Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Westlake 3

Westlake 3 was voted the best round table restaurant in 2003 and many good things have been said about it since it opened some 40 years ago. Hence it was imperative that we tried it at least once. It is tucked away under a block of HDB flats just next to St Margaret's Secondary School, which is quite a pain to get to because of the major road works surrounding the area. Nevertheless, we managed to make our way there at about 1930hrs. It was packed and we had to wait for a seat in the air-conditioned interior of the restaurant. Being greedy, we ordered Kong Ba Pao, Venison Meat with Spring Onion and Ginger, Hokkien Popiah, Yam Basket, Stir Fried Baby Kailan and their special tofu.

First up was the Kong Ba Pao, which was pretty strange, considering that this dish is usually served last. The meat was lean, too lean in fact and the gravy was very tasty. The buns were a little sweet and together with the gravy and meat, made for a lethal combination. However, I still prefer the Kong Ba Pao at Beng Hiang, probably because the meat is fatter and really brings out the taste and meaning in Kong Ba Pao. But if you prefer leaner cuts of meat, then this is undisputedly the one for you.

The Venison Meat with Spring Onion and Ginger was bad. The meat was over tenderized so much so that it tasted chewy and artificial and at $18 a plate, a total rip off. The Hokkien Popiah had a very strong garlic smell and it's filling consisted only of soft turnip, which I feel is inferior to the normal ones sold outside. It is quite a size though. The Yam Basket was slightly above average, with the yam being quite smooth texture wise and the fillings in the basket quite substantial. The Stir Fried Baby Kailan was average, but a little too oily.

Being an avid lover of tofu, I eagerly anticipated the arrival of the special tofu as it was supposed to be unique. It was unique all right. Two types of tofu were served on one plate. On the left was deep fried tofu that looked and tasted like the Japanese Agedashi Tofu (It probably is) served in a lettuce. On the right was this huge tofu deep-fried until it turned dark brown with a mountain of char siew, shrimps and onion toppings on it. The Agedashi Tofu's skin was too hard and starchy, which made it an unpleasant experience for me to eat it. The other tofu was significantly better. Although the quality of the tofu was pretty substandard, the toppings made up a little for it. My mum commented that even the NTUC tofu was of better taste and quality than it!

The bill came up to about $95 for 4 pax, which is expensive if you ask me. The food quality was at best average (with the exception of the Kong Ba Pao and the passable Yam Basket) and the portions weren't really very big. (4 of us could polish 6 dishes) The only reason I'll ever go back is for the Kong Ba Pao and nothing else, not even for the friendly service staff.

The menu

Hokkien Popiah

Filling of the Hokkien Popiah

Kong Ba


Notice how lean it is

Venison Meat with Spring Onion and Ginger

Stir Fried Kailan

Yam Basket

Special Tofu

The bill

Final Verdict:
Food:5.5/10 (7.5/10 for the Kong Ba Pow)
Value for money:6/10


Address: Blk 3 & 4 Queens Road.

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