Monday, September 04, 2006

Thomson Village Delight

Far from the maddening crowd. That was where my gf and I wanted to be, especially on a Sunday evening when most shopping malls and eateries are packed to the brim with people and there is hardly any room for manoeuvrability. With this notion, we headed down to the stretch of shophouses along Jalan Leban (just off Upper Thomson Rd and next to the Sembawang Hills food centre) for our dinner. Parking was a problem as the carparks were full and we resorted to parking outside the private houses around that area.

First choice of eatery was the Plum Village restaurant, which served Hakka food. Unfortunately it was full and we had to wait for at least 30 mins for an empty table. With such a long wait time, we threw the idea of Hakka food out of the window and settled for Thomson Village Delights just down the row of shophouses. Just for the record, this is not the first time we have patronised this restaurant and it definitely won't be the last. Well, we got around to ordering a claypot tofu with seafood, kailan with oyster sauce, red bean paste pancake and fried durian.

Service was fast and courteous and our tea glass was never empty, not even close. The food took about 10 mins to make their way to our table. Taste wise, the claypot tofu with seafood was not bad, but still lacked the finesse of more outstanding restaurants. For example, the gravy was a little too thick and starchy. However, I do like it for a fact that they used egg tofu instead of those normal white ones. The kalian with oyster sauce came as a shock to us as the kalian was practically “drowning” in the oyster sauce and flour concoction aka gravy. But to give it credit, it didn’t taste half as bad as it looked. It was actually quite tasty without being too salty or sweet. The kalian itself was a little soft, but not soft to the extent of being gross. However, the gravy was too thick and starchy, as with the claypot tofu. Dessert, which comprised of the red bean paste pancake and the fried durian, is worth mentioning. I’ve eaten red bean paste pancakes from countless eateries throughout the years and the one at Thomson Village Delight is one of the better ones that I’ve ever eaten. The crust is flaky and not too thick. Coupled with the smooth and not too sweet red bean paste, it has the makings of a gastronomical delight! The same can’t be said for the fried durian though, which was much better the last time I tried it. (Maybe yesterday was just an off day) I could hardly taste the durian puree because of the small amounts present and also because the puree itself was lacking in the rich flavours I would expect from a good durian. The deep fried flour was also too thick and when eaten with the puree, the whole combination was practically tasteless. This is in stark comparison to the ones I had the last time, which were just short of heavenly.

Evaluation: I like Thomson Village Delight for its peaceful and relaxing environment. Couples and families can have a nice quiet meal in a secluded environment, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This is the main draw to me. However, please note that the ambience hardly qualifies as romantic, so for couples out there who are thinking of having a romantic dinner there, think again. Food wise, it is decent and definitely value for money, considering that we only spent about $32 for everything. Staff are friendly and service is prompt. If you are craving for ice cream after dinner, you can pop by Awfully Chocolate nearby and get your ice cream fix. Or for couples who just want to spend quiet time together after dinner, take a stroll along lower pierce reservoir, located just opposite. (Do note that it’s quite a far walk though)

Claypot tofu with seafood

The delicious red bean paste pancake

The disappointing fried durian

The disappointing fried durian dissected

The bill (sorry its quite blur cause I folded it)

Final Verdict:
Ambience:7.5/10 (Relaxing and free from crowds.)
Food:6/10 (7.5/10 for the red bean paste pancake)
Value for money:7/10


Address: 2-4 Jalan Leban. No reservations required.

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