Sunday, October 21, 2012

Porn's @ The Star Vista

We need some Fifty Shades of Grey when it comes to food, don't you agree?

Deep-fried Tofu with Thai Chili Sauce (S$6.5)

I haven't been to the first outlet at Liang Seah Street, because I'm always operating in the skeptic mode when it comes to shops opened by celebrities. If you haven't been living under a breakwater at East Coast, you would be aware that the cheekily named Thai restaurant is the brainchild of local artiste Pornsak Prajakwit. I've heard both the good, the bad and the ugly for Porn's, so I've decided to write my own judgment paper since Porn's decided to come close to home at the Star Vista @ Buona Vista.

It was evident from the funky interior design concept and the wide-open door that the restaurant aims to pull a younger dining crowd, perhaps from the tertiary education institutes in the area. Not a bad place for food photography with natural light. Personally, I felt queasy sitting in a brightly-lit place with graffiti on the walls and passers-by watching you feed yourself. It feels as uneasy as eating MacDonald's in a Michelin steakhouse.

Pineapple Fried Rice (S$10.9)
Le Fiance ordered Pineapple Fried Rice, a yardstick for every Thai restaurant. His order was served... as above. While I understand it isn't a very classy place, but it's only basic respect that you serve every dish in a presentable manner. I even joked that it looked no different from what you order from mixed rice stalls, with everything piled haphazardly onto the plate. Anyway, after taking a spoonful, I realised it was pretty good after all. I've had the pineapple rice from Thai Express, and I'll have to say Porn's version wins my thumbs-up for the fluffy rice grains and how it didn't taste gelat after one spoonful. In fact, I was contemplating if I should change my order, since it took such a dang long time to arrive.

But it did, anyway.

Thai Noodle Soup with Fish (S$9.9)
 I know, it sounds brainless to order something so un-Thai in a Thai restaurant. But we all like to be testing, don't we? Besides, I was looking for something light and healthy since the weather was blistering hot and I didn't have much of an appetite after being bombarded by a myriad of colours. Once again, the presentation was lacklustre and looks like something you could get at the hawker centre for $3.50. Nevertheless, the element of surprise came in the form of the thin rice noodles and soft fish slices swimming in a sweet broth. I liked how the fragrant parsley added a tinge of flavour to the soup, though a little lemongrass can sliced chili can give a boost to the soup. Perfect for those dreary rainy days. But you've got to wait for it (and maybe add a little reminder or two).

The Fiance was only half-full after his pineapple rice, so he ordered an additional Deep-fried Tofu with Thai Chili Sauce (main picture). It was the best rash decision ever made. The tofu has a thin, crispy skin, yet soft and wobbly inside. The sweet Thai chili sauce is suitable for those who have a low threshold for spicy food, and the cucumber cubes added a refreshing crunch to the dish. MUST-ORDER.

But I have to be cruelly honest here and lament the really, really sloppy service. The waiters were quick to usher customers to their seats, but everything seems to crawl at snail's pace after that. The ordering, the serving of food, the billing, alerting of waiters... And I noticed that they wouldn't provide condiments unless you requested for it. Most importantly, the staff really have to learn how to enunciate sawadeekap properly.

Ambience: 2.7/5
Food: 3.4/5
Price: $$
Service: Poor / Fair / Good / Excellent

Eat where:
Porn's @ The Star Vista
1 Vista Exchange Green

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