We went to Central tonight intending to have Marutama Ramen, but when we got there the queue was insane. I guess word has well and truly gotten out, because at about 7.30 pm on a Friday night, there were more than 30 people in the queue. Considering that the restaurant’s capacity is probably less than that, we did the math and figured it wouldn’t be our turn for a long time. We wandered around the stores for about 20 minutes in the hopes that the queue would abate, but it was just as long as ever so we abandoned our ramen plans.
Central is certainly becoming a food destination, because even though the retail stores were pretty deserted, almost all the restaurants were buzzing. Even the most unlikely of restaurants, like Billy Bomber’s, had a queue. We ended up at a Chinese restaurant called Grains, which is run by the Yunnan Group of Restaurants.
This place tries to serve healthier food, like brown rice, double boiled ginseng soups and health teas, and they even go so far as to put icons next to the more unhealthy items on their menu, stating “Eat in moderation”. Portions were bigger than I expected, so we ended up ordering way too much.
A few items like the fried chicken wings and carrot cake were nothing spectacular. What was good was the Soya Sauce Chicken, and their home made Spinach Tofu with Shimeji Mushrooms. The chicken was juicy and not too fatty, and was accompanied with roasted peanuts that had been soaked in the savoury soy sauce. The tofu was quite a delight – the outside was deep fried and fragrant, with the inside still soft and silken. The shimeji mushrooms and shredded dried scallop added a ton of flavour as well.
We also ordered the Baked Pork Ribs with Wuxi Sauce. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender, but the dish was let down by the sauce, which I thought could have had a bit more oomph.
Prices are very reasonable here. Portions are quite hearty, and we even had to doggy-bag some chicken wings cos we were just too full. Everything we ordered, including a brown rice and soya bean milk, only cost $48 after a 10% OCBC discount. Very good value for money, and a pretty safe bet if you’re in Central and all the Japanese restaurants there are packed to the gills.
Not bad. If we ever come back (not likely since the Japanese places are more tempting), I’ll probably stick to 2 mains and a small carb so we can try the desserts. Those seem somewhat interesting, even after the shock of having sugarless soya bean drinks.
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
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