Friday, September 11, 2009

Lai Lai Casual Eatery - service is pretty literal about it

I have been wondering whether Lai Lai Casual Eatery 来来红烧牛肉面 serves half-decent food, because I hadn't had an opportunity to do so, as everytime I am at Jurong Point, I am either rushing through, it's crowded (every Jurong Point eatery always is during meal times, else it's doomed), or someone else has decided what I must eat (which is never worth blogging about).

Finally I had the chance to, and the service sucks BIG TIME. We deliberately went there at about 5ish when it was less crowded (the best time to check the staff response). The four staff milling around all tried to ignore us and looked hopeful that their colleagues would help us instead.

I was vaguely annoyed but I was distracted by the Wolverine movie playing at the video shop opposite the eatery. I ordered Special Set A, which is beef noodles (I asked for soup version), braised intestines (at least 3 sides to choose from for every Special Set), and red milk tea. Since I was famished, I upsized the noodles to a medium (+S$1.50) and requested for half-meat-half-tendon (S$1). I find the latter option rather stupid, because you can see in the last photo that the noodles in the menu contains tendon and meat. And yet (1) the waiter still went to ask for the kitchen's permission to let me have that (2) frightfully obvious misrepresentation - attracting the customer with the more appealing picture and call it beef noodles in the menu. Is beef tendon not beef??? *haha* (3) charging me for that bloody misrepresentation.

B1 ordered another Special Set of small mee sua (he was grousing about how oysters should be offered in the menu as Lai Lai is obviously a Taiwanese wannabe eatery, and oyster mee sua is a damn proliferate in the Taiwanese eating culture. He ended up choosing chicken slices which turned out to be chicken slivers), a century egg tofu and red milk tea. Btw red milk tea is bubble tea containing milk, red tea and (in Lai Lai's case, half-cooked) sago pearls. Such sins committed by the kitchen!!! Half-cooked sago pearls make for a disgusting shock when you bite into them.

I would say that the braised intestines were the pièce de résistance for this meal. Served with fresh ginger slivers (cut correctly *nod nod*) and braised in a light soya sauce, they had a delightful creamy consistency yet savory sensation. Marvellous. The difference between the small noodles and medium noodles is quite significant, as evidenced by the different sizes in soup spoons. B1 was relieved by the small size of his mee sua, which also highlighted the fact that it probably wasn't that nice, and would be a even nastier memory if served in a larger portion. I had a taste, not particularly impressed.

My beef noodle soup was peppery and tasty with lots of slices of meat and tendon. Served with a scrumptious preserved veggie side to accompany the largely tasteless noodles in the spoon. Thank god the chef was more careful with the salt shaker for my noodles, though someone must have had a lot of fun playing with our kidneys using the very sweet bubble tea.

The century egg tofu concoction was disgusting. They topped the cold appetizer with bonito flakes (dude, you don't have to serve bonito flakes just because they are there). I cringe even now, just recalling the very saltiness of that dish.

The meal was bloody expensive, ~S$40 I think. I might go back there and buy the intestines as a takeaway, but the rest of the meal? You're better off getting it at a food court.

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