My SiL asked me to join her and cousins for a dinner date. I was initially apprehensive because these are my hubby's cousins after all (currently, we're far from chummy) but then again, we're around the same age range so I have no doubt about getting along with them.
The initial plan was to meet at I Am Cafe at Haji Lane (interesting review HERE). One of the cousins is a friend of one of the owners. I was excited, naturally. New eating establishment! And I looove cafes; expensive coffee and food be damned.
However, there's a last min. change of plans. One of them had to send off her future SiL; who's returning to Melbourne so location gotta change to Changi Airport Terminal 1. I asked my SiL, "What's at T1, aside from KFC and Pappa Mia?" I gave her a list of other restaurants in other terminals.
Everyone eventually settled for Pappa Mia.
It was raining on that evening and I was really hungry. Admittedly, I unconsciously had high expectations of the food. What more when the menu looks a tad different from the sister restaurant: Pappa Rich.
My elder SiL came with her 2 younger kids and they've already had a heavy meal elsewhere. So she ordered desserts and snacks instead.
This was one of the desserts ordered. Plus points for presentation, there.
A scoop of coconut ice cream served atop an actual coconut with gula melaka (palm sugar) and peanut bits inside. I refused the ice-cream but ask that they leave some of the coconut flesh for me.
And what do you know? The coconut was the 'old' kind so the flesh- though thick, was hard. I was digging at a wall, literally. I end up having a taste of the melted ice-cream inside. Nice, rich taste but I felt that the peanuts made it weird (to me, that is).
Chendol w/ Ice-cream
Another dessert ordered. I remember my colleague remarking that their ice-shavings were quite coarse. Here, it looks finer but it could be even better. My SiL remarked that the green 'chendol' bits tasted a bit bitter on its own.
Not sure if that was coconut ice-cream on top, though.
Toasted wholemeal bread w/ butter & kaya
I love the bread here. Despite being the wholemeal kind, it taste way better that the ones found elsewhere. It's just so fluffy, too.
I was just starving and my food took too long so I grabbed a slice. Satisfying!
Dry Kway Teow w/ Prawns & Chicken Slices
This was served when one of them was away, sending her future SiL briefly at the departure area below.
By the time she came back, I think the Kway Teow (flat rice noodles) already gotten a tad clumpy. She did order the dry version but it seem like there's not enough sauce/gravy to mix everything together.
The flavour came off as a tad bland too so she asked for some chillies. She was given a small platter with both sambal and cut chili padi.
My eyes lit up when I saw this on the menu (it wasn't available at Pappa Rich). I dearly miss the Laksa Penang that used to be sold at the Banquet at the currently-being-renovated Eastpoint Mall.
The picture in the menu here also made the bowl look so enticing so I was very eager to savour this.
I admit that I was somewhat crestfallen to see that the bowl that was served to me looked nothing like the picture. There wasn't much greens or even the extra portion of 'hae ko' (petis/prawn paste). And my first sip was a jarring sour punch that almost turned me off. I have low tolerance for sourness so this one hit me hard. Too hard. Too much lime? Or should I blame the pineapples? Or too little 'hae ko'? No idea.
But I was hungry so I ate it anyway, wincing when the sourness got too much to bear. I enjoy the thicker-than-norm laksa noodles, though (thick like mee 'tai mak'). In the end, I gave up when there's still some left in the bowl because the sourness actually numbed my mouth (tongue, lips and all). Those who know me will know how I ALWAYS finish my food. So this is an exceptional case.
Oxtail & Tendon Noodles
My younger SiL's order. It was a rainy night and she remarked about wanting to have the Tom Yum Soup. Her sister chided her for having boring tastes.
She re-looked the menu and find these interesting-looking pictures of Oxtail & Tendon and Beef Brisket Noodles. I told her to just take the more interesting oxtail with tendon since beef brisket has a tendency to be tough when not prepared well.
Guess this actually took sometime to prepare as it was the last to be served. I expected a strong herbal taste or something but any accent of that was surprisingly mild. It had more of a 'stewed soy sauce' taste.
Actually there were more food ordered. Their popular food items like the Char Kway Teow and chicken rice (which had a pretty interesting presentation). There's also chicken curry w/ Hainan-style steamed & toasted bread. Some drinks are included.
The meal for 8 pax comes up to around $115++. Not exactly cheap but each serving of food comes at a pretty affordable pricing (with large portions). Service was prompt and friendly. My advice is to go for their popular items. Adventurous choices may end up being misses instead of hits.
You've been warned.