Friday, May 1, 2009

Smoochies Bistro and Bar

Smoochies was having a hungrygowhere offer - 50% off every 2nd main course. Since it ends on 30th Apil (which was ytd), we visited it. It was completely empty, and only one other pair of diners came the whole time we were there (from 6-830pm). I suppose it's cos it's pretty inaccessible unless you drive. And I nearly got caught by the LTA cos I was looking for the place (it's a short distance after Gillman Village). Lucky I saw the single yellow bus lane line (right after a long stretch of dotted bus lane lines) and swerved out of the bus lane).
Penne Prima Vera ($14++)
Penne pasta in rose sauce and fresh vegetables, topped with parmesan cheese.

This one is supposed to come with rose sauce, which is a sauce that I really like. I found this dish slightly spicy - I have no idea why it's spicy cos it's not supposed to be! They really put quite alot of vegetables inside, including sugar peas, mushrooms (lots!), asparagus, peppers and the sauce was not bad, just that it's not like the other rose sauce I've tasted. More cheese would have definitely been good. Penne Arabiatta ($14++)
Garlic and prawns in a spicy tomato basil sauce. This one was really quite spicy. The prawns are the bicarbonated kind, crunchy but tasteless. The sauce has lots of onions and is very garlicky.

For both pastas, the penne was al dente - great since I really hate soggy pastas.
Smoochies Smoked Duck Pizza($14++)
This pizza has tea-smoked duck slices with onions, peppers and tomatoes. There's lots of gooey cheese and tomato sauce. I felt that the tomato sauce and cheese overwhelmed the duck flavour (as expected) but the duck itself was pretty nice if you eat it by itself and not with the rest of the pizza.

Somehow, all of us felt that the pasta sauces, and the pizza tomato sauce all tasted about the same. Perhaps it would have been better to have ordered a wider variety of dishes, but due to their restrictions on the dish pricings (see below), we didnt.Fish and Chips ($16++), which is 'a favourite' according to the menu. It's not bad, just that I won't pay $16 for beer battered fish and chips, cos I can easily get a great tasting one from Taka basement foodcourt for half the price and without the taxes.
My friends thought that the fish was a bit soggy. Personally, I thought that it tastes a bit like snapper cos it's not the oily kind of fish, and its texture was a bit like snapper (which I don't like). Anyway, I hope that it was snapper and that it wasn't not-fresh. Batter was pretty good - crispy and puffy just like how nice beer batter should be like.
Warm Chocolate Larva Cake ($16++ or wat it $14??)
I found the molten chocolate slightly too oily for my liking. And it wasn't as chocolatey as I had expected. The vanilla ice cream was deliciously creamy though. Actually, we would have ordered the Apple crumble, but it doesn't come with ice cream - and what good is apple crumble without ice cream? (Anyway, I went to epicurious the next day to eat my apple crumble).
The food's pretty passable - average, nothing to rave about, and not particularly cheap (maybe cos we ordered dessert) so our bill came to $17 per person, for 4 people. I suppose if they extend their 50% off every 2nd dish, I'll be ok with coming back if I'm nearby. I doubt that I would have tried this place if not for the promo.
Furthermore, if you order 4 items, the 50% off applies only to the two cheapest mains you order. In fact, we actually wanted to try the lamb rack ($32) and Baked Chilean Cod Fish ($28). However, the offer only applied to the cheapest items, which were pastas (~$14). So we ended up getting more of the cheaper stuff.
Ambience is pretty nice - the place is quite big, and there's a small fountain/pond thing outside. It was too hot so we sat inside.

Something that irked me - when I called to ask if a booking was necessary, and if they would be very crowded on a Wednesday evening, the lady who answered the phone said they are very busy, and that from Wednesday onwards, they tend to be very full. However, when we were there, there was only one other table with 2 diners. I guess it's better to book cos I'd rather have a table than waste time waiting, but they are completely not crowded. Ohwells, no loss I suppose.
Smoochies Bistro and Bar
991B Alexandra Road
Tel: 6276 7337

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