Needless to say, when we left the villa at 1400hr, we were hungry.
At the main lobby, we were told to wait for the next available (1500hr) shuttle service to send us to the ferry terminal.
Thing is, all of us (esp. the kids) were ravenous by then. So what could we do?
1- Continue to wait at the lobby for the shuttle service, despite the hunger.
2- Look for a cafe (with expensive food offerings) within hotel grounds.
3- Rent 2 cars to send us to ferry terminal and look for (cheaper) food there.
Yes, we eventually settled for option 3. And the cool thing was that the staff at Bintan Lagoon Resort will still transport our luggage to the ferry terminal later on, despite us scooting off first.
At the ferry terminal, we discovered that the available eatery was this teeny-tiny cafe that was packed out with other holiday-makers (there's 13 of us) and the food don't look too promising. I was still outside, setting up the baby pram when the whole group came back out and told us to head for the nearby 'Factory Outlet'.
I was surprised that they still wanna check out the clothes sold there when they were actually very hungry... Turns out, they were told about an eatery located within the Factory Outlet building.
What they didn't know was that the eatery was almost 'hole-in-the-wall' kind, on the exterior and way out in the back; adjacent to the neighbouring ferry terminal's transit area. In fact, we have to walk past the area's public toilets to get there.
We later realised, when we saw some uniformed staff coming by here during their break; or after work that this was more or less their staff canteen. They must be wondering, why were these cheapskate Singaporeans eating here instead?
Anyway, the cook/owner/assistant was excited at seeing our big group approaching the eatery during the 'sleepy hour' (late afternoon, past lunchtime). She was rattling away the menu despite posters of whatever is available on the wall.
I saw: Mie Goreng, Mie Rebus, Nasi Goreng, Nasi Lemak, Soto, Nasi Campur.
I was surprised at seeing the 'Mie Rebus' for that was a Malay speciality and I didn't realise that the Indonesians know how to prepare that, too. Then I thought that since Bintan is within the Riau province, where the original Malays come from so I figured that's how they know of the ubiquitous 'Mi Rebus'.
Only then did my bro-in-law warned us that they meant the 'Mie Rebus' literally: Boiled Noodles a.k.a soupy instant noodles. INSTANT NOODLES, ok?? I don't know there are decent eateries that have instant noodles on the menu.
So I asked him, "What about the 'Mie Goreng' (Fried Noodles)?"
"Same -instant noodles, the dry one."
I asked about the Nasi lemak? Sold out. Soto? Sold out. Geez!
I heard the lady explaining that the 'Nasi Goreng' (fried rice) has sausages and eggs. I don't think I'm keen on that. Well, I don't mind the 'Mie Goreng', instant or not. I'm hoping they'll prepare it akin the the Indian mamak's version of 'Maggi Goreng'.
Thankfully, that's indeed the way it's done. They have the decency to REALLY fry the noodles with some vegetables (chopped 'Cai Xin'). And even topped with fried shallots and all.
We all know just how the portion for a packet of Indonesian instant noodles is like so I do admit that amount doesn't really satiate my hunger; especially when the MSG in the flavouring made it taste so nice and all...