We haven't been to Lawry's in years; to be honest it's never really been on our radar, since prices aren't all that cheap relative to quality. One of A's friends bought us all dinner there on Sunday night for his birthday, so we got to check out the restaurant's relatively new digs in Mandarin Gallery.
Their signature salad is the Lawry's Spinning Bowl salad, so termed because they toss the salad with a signature dressing in a spinning bowl laid over a bed of ice. I guess the ice keeps the greens fresh, and the spinning ensures that each leaf is completely coated in dressing.
I pity the waitresses dressed in the French maid outfits and very unfortunately designed headpieces though. Neither ours nor the one at the neighbouring table did the salad performance with enough conviction to ward off the inevitable snarky comments.
We ordered some starters for the table to share. The seared scallops were ok, but the crab cakes were very impressive.
They're obviously known for their prime rib, but I'm not a fan of slow roasted beef. I tend to prize flavour over extreme tenderness, so I prefer steaks that have a good sear to them but still medium rare inside. I ordered the fillet mignon which was indeed all of the above.
A on the other hand loves prime rib. He had the Lawry's cut, which was 280g, and enjoyed every mouthful. I agree it was good, but I still preferred mine.
Desserts were a bit hit and miss. Their specialty dessert, the crepes suzette which was prepared tableside, was quite underwhelming. The brownie and mud pie were pretty ok though.
There was a slightly awkward moment though, when one of our friends discovered a fly in their red wine. Since we never noticed a fly falling in, we thought it may have come from the bottle. The manager wasn't very apologetic, and kept insisting that it couldn't have come from inside the bottle, and only offered a glass of house red as compensation. It was only after our hostess got quite firm with them, that they relented and either gave a discount off the bill, or didn't charge for the bottle of wine.
So, did this visit change our mind about Lawry's? To be honest, I still maintain that while I'm not averse to going, it still wouldn't be a place that I would consciously choose.
Lawry’s standard has declined dramatically over the years. While it’s improved somewhat since moving to Mandarin Gallery, I can’t say I’ve been reconverted.
Food-wise, my prime rib was great, and some of the desserts were not bad, but everything else was very ordinary and not worth the price. I guess what you’re paying for is the service with servers dressed up. And honestly, only two of the people serving us were any good. The rest were rather incompetent. Overall, I’d rate this as okay. You could probably consider it if you’re going for a special occasion and you want a bit of drama in the presentation. Just don’t expect too much from anything besides the mains.
Lawry’s The Prime Rib
333A Orchard Road
#04-01/31 Mandarin Gallery