Sunday, 18 October 2009

Fish Tales

Yeah, how is everyone lately? I'm fantastic, thanks for asking. SPM is how many days away? I don't know. Désolé, but I lost count. I don't like stressing myself unnecessarily when I'm already stressed enough.

Saturday we went to One Utama. Was deciding where to go for lunch when Mum caught sight of The Gardens. Yes, it's the one with the adjoining boutique and whatnot. So we decided to give it a try, and we ordered from the Lunch set or something of the sort.

The drinks were a choice of Ice Lemon tea, Ice Coffee or tea. All of us toook ILT, and one thing that was cute was that it came in small pitchers! Uber adorable, with the stirrers that had a flower at the top. The soup of the day was onion soup, which I expected to be nice, but I was a bit disappointed as it was just clear broth that smelled heavenly of onions but tasted bland. Like I said,

"It was like drinking onion-smelling water."

Dad ordered the Beef Ginger, which was basically rice, pompadom, and a side dish of beef slices in a brown ginger sauce. Not bad, although the beef was a little tough to chew. Sis ordered the Spaghetti Aglio Ed Olio with Prawns (ha! I actually remembered how to spell it!). It was just spaghetti fried with garlic, olive oil, chilli flakes and some sauteed prawns. Sis was looking expectant when it came in a super large triangular dish that took up almost her whole corner of the table, but the portions were a bit small, though the prawns were big. It kinda reminded me of a convo I had with some friends last year in school when we were talking about French food.

"French food, like foie gras (goose liver), is very expensive, but it's very con lah! You pay so much for the dish, and your plate on the table very big, but then they serve it (the food) on a small dish served on a slightly bigger dish stacked on top of the big plate on the table. Then when you look at it, the foie gras is actually less than a quarter of the size of the original big plate. So, basically, you're paying lotsa money for the stacking of the plates instead of the foie gras itself."

True, in a sense.

Mum took the Seafood Noodles, which comprised of yee meen, mussels, prawns and vegetables. At first she was dubious about it, but later realised that it was worth every cent because the portions were big. Hello, mussels?

Mine was the Butter Ginger Dory Fish with Pineapple and Mashed Potato. Sis wanted to order that as well but took the spaghetti in the end. I was actually quite excited, because I had the idea that it would be those high class-looking dishes, where they'd melt butter in a pan, add in some ginger shreds for flavour, then pour it over the dory fish in a light, brothy kind of sauce, like the ones they used in the posh western restaurants. Then, on the side, they'd give a dab of mashed potato and some pineapple slices.

I had never been so disillusioned.

The fish came, sitting in the middle of the same big triangular plate as Sis's spaghetti did, surrounded by a creamy looking sauce. My first thought was, Hey, is that creamy thing the mashed potato? Maybe they made it so creamy and nice they filled the plate with it and placed the fish on top. Don't laugh; I've learned to appreciate the art of arranging food. Blame Jamie Oliver.

So I dipped my fork into the creamy thing, stuck it into my mouth....and resisted the urge to spit it out again. Because, dear friends, the creamy thing WASN'T the mashed potato; nope, it was the butter sauce. And I love butter, but this time, it tasted as if someone had mushed the soft butter up with 5 pounds of sugar, mixed it around, and dumped it on the plate. Really, it was that sweet. Reminded me a bit of Nigella Lawson.

"Now we pour in a cup of sugar--" dumps in half the bag. "--and we add a pinch of salt--" throws a whole cup inside. Honestly, the woman can give you diabetes.

The butter sauce, it's like you stick it into your mouth, the first thing you can taste is the sweetness. Then after a bit, you can taste the strong taste of butter. Horrible combination. Exactly why I don't like jam. Too sweet.

I want to avoid getting diabetes, so I did what every normal person would do under the circumstances: I skipped the sauce and ate just the fish. Very obviously, I wasn't full. The fish was actually quite nice, but one part annoyed me a bit: Remember the pineapple? I found a thin, tiny slice of it right on top the first portion of fish and that was it. Now I have a feeling that the sweetness in the butter sauce was contributed by the errant pineapple. Then I dug deeper and I found: mashed potatoes! The saving grace! Bit bland, but after the too-sweet texture of the sauce, I was ready to welcome it!

Mum couldn't finish her noodles so I helpfully (ha!) finished it for her, all the while declaring, Thank God for the person who invented the yee meen! Honestly, I wasn't about to underestimate it again.

You might have found The Gardens to your taste, but for me, it was a one time only, never again sorta visit.

Got any bad restaurant tales to share?


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