Monday, September 25, 2006

Simply Ridiculous

I'm pretty amazed by how a simple appearance on the television can propel an average foodstall to instant stardom. Take for example the latest foodie show "Where the queue starts" by Bryan Wong. In a few episodes back they went to review a stall at Ang Mo Kio Central which sells normal chinese rice dishes in silver hot bowls (I'm not quite sure what they're called). Well, I haven't tried the dishes there before but it looked pretty average and there wasn't any crowd to start with. After some "advertising" on the show, however, Boom! It was like the whole of Ang Mo Kio was lining up at the stall creating queues as long as 10m! They even put up temporary railings for the queues, I ain't kidding you.

Sometimes I wonder if these foodie shows really justify their good reviews? Don't get me wrong, no doubt there will definately be some gem in the masses, but I generally feel that the overwhelming media related food reccomendations have unintentionally created a feeling of falseness in their claims. I personally have eaten at a few of the "advertised" stalls and found their food to be just average. Look at the amount of advertisement we have! First we have Makansutra, then Makan Places Lost and Found, followed by a "Hao Chi Qin Bao" with Slyvester Sim on the cover and after "Where the queue starts" end, a foodie show featuring Fiona Xie is airing soon! Do we truthfully have that much good food places?! *Shrugs*

Anyways, I shall start writing my review on this place called Uno Beef House which was introduced in the latest episode of "Where the queue starts". It actually resides in a Kopitiam but occupies quite an amount of space with a fairly large amount of seating space. Upon reaching, we wanted to try the steak and black pepper chicken which included a special potato ball instead of the usual fries said to be popular among customers. After ordering though, you should have seen the ridicule on my face when the person told me that we had to wait for an hour. An hour?! For a plate of black pepper chicken in a kopitiam?! Dude, comon, you don't know how ridiculous you sound man. But since we already came so far, we decided to order and take a walk in Toa Payoh Central and come back after an hour. Since the show also featured this rojak stall in the HDB hub which looked promising, we went to get a bite. To my aghast, (yes, notice the strong word) the lady told us the minimum waiting time was an hour. OMG! What the hell was happening?! It is simply unbelievably ridiculous! An hour for a plate of rojak?! How good can it be?! Okay okay I should stop freaking out.

Back to Uno. The beef tenderloin was indeed tender and sufficiently marinated while the black pepper chicken was really very well marinated. Priced at only $5, the chicken chop was also quite a good deal. The steak however, only could only boast of it's freshness and tenderness and there wasn't a hint of red wine which there was supposed to be. The potato ball was also quite a unique replacement of the usual fries. What I suspect was that they added butter to the mashed up potatoes and deep fried them in bread crumbs giving it a very crispy soft combination with a slight buttery taste. To sum it up, the food served can be said to be top class kopitiam western food. To wait an hour for it though, I would say take your chance somewhere else cause it's probably not worth it. And regarding the rojak... I'm still finding it ridiculous.

Toa Payoh Lorong 5
Blk 51
Uno Beef House


Angie said...


It's amazing how the Qs can form after some advertising huh? There's this pizza joint I frequent, 'normal' business before appearing on Straits Times, after that, the Q just snaked all the way out. But once the 'fad' is over, back to usual again. But then, food reviews can be rather subjective, best to try them ourselves(once waited 1 hr too, for claypot rice at chinatown). Well, some may live up to the hype, others are just disppointing. Oh, sorry for my rambling. The chic chop looks delish though.

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

Hello angie, you are always welcome to rant around here :) Yeah, I guess everyone's just there to try the "new found" stuff out. But regardless of advertisements or not, its always best to trust our own tastebuds :P

pericles said...

Hi dude, Remus and I were introduced to Uno by Lionel (Anthony's upperstudy). It was a lot better and the timing was a lot shorter before it moved to Block 51: the price of fame I guess. The stall is now being manned by the founder's son, so might have some difference in quality.

The potato "bomb" is probably made in the manner you've described but it's really good and unique, isn't it? Oh and BTW, you can customise the way you want your meal, e.g. minus the baked beans and add some garlic bread etc.

I think the rojak stall you're talking about is the one just outside the Toa Payoh National Library and beside the McDonald's (seperated by a road). The long waiting time there is normal, dude. There's hardly any space there to sit and the boss there works without stopping. I guess the wait is because he bakes the yu tiao and the dried cuttlefish on the spot. In fact, all the ingredients are prepared on the spot for each new order. It's been like that since about 2000-2001, but so far the quality hasn't dropped.

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

Yo bro! haha. actually the rojak is at HDB Hub basement (bus terminal). Theres a escalator leading to the food court. It's so exagerating cause they even have those digital queue numbering lolz.

The potato ball is definately quite unique and though i complain abt the queue, the tenderloin steak and chicken chop are already quite good for a kopitiam.