Sometimes as a food blogger, one can tell of changes to the economy. A few years ago, we wouldn’t find such restaurants in the heartlands. Such places in the city or along Orchard Road would have been common or part of the norm. But in the heartlands? It was virtually unheard of.
We wanted to have pizza and ended up here because it looked more happening at 3pm on a public holiday, compared to the other restaurants next to it. We also had not been here before, so in we went. This local modern American Italian food and dessert outlet chain is under the Ministry of Food umbrella and is named after its founder and has a very wide range of food on its menu — so many that we didn’t know what to choose at first. The same is true of MOF no Izakaya menu as well.
We ordered one appetiser, one main meal and one dessert to share between two people.The mushroom fritto was dry. We expected the mushrooms to be juicy but zilch, nothing flowed out. The pizza was fine but seemed a tad pricey for an 8-inch.
I was fascinated with the banana fritters and ice-cream. I had grown up with goreng pisang and this reminded me of that. There is a choice of batter but I preferred it in its original form. From the picture, I guessed that it must have been wrapped with spring roll skin and then deep-fried and served with ice-cream, almond flakes and bits of chocolate chips.
The one thing that I felt was unwarranted was the charge for water. I’ve been to other eating places where they charged 30cents for water. I am fine with this practice and the water was refillable. But here, the cost was 30 cents ++, i.e. plus 10% and then 7%. It was also refillable but the total cost per glass was 35.31cents. What’s my point? They should inform customers that the cost is 30cents++ and not just 30cents — a matter of integrity and not so much, cost. At 35++ cents, I also may not have ordered the water. There are places that would serve it for free.
So, what’s so special about this place? It serves alcohol. A few years back, such places would not have been found here. People don’t drink over dinner in a western restaurant in the heartlands usually. The issue is affordability. And this place is an unlikely place for such a do because of its location — it’s not in the city area, Orchard or Bishan — though this chain has outlets in those areas as well. This may be an indication that there is a market for not just dining but also wining now. And as a more affluent younger generation is coming up, their food choices are also changing and this place may well be a reflection of that affluence.
Lenas, Hougang Shopping Mall, 02-20/22. Tel: 6386 1929.