Thursday, June 25, 2009

One on the Bund

C says:

I know atetoomuch usually only reviews places that A and I go to together, but I had a company lunch at One on the Bund today and we figured since it’s highly unlikely that the two of us will ever go there on our own, this might be the only chance for atetoomuch to do a review on it.

One on the Bund is located at the newly refurbished Clifford Pier building. I must say the architects and interior designers did a wonderful job restoring the interior of the previously crummy building. The entire building is now the restaurant, and they’ve fitted it out beautifully. It would be a fabulous place to entertain foreign visitors, especially when the IR is completed. Right now you do get a view – just of the IR construction site. The restaurant itself is quite well designed, with many different semi-private dining areas rather than just one big dining room.

Our group of 20 had 2 tables of 10, and we had one of their set menus. I think ordinarily the food is served family style, but if you request like we did, they can serve individually plated portions. I’m quite impressed that they took the trouble to present the individual servings properly plated. They could just as easily have shown us the whole dish, then dumped individual portions onto standard china plates.

The first course was a trio of asparagus dipped in sesame seeds, scallop with pomelo and yuzu sauce, and a vegetable roll with beancurd skin. I found everything a little tasteless, and the scallops tasted slightly fishy too.

Next up was a fish broth with sliced fish, chives and mushroom. Again, the first mouthful was a bit bland, and it benefited greatly from some pepper and black vinegar. The portion was huge – no matter how much we ate, there was still more in the bowl. It was good but it really filled us up.

The set actually comes with a choice of beef tenderloin or their signature crispy lamb ribs. I was looking forward to the latter, but because it was a company do, we had to change the meat dish to a more universally accepted option, i.e. the soya sauce chicken. Everyone got the same portion – shredded meat, and a perfunctory chicken wing. I have a weakness for any kind of soya sauce chicken, so no complaints here.

Next up was the chilli and fennel prawns, and the fried fish fillet with salted egg yolk. I like anything that’s prepared with salted egg yolk so the fish was right up my alley. The prawn wasn’t too bad but general consensus was that it was pretty spicy. I, however, chomped on some of the dried chilli for more heat…

By the time the tofu and vegetable dish arrived we were quite full, which was a pity because I thought the vegetables were done very well. The stock was subtle yet tasty, and the broccoli was cooked perfectly.

Being a Shanghainese restaurant, I had high hopes for both their xiao long baos and their home-made noodles. Both were unfortunately a let-down. The skin for the xiao long bao was really thick, and there wasn’t enough soup in each of them. The meat inside was well seasoned, though. As for the noodles, maybe we were just too full by then, but I found them way too thick and starchy. For most of us at the table, one mouthful was all we could handle.

The meal ended on a high note with dessert. We were presented with 2 platters containing 5 different desserts each, ranging from a red bean and green tea panna cotta-esque pudding, a chocolate orange mousse, chocolate cake with lemon curd, vanilla mousse with crème brulee, and blueberry cheese cake. No one at our side of the table wanted the red bean one, so I selflessly chose it and to my surprise it was actually pretty good. It was a nice, clean, subtle flavour to end the meal.

Having finally tried the food, I must admit that it hasn’t convinced me to bring A here separately. The set menu we had was $888++ for 10 persons, and at almost $100 per person, I expect the food to wow me. Well, the ambience certainly did, but the food itself was at best above average.

If A were there, he’d say:

I don’t do none of that Chinese food. Give me Subway any day.

A really says:

C never brings me anywhere nice anymore. The magic is gone...

One on the Bund
80 Collyer Quay
Clifford Pier
Tel: 6221-0044
Lunch: 12pm - 3pm
Dinner: 6pm - 11pm


Y of Y, B, C & M said...

A is hilarious!
The best spouse-of-blogger around.

chian said...

hmm actually those don't look like xiao long bao.. they kinda look more like shanghainese dumplings, which tend to have thicker skins than xiao long baos. =)

atetoomuch said...

OOPS... Must be, then. In which case I may have wrongly maligned them.

Sparkling or Still said...

Thanks for your review on One on the Bund.

I always pass by this restaurant almost every weekday, but it is always empty.

Miss Shanghai said...

If Ms C thinks the food there is just above average...she must have really high note in life. I don't think she will be satified even if she is Shanghai or Beijing having fine Chinese food.

Set menu is not always the best choice. The best way is to pick your own dishes. But set menu is normally come with cheaper cost. I have been there many times with groups of friends, clients...we love the food. Not to mention, we are really Chinese living in Singapore...A group dinner of our choice will normally cost 150 SGD per head. One on the bund is not cheap, but they do great food. Simple as Shanghai noodles, Beijing dumplings, complicated as fish head with amazing sauce, they also do some fusion dish as lady fingers...everybody can have fun there.

But I have to say, service could be better!