Orchard Road

Last night I went to have dinner in SM Megamall. I was intending to eat somewhere else, but when I passed by the new Orchard Road restaurant (2F, Megamall Bridgeway), I decided to give it a try.

The restaurant is named for Singapore’s shopping hub.

Orchard Road uses a concept similar to Singapore’s famous hawker centers. Hawker centers are similar to the typical food courts in malls, with several food stalls selling different fare (Chinese, Indian, Malay, etc.), except they’re typically open-air structures that stand on their own, as opposed to food courts that are typically enclosed within a mall’s interior. However, instead of having multiple independently-operated stalls, Orchard Road offers the same diverse cuisine that one would usually find at a hawker center, but all made by the same kitchen.

Like hawker centers, Orchard Road’s kitchen is glass enclosed and as such, one can see everything that’s going on with regard to the food preparation. The kitchen is in the center of the restaurant’s space, and since the counter is also there, guests are invited to actually view the preparation (the order slip echoes this invitation; guests are told to visit the open kitchen before choosing their order).

After paying for my order (Malaysian chicken curry with noodles), I then went to my seat.

The aroma of the food cooking immediately reminded me of Singapore. That exotic scent of intermingled cuisine I associate with that country brought back memories of the time I spent with my family there. Good times.

The ambiance was also quite good—despite the use of dark wooden dividers (which were given a lighter image by light colored glass), the restaurant was actually well-lit and had a great view of the rush hour commuter swarm around the Julia Vargas exit to EDSA—a view that I’ve rarely ever witnessed from Megamall’s bridgeway. Great for people-watching.

The curry came rather quickly, and I was very pleased with it.  It was quite yellow, which my brother says is rather uncharacteristic of that type of curry–it’s usually orange. (As opposed to Japanese curry, which is typically dark brown and salty rather than spicy, and Filipino curry, which is pale yellow and watery.) Still, it was very flavorful and induced a sweat rather quickly. Even after I finished off the noodles and chicken, I drank up every last drop of the soup.

The cuts of chicken were good–they were large breast cuts, instead of the annoying leg cuts in Pinoy curry (I don’t care much for chicken leg due to the blood content and the difficulty of separating meat from bone). They weren’t dry (as breast cuts usually are), and the curry sauce gave the chicken a really good kick. I wish there had been more noodles, but the dish was quite filling.

It’s a bit on the pricey side—Php 175 for a bowl—but it left me quite satisfied. I hadn’t eaten good curry in a while, and it was one thing I really was craving for.

In the future I’d like to give other dishes a try, but overall I enjoyed it–and from the number of guests last night, I think many others did too.

~ by J. R. R. Flores on April 23, 2010.

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