Friday, July 20, 2007


Following our dinner at Marutama at Central some weeks back, my gf and I were back once again at Central to try out Grains - a Chinese restaurant which supposedly serves up healthier Chinese food without compromising on the taste or texture (Its in their mission statement). Just how much truth did that supposition hold was what we were there to find out.

The restaurant

Located on the second floor of Central, Grains practices an open dining concept whereby there are no walls between the restaurant and the walkway. Parquet flooring marks the boundary of the restaurant and the decor is simplistic, choosing to stick to the traditional wooden finish. There are actually pros and cons to such a dining concept. The pros are that you get a more open and spacious feel, not restricted by any boundaries. The cons are that people can walk by your table and stare at what you are eating. Hence, romantic dinners here are a definite big no no.


Spinach Tofu with Shimiji Mushroom & Dried Scallop

I simply love this dish and reckon its almost on par with what the top notch hotel Chinese restaurants serve. Soft but not too silky with a lingering smoky taste to it. Add the not too starchy gravy to it and you get a lip smacking dish of tofu. If only they would work on refining the texture of the beancurd a little.

Sautéed Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish

This dish came across as very agreeable as the beansprouts were fresh, crunchy and not overcooked. The salted fish was crispy and not too salty, making for a very pleasant dish. Also, if you notice carefully, the restaurant has made an effort to remove the roots of the beansprouts, which is definitely a big plus point to me.

BBQ Trio Combination

Alright, this dish is definitely not healthy. One look at the gleaming layer of oil coating on the surface of the meats and you know. Health consciousness aside, the roast chicken was a little too soft while the roast duck skin wasn't crispy. The roast pork had just too big a bone and too little meat. All in all a decent tasting dish. Nothing more, nothing less.

Grains Fried Rice

Grain's very own version of the humble fried rice. Lightly fried with scallop cubes, brown rice and wolfberries thrown into the mixture - an idea which I personally find very refreshing. The wolfberries gave the rice a lingering sweet dimension while the brown rice gave the dish an uneven and rough texture. You might just want to try this dish if you ever drop by.

Baked Egg Custard

I was very much intrigued by the Baked Egg Custard as I had never eaten custard by itself before. To me, custard had always been associated with tarts, buns or puffs, but never as a stand alone. I just had to try it. On hindsight, that was probably the worst decision of the day as the baked custard proved a disaster from start to end. It tasted exactly like steamed egg with milk, albeit of a much rougher texture. Not exactly the sweet custard I was expecting. Also, being heavy on the egg and milk, it rendered me nauseous after a few mouthfuls.

Lychee Ice Cream

Lychee Ice Cream in the form of a mochi is something new, to me at least. Novelties aside, it tasted familiarly like those Yeo's lychee packet drink that you can get from any supermart, except that it was in a solid ice cream form. Worth a try just for the sake of trying, but don't expect any surprises.


My gf and I enjoyed our dinner and we were struggling to finish up all our dishes. All for just $64, which isn't exactly cheap, considering the variety of food that we ordered. But then again, the quality of food is commendable and service is relatively good. So do they really serve healthier food without compromising on the taste? Somehow I'm inclined to think so, with the exception of the BBQ platter of course.

Likes: Above average quality food, good service
Dislikes: No privacy, not exactly cheap

Final Verdict:

Ambience:6.5/10 ( I dislike being gawked at when I eat)
Value for money:6.5/10


Address: #02-92 CENTRAL

Contact: 6534 7707

Opening Hours: 11am - 11pm daily



Mistydreams said...

hi, just want to make a suggestion.

Maybe u can label this under the Category "Central"? Coz I see that u have been to the place a couple of times or more, and u can make it into a category.

Just a suggestion, thanks for posting all these delicious food and its pics for us to see!!


fatpig said...

Hi Terence, thank you for your suggstion. I will definitely take it into consideration. Thanks! =)

Anonymous said...

hihi.. You're got many pretty and apettising pictures on your blog!

Can I ask how big the portion of the Grain's fried rice is? Is it like those we pay $3 for a plate in the zhi char store?

fatpig said...

Hi ade,
thank you for your kind words. I believe the portion is as you described, like those $3 cze char fried rice =)