I remember visiting the now defunct Haw Par Villa when I was still a kid in primary school. At that time, Haw Par Villa had opened with much fanfare and I remember paying an exorbitant amount (in the $20+ range I believe) just to gain entry. Those days are long gone and all that is left of the sprawling theme park are the forgotten statues and a recently opened Chinese restaurant called Made In China which is managed by the Singapore Explorer group, the very group that manages Pier Eleven. Now who in the right mind would open a restaurant in the middle of a deserted theme park that is not really accessible without a vehicle?
Parking is a breeze because you can literally park anywhere you want along the slope that leads up to the restaurant. It all depends on how much you are willing to walk. As I stepped into the restaurant compound, everything seemed so surreal. The building and its surroundings seemed to have come out straight from some ancient martial arts flick that I used to watch. The interior of the restaurant brought me back to reality though. Sparsely furnished, this is one place that believes in spacing out its tables for the comfort of its guests and I appreciate it.
The Fried Golden Butter Prawns came looking rather messy and not the least bit like prawns, more like chunks of fried stuff. The batter was lightly salted and crispy with a lingering buttery aftertaste while the prawns were fresh but none too succulent. I did find this dish a little disappointing because the butter batter came across as bland, unlike the egg yolk variations I've eaten before which were decidedly more savoury. But then again, its quite decent.
Clockwise from top left : Red Bean Paste Pancake, Yam Paste in Coconut, Black Glutinous Rice with Ice Cream & A close up of the Yam Paste in Coconut
I'll be lying if I said that I could walk up straight after such a hearty meal because I simply couldn't, try as hard as I might. And it didn't exactly cost me a bomb either. Standing just shy of $120 for 2 pax, it's certainly not cheap but definitely a notch or two down the price scale relative to restaurants that serve up a similar quality of food.
Value for money:7/10
Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Road (Haw Par Villa)