Monday, December 28, 2015

Island Cafe version whatever...


Island Cafe has recently completed renovations. The place no longer resembles the tropical retro stained restaurant that had been its look for the past years. It’s now clean, white and almost colonial-industrial from the expose pipings without the false ceiling to conceal. Along with the facelift was also a change with the kitchen crew.


Yeah, we had to ask if the crew had changed. The first server was a little unsure, reluctant perhaps to speak up but in the end, he admitted that the cook is no longer the same along with a better part of the kitchen crew. One can certainly taste that exodus in the food.


The crayfish laksa is no longer on the menu. For some reasons, the new management felt like it had to be removed to usher in formally the new helm of the kitchen. The current rendition is a pale shadow of its predecessor. No crayfish and the gravy has lost the lemak quality that defined it. While I wouldn't go as far as to say that it's bad, it's arguably edible. But I also wouldn't eat it again. It felt hollow and unsatisfying and cost even more than what they had previously charged. If they are charging me $24, one chance is all it's gonna get,


The name of their nasi lemak has changed slightly too. There's no longer a mention of the basmati rice even though they still use it. The rice does seem more crumbly and the flavours are nothing like the old one. The good old one. The cooking is way off from what they used to do. Beef rendang had a rempah that had the liquid separating from the rest of what made the rempah instead of staying as a paste. Sambal from the prawns was lacklustre. The ikan bilis were crispy and almost tasteless. And yet, it was also more expensive than before.

We heard from the staff that it was an ang moh that re-conceptualized the restaurant. There is even superfood salad on the menu if I remember correctly. But this is no longer that place that I liked. Goodbye Island Cafe - or whatever zombie of the old Island Cafe that Tangs has necromancied from the grave.

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