish for me. $4.80 for the small portion though.
Oh yeah, you get to watch the lady make abacus seeds from scratch. Very interesting! Open concept kitchen looks like it has a good future ahead.
$3.00 for the Yam Paste (The Watery One)
Now, I cannot say much for the desserts at Food Opera. I tried the Ice Kachang ($3.00!!!!) and the Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts($3.00!!!!) and seriously I was left disappointed. The Yam paste was simply too watery with little taste and bordered dangerously of being labelled as The Baby’s Porridge.
The Ice Kachange was simply hopeless. Too much ice, somewhat inconsistent sweetness all about and a startling absence of the favoured coconut milk or even the too little of the gula melaka which gives the dessert its body. And they only gave me 1 ATAPCHI!
If you might want to try some better Yam Paste with better looks, taste (though it is still not entirely fantastic that would leave me screaming for more), order one from the Kueh stall next to the Hakka delicacies. $3.20 would entitle you to a decent portion of thick Yam paste with a generous serving of Gingko nuts and chopped pumpkin together with a ladle of coconut milk upon request.
Nothing much to say for the popiah except that it has too much turnip and too little condiments. For me, its gonna be See Popiah, Avoid Popiah.
Food Opera at ION Orchard will definitely be crowded at any point in time. While it may serve food which are a little expensive, most (I repeat most) of them are generally quite good. Though one or two of them would need a little revisit to the culinary academy, most of the dishes are well enough to sate your appetite to continue that next bout of shopping.