Having spent in excess of $1200 (I am still reeling from the shock from seeing my credit card bill) on food alone in the month of Sep (mind you, this sum only includes what I've charged to my credit card. If you include cash expenditure on food, I should be up by another $400 tops), I decided to go budget a little and give Cafe Vic @ Carlton Hotel a shot given its relatively inexpensive pricing for a weekend high tea ($22+++). With a dining timeslot from 12-5pm, it starts a little early for high tea and ends a little late for lunch, which leaves it somewhere in the middle, or perhaps a combination of both lunch and high tea.
The heavy rains throughout the island on Saturday didn't deter us one bit, although it did make us terribly late for our reservation (45 mins in fact. We got there at 1345hrs instead). Upon arrival, we were seated at a pretty cosy table at one of the corners of the restaurant, which was fine with me except for the fact that the tables surrounding us were occupied by groups of people who were making quite a bit of noise with their loud guffaws and raised voices. That really didn't sit well with me, as I didn't trudge through the heavy rain to listen to people's gossips about the latest games or that secret romance. Maybe I'm being a little cranky here, but try getting your pants all wet with a less then dry gf and having to put up with all that loud chatter. I could barely have a decent conversation with my gf throughout the whole meal. Ok enough of my rambling. The cafe was quite nicely done, with huge paintings adorning the walls and floor to ceilings windows offering a view of the outside world. Capacity would easily be in excess of 100 pax, not that it was needed though, with only about 10+ pax throughout the whole course of my meal there.
I did a rough estimate on the number of buffet offerings and it totalled about 40, most of which were common fare like dim sum, sandwiches, salads, Rojak, Ice Kachang, noodles and a splattering of sushi and sashimi, which was still ok, given the price and well, its supposed to be high tea. I made it a point to try everything that Cafe Vic had to offer and two words sum my experience up. PLAIN DISAPPOINTMENT. Everything from the sushi to the desserts, were at best, average. The sushi's rice was cold and dry and the same could be said for the sandwiches. The roast duck was way too salty and the deep fried fishballs tasted rubbery and starchy. Even something as simple as fried noodles was a disaster, with parts of the noodle dry and hard. The selection of salads like the smoked chicken salad and the chicken sausage salad was still ok though. The desserts were average, but I particularly liked the pear pie, which I felt was the only one that shone amongst all the desserts, particularly with its nicely baked crust. Even my gf agrees. However, I must compliment on their service, though not fantastic, was good enough for me.
It cost us about $46 after taxes and a 10% discount with my UOB card, which effectively works out to be $23/pax. Definitely not expensive, but quality of food leaves much to be desired, which I feel is a pity given its simple yet nicely done interior. Also, given my good experiences with Wah Lok, I would have expected more from Cafe Vic. Hence, my stand on Cafe Vic is this. Go for it if you just want to gorge yourself with food for a long period (12-5pm no time limit) and food quality bears little significance to you or if you want to just find a nice place to while the weekend afternoons away with your friends over food at a not too hefty price tag. (Sit in a secluded area though)
Entrance to Cafe Vic
The selection of salads
Sashimi and Sushi
Make your own Rojak!
Curry noodles station
My very own Rojak!
Ambience:7/10 (Not taking into account the irritants, 5/10 if you do.)
Value for money:7/10
Address: Carlton Hotel ground floor. No reservations required.