Private caterer Jeremy Nguee won a free year of rent in a competition. The result: Preparazzi for its bakery and a mod sin (modern Singaporean) cuisine.
I don’t quite understand the decor, reminding me of Everything With Fries. Very white with cement floor. The bar counter displays cupcakes, pies and cakes. Shelves display 红头巾 (samsui women) paraphernalia, which are for sale (strange, no? Is it for charity?) There is a “Hello Gorgeous” sign on the wall–but what for? It’s cheesy. The glass tables and cushionless chairs give it an Ikea home feel, a kitschy ambience that doesn’t sit well the price of the food.
The Lychee Monster cocktail ($16) is ice-blended lychee, peach and malibu. SO GOOD! Best alcoholic drink for a non-alcoholic. I slurped half a beaker of it in a sip! Very refreshing and pleasantly sweet. However, after ordering the beverage, when I turned the pages of the menu, I saw a non-alcoholic version of Lychee Monster for $8. Actually, the malibu is so little that there is only a tinge and I wonder how the shop can justify doubling the price for just a bit of alcohol.
As this is a mod sin restaurant, I was interested in otak otak gratin crostini ($12), which is otak, cheese, egg on bread. But I was apprehensive since I didn’t want to be ripped off like the Lychee Monster and I asked the server for recommendation. The best seller here is truffle fries ($12), which comes in a HUGE bowl. We skipped appetizers. What’s the point of coming to a mod sin restaurant to eat truffle fries?
The server recommended grilled scallops with angel hair pasta coated with uni conpoy bouillabaisse ($32). The grilled scallop was bland and oily.
“Uni” means “sea urchin”; “Conpoy” means “dry scallops” and “bouillabaisse” means “fish stew.” The pasta is completely coated with the sauce. Chiobu and I disagreed on the pasta. To me, it tasted like the smelly intestine of prawns and the texture was slimy. To Chiobu, on first bite, she disliked it too. But as she dug into the pasta, she thought it grew on her. The taste was more, she said, like prawn head and the texture was creamy.
Tired of eating the same dishes at restaurants–in my case, it’s braised beef cheeks, recommended here, paired with garlic nai bai cabbage in black-nut puree ($35)–I opted for a similar and equally recommended braised lamb shanks in guinness stout, black bean and black-nut puree ($32).
Visually stunning, the dish is disappointing. The meat falls off the bone and is oh-so-tender but the meat itself has no taste. No lamb stench–good–but no taste of buah keluak (the quintessential ingredient for Peranakan dishes) either. The taste is bland and nondescript. If you give this meat to anyone to guess what it is, nobody can tell you what meat it is. And the mashed potato is equally disappointing: dense, starchy and tasteless.
The main courses are disappointing but perhaps the recommended roasted chicken (available for lunch only) and roast pork with caramel spiced apple ($30), or affectionately known as siew yok, will fare better.
It was my birthday! And Preparazzi gave a complimentary raspberry & white chocolate cupcake. Thanks! At the edges, the cupcake is dry but as you approach the center with white chocolate and raspbery, it gets sweeter and less dry. The icing is amazing, with a balance of being very sweet but not nauseatingly so.
We ordered the C-cup warm chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream ($16). C-cup? Haha, get the joke? Coz it’s huge, good for sharing for 2-4 persons. It takes 25-35 minutes as it is prepared and baked freshly.
It is amazing! So hot and there is a delicious balance of sweetness and chocolate-ness. At first I thought the chocolate ice cream would be an overkill–too much chocolate–but it turned out the chocolate ice cream is very bitter, as bitter as my withered heart. So there are two kinds of chocolate-ness you can taste. However, I still wish it could be sourish raspberry ice cream to contrast the flavors.
The desserts are good but it is hard to go wrong with a chocolate dessert. I wish we had enough stomach space to try others, such as tropical floating island, a meringue in a sea of mango mousse ($16), or profiteroles with banana ice cream and gula melaka syrup ($16).
Service: The pretty waitress and the handsome goatee are amazing servers. Friendly, ice water (with strawberries) is always topped up. They made us feel at home.
Verdict: The restaurant gives me mixed feelings. The decor and kitschy name irk me; the service is excellent; the mains are off; the desserts are outstanding; for a new startup that doesn’t need to pay rent, the price could be lower by 10-15% for food and 20% for cocktails. We paid $106 for two.
Closed on Sunday
Rating: 2.905/5 stars
PS: Thanks Chiobu for the treat!