Thursday, August 30, 2012

Angsty at The Clan Restaurant

For food ideas, I typically scour local print media (like 8 Days, The Straits Times, Simply Her, Food &Travel magazine), food websites like Hungrygowhere and local food blogs. Often, I am delighted with the result and relish each good find like a pirate who has found his bounty.

Unfortunately, there are also immaculately written articles that prove to be bogus, leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth. It makes me wonder if these articles are products of paid reviews, invited tastings, or just a marked difference in taste?

Clan Restaurant is one such restaurant where my taste seems to deviate from the mainstream. The menu sounds tantalizing, with fanciful sounding items like earl grey cured tuna, 48 degree poached salmon, 48 hours short ribs and an interesting apple "slurpee" amuse bouche. Value also seems reasonable with a 6 course meal costing around SGD62+++. Unfortunately that's where the good stuff ends.

Service was friendly at first but gradually degenerated to forced smiles, unfilled glasses and vanishing acts as the evening wore on and our complaints mounted.

Round 1: The evening started beautifully as we were ushered to our seats and presented with the menu. As I was feeling quite full from lunch, a waiter suggested that our party of 3 order 2 set dinners to share. We decided to take up his suggestion after perusing the menu. We quickly caught the attention of another waiter to make our order. When he heard that we were only ordering 2 set dinners, his tone immediately stiffened and he seemed reluctant to accept our orders. We felt a little embarrassed and eventually settled for 2 set dinners with an additional main course.

Round 2: The starters, sides and soups arrived in quick succession. Most of the dishes were ordinary tasting- a chewy smallish scallop spritzed with some truffle foam, salmon mousse in cute crunchy cone, a bland tasting crab leg, a cold unappetising slab of foie gras and passable crab bisque. A unanimous turnoff was the earl grey cured tuna with lavender scent. Urgh! It was like eating tuna marinated in axe brand oil.

Round 3: The mains. A total disaster despite the impressive descriptions. 48 hour short ribs (beef) in madeira sauce turned out to be cold leathery slices of meat on a crumpled Hoba leaf. My salmon course was fishy and hidden with bones. Another kaki's pasta with grilled barramundi was laced with strong lashes of squid ink which she didn't take well to. After giving our feedback to the servers (for the record they did offer to replace our dishes but we declined), we noticed a visible drop in service. Water glasses were not filled and our table seemed to be shunned in favor of the more appreciative diners from other tables.

Round 4: Dessert. We ordered their famous chocolate fudge and a green tea tiramisu. No complaints taste wise but not outstanding either. Potions were rather measly.

I don't think I'll be going back to this place again. It reeks of pretentiousness. I feel sick in the stomach just writing this review.

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