Now that it's been quite a while since Singapore has has been out of lockdown, or what our government has termed "circuit breaker", restaurants have been operating pretty much as usual aside from implementing safe distancing measures. So we've been able to eat out again and try some new places!
Today's post is not just about any old restaurant; but a hotel restaurant! A couple months back, while Sean and I were waiting for our new house to be ready, we were staying in a studio rental. And unfortunately, that lease was up before our house was ready and we were unable to extend it so we had to have an extended staycation at a couple hotels. Thankfully, there were discounts for extended stays due to a dip in tourists thanks to covid. But bottom line, we soon found ourselves in a couple of hotels. And one of them was at the YWCA!
Located opposite Fort Canning Park, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Singapore is the oldest women’s organisation in Singapore. Founded in 1875, the YWCA has always been committed to meeting the needs of our society through her active involvement in community services and its many programmes and activities (Cr: YWCA).
We didn't know that YWCA even had a hotel! I guess they use the proceeds from the hotel to fund their various programmes for the underprivileged, which is always good. And when we arrived we were taken aback by the facilities! The lobby itself looked way too high-class for us.
But we didn't have much of a choice and it was only for 2 weeks, so we checked in. This was our room btw:
Anyway, while we were staying there we got this flier for the hotel restaurant, called Cafe Lodge, and they were having a 1-for-1 promotion!
We weren't staying long, but we wanted to try the restaurant and so the timing of this promotion was just perfect. Of course, I'm sure they needed help as well, since there weren't that many tourists. So we invited a couple of my friends to come join us for dinner and hang out in our room! This was post-lockdown btw.
Like the lobby, the interior of the restaurant was really aesthetically pleasing and inviting!
I really liked the design and colour palette they used. A nice combination of dark blues, whites and light wood create a modern, minimalist aesthetic. It also felt a little like a modern country home.
But overall, very clean and comfortable. It definitely felt way too high-brow for us. I felt so under-dressed walking in with my T-shirt, shorts and slippers.
I guess usually this hotel and restaurant would get booked for weddings and stuff since it's really close to the Registry of Marriage (ROM) just past Fort Canning Park opposite the hotel. I actually did see a couple in wedding attire across the road one day with their photographer, so people were still holding weddings despite all the covid inconveniences.
As expected, there were empty seats abound so we took one of the tables near to the entrance and were promptly served by the staff.
Their menu had quite a range, but they seemed to specialise in local dishes.
But they also had some Western dishes
And healthy ones too:
They also have a few desserts and a variety of drinks.
I think some pictures would've been more helpful but I guess it doesn't really fit their high-class aesthetic.
But anyway, we were only gonna order from their promotional menu. I was just curious about what other dishes they had.
So from the promo menu, I decided to get the claypot laksa, and Sean ordered the linguine pasta with beef tenderloin.
And about 10 minutes later, our food arrived! This was the linguine with beef, which my friend also ordered.
And this was the Black Vinegar Pork Trotters which my other friend ordered, and it also came with a plate of rice.
And finally, this was my claypot laksa! Which btw is a highly popular Peranakan dish in Southeast Asia. It consists of thick rice vermicelli in a spicy soup with a curry coconut base. It's often topped with seafood and fried beancurd.
Overall, I'd say the food was not bad per se, but average. Maybe leaning more towards meh. The laksa was a little bland for my liking. It didn't have enough of the spice kick that I enjoy in laksa. And while the presentation of the bowl was nice, was not very practical because it was too full for me to scoop the noodles and soup below all the ingredients on top. The seafood was also a little plain and the cockles were rubbery.
I got to taste Sean's linguine and I actually enjoyed it a lot more. The beef was nice and peppery and a bit tender. And the pasta was good. My only gripe was the portion was a little small, even for the usual price of $14.50. Even though I was also really hungry at the time, I think they definitely could've put more pasta on there. I mean c'mon, pasta doesn't cost much.
Overall, I'd say the meal was pretty meh. I expected more from the local dishes since I assume the chefs are local, and we are in Singapore after all. They should know the standard expected of local cuisine. But this just confirms the saying that hawker food is always better than restaurant food, and that you're just paying for the experience and service. Which was admittedly, really good. But seeing as the food was meh, we probably won't eat there again or recommend it.
It was still fun to eat at a nice place once in a while. And we did enjoy ourselves nonetheless. But we'll probably never go back there again since we have no reason to.
Thanks for reading!
To find out more about me, check out my intro post here!