Saturday, April 04, 2009

Best kept secret

Sembawang's best kept secret has got to be the block of little shophouses on Jalan Malu-malu that's like a time-capsule dating back some 30 years at least. There is a seafood restaurant on the corner that's jumping with diners (yes, it's an open secret) though the set-up reminds me of the crappy, run-down seafood joints that once occupied Punggol Point. It's dim and dingy, and diners are better-off not looking too closely at the kitchen, but that's how it all used to be.

There is a frozen meat wholesaler on the same row. He's a good option for cheap meats for barbeques, in case you think the internet bbq wholesalers are too expensive and too impersonal.

But our target of exploration tonight was Flamingg Mangos. On the row of shops that Pizza Hut operates a delivery-only service is an amazing little restaurant that serves very robust burgers, pasta and steaks. The decor is romantically simple: dim with a pink-orange glow; a few small, framed pictures on the walls; a bar counter adjacent to a wine rack, all opccupying an old-style shophouse gutted for al fresco dining.

There's an easy-going atmosphere about the place. Nothing is hurried, not even the light jazz on the stereo which seems to direct the tempo of operation there. It offers a decent variety of drinks, but it's mostly family-friendly, and there's a dog-friendly corner too.

We ordered a cream of pumpkin soup to start which came with a basket of home-made garlic bread. June had a half-rack of ribs while I feasted on two hunks of breaded dory and chips. Free-flow of iced water, cold and therefore good. I had my eye on a creme brulee for dessert, but we both were too full by the time we were done with our main course.

Total bill: $45.75. Not bad for a very pleasant dinner for two. Next time we go, my target will be the beef, and to somehow still pack in dessert.

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