Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Garden Slug, Bright Centre, Singapore

Rating:4/5 11110
Quiet, personal and secluded makes the Garden Slug the perfect place for secret lovers, long dinners and quiet musings.
When I got off the bus stop across the Bright Centre, I was hungry, the rain was pouring, the wind was strong, and my black leather shoes were soaked.

Since it was my first time in this area, I couldn't easily figure out where to go because there was no visible signage. I asked a bloke where the garden slug was and he pointed at the grass. Harharhar very funny sir (gago!).

The Vibe
I finally found it and as I stepped inside, it felt a bit Starbucksy because of the blackboard, dessert display, free wifi, couch and unobtrusive lounge music. You could tell that these guys have their priorities straight because on the far wall was a framed poster that said: "Decisions: don't wanna make any today. just wanna eat my cheesecake." (more photos here)

Instead of having just the odd newspaper or two, I was surprised that they've got a whole shelf of books you can actually take home and borrow! (Of course you have to come back to return it which makes it a great advertising gimmick!)

The food
But I didn't come all the way here to read so I grabbed a seat in their dining area, which had a tiled floor that reminded me of Filipino bathroom tiles, and ordered their rib eye steak with Yukon mashed potatoes (SGD$16.90), pasta with roasted pumpkin & plump juicy prawns (SGD$13.90) and a glass of their homebrewed lemongrass iced tea (SGD$3.50).

Their steak was surprisingly tender and it had a distinct flavour that I'm at a loss for words to describe. Was it smoky? pepper-y? I'm not sure but it was definitely tasty. The pasta was so-so and the shrimp was not as plump as I thought they would be. The lemongrass was refreshing but drink it fast because it's best served chilled.

For dessert, try the Pear William (SGD$5.50) which is stewed sweet pears sauteed in white wine and cinnamon topped with gelato. Yummy!

Scary bathroom
I'm tempted to give minus points for the tiny (but clean) bathroom located outside the resto, under a flight of stairs. It's so out of the way that one of the waiters would accompany the ladies to show them where it was. Then again, the scary bathroom could also be a bonus point because you and your special someone could *ehem* get creative here specially when it's raining hard, it's dark and you're both drunk.

Four pawikan points. Bonus points for the personal service that made me feel like I was eating in a friend's house. Heck the location is so isolated that I felt like I was eating in a far-away friend's house!

If restaurants were music, this one would definitely be indie. It reminded me of Manila's Sa Guijo minus the bands but this place definitely has the potential to become one. How about wednesday acoustic nights? On my way out, I also finally got why the resto has such an avant garde name. (hint: it's all in their motto: eat drink don't think!)

How to get there

The directions on their website are not helpful at all so use mine instead:
Take bus 155 from the Eunos MRT (it's the bus stop by the street and not in the bus terminal). Alight at the 4th stop from Eunos. Bright Centre's across the street and if you face it, The Garden Slug will be on the left side.
To get back to the MRT, take bus 15 to Eunos or 155 to Paya Lebar. Say hi to the slug staff for me and tell them reviewsbyp sent you.


sharon said...

Hey Paolo, thanks for posting such a wonderful review of our humble li'l diner (personally, I happen to think you are hilarious!).

I hope you don't mind that we've linked to you in our blog?


p/s: Hope to see you again soon! :-)

Camemberu said...

Hi P, I meant to leave you a comment to say that I'd linked to you (nice review you have here!) but just got too busy. I'm glad folks are visiting you from my link as well. Thanks for dropping by my blog!

Anonymous said...

Dear folks,

If you intend to drive to the Garden Slug at Telok Kurau for a meal, be mindful of parking along the roads in the residential area. Many cars have been found booked by the traffic police. The residents actively report all traffic situation to the relevant authority (i.e. traffic police and neigbourhood police). You may be lucky, once or twice, but don't count on your luck too much.

The issue here is fire safety. Think of a building and why common corridors must be cleared for emergency. Indeed, long before this restaurant appeared, the fire authority have the foresight to install fire hydrants at the end of several lanes at Lorong L for fire engine services. Thus these lanes are fire engine access drive way; if a fire were to break out and the fire engine failed to arrive on time at the scene, because of vehicles blocking the road, innocent human lives would be lost.

On these roads where the fire-hydrants are located, there are single and double law enforcement (yellow) lines. Depending on the road situation (e.g. if too many cars lined the road), you may also be booked on single lines after 7 pm and on Sunday.

However, the (cash-card) car-park at Bright centre is really dirt cheap (honest), considering that you can drive all the way to have a meal at the restaurant which could easily cost you tens of dollars. Alternatively, if you feel that paying for parking is unjustified, you could ask the friendly proprietor of the restaurant for a parking refund.

Have a good time but be mindful of the residents over there.