$20-$40

Grandma's, Nex

Grandma’s restaurant has a few branches now: Paragon, United Square and Orchard Parade Hotel. Nex, the shopping mall at Serangoon MRT, is Grandma’s new branch.

The decor has a luxurious feel with dimmed lights, making it look very classy and expensive, but the restaurant is huge, accommodating many people, and classy restaurants are usually quiet and don’t serve many people. The food is quite pricy and in small servings (again, like very high crass like that) but pricy restaurants shouldn’t and don’t have branches. The management is like a fancy restaurant, that are only two or three waiters take order, the rest of them are just to serve up the food, BUT the servers are ah bengs and lians with hair colours more than the rainbow, so the restaurant didn’t seem classy. This schizophrenia is prevalent throughout the whole time I was there. I think “Grandma’s” upper management should decide what it wants to be. Does it want to be high crass or a chain like Soup Restaurant? I was irritated and annoyed the entire time I was there but I have no doubt that Singaporeans will lap it up. This is not a slight to Singaporeans, but Singaporeans like the feel of luxury without knowing the background information. It seems to me that Grandma’s wants to make money out of her grandsons and daughters. Grandma’s is more money-driven, than to serve the people. Grandma’s is really a misnomer.
I really wanted to order the curry chicken but Emmy didn’t. Aiya, I’m so green vegetable (qing cai) one. So we ordered Sambal Potato Leaf, Beef with green onions and assam prawns with onion. Everything was awesome.
The Assam Prawns were springy and very tasty, with the onion complimenting it very well. But the portion for $12.90 was so tiny. Maybe about 6 prawns?
It took me a while to like the Beef with green onions because it was different. This is what I guess is the difference: The beef was grilled first with butter, then cut into cubes and stir-fried with the onions. Because it was grilled, it couldn’t be fried for too long, if not, the beef would be hard. Because it wasn’t fried for long, the taste of beef and onions didn’t integrate into each other. But still, once I changed my thinking from Beef with green onions to buttered beef, then the beef was tasty. But again, tiny portion for $14.
Wow, the photo looks like two eyes and a mouth hor…or two breasts and a ….R21 movie. So when you eat from 3pm-5pm, there is a tea time promotion. An otah bun and a coffee/tea for $2.40. Top up another $0.60 for chendol or bo bo cha cha.
This promotion, the waiters DIDN’T inform us. Luckily, Emmy is very auntie one and notices these things. And since I ALWAYS eat dessert after a meal, and the dessert itself is $4-6, might as well get the set. At first, we asked a server about the promotion but she didn’t know a thing. How can anyone working there not know? So we ordered the set from the manager. But the manager neglected to ask us if we wanted tea or coffee, bo bo cha cha or chendol.
So I hailed another waiter to tell her. I told her we didn’t specify the drink we wanted. So she went to the kitchen to tell them but returned, saying we didn’t place our order. And she proceeded to explain to us in a very jumbled manner what the promotion is so that we thought the otah bun is $2.40 and have to top up $0.60 for a drink and $0.60 for a dessert. And then I, the customer, had to translate her meaning, correct her, and repeat the promotion back to her.
And all these misunderstanding could have been prevented if the management just trains ALL the waiters, something like Soup Restaurant or Dian Xiao er.
But the Otah Bun was YUMMY. They use mackerel fish for the meat, and you can still see the fish bits. Awesome.

The chendol was also AWESOME! The brown sugar was separated from the chendol, so you pour as much or little brown sugar according to your taste. And the brown sugar was very unique, thick and viscous, not the diluted form.

I’m surprised that no one has thought of opening chain restaurants selling Singaporean/Peranakan food before. And Grandma’s nicely fills up this gap. The food was really of a good quality, but was pricy for such small portions. The management also needs to re-think the chain’s direction and strategy. I would go back again for the food, but I hate being irritated by the way it is run. Eating should be enjoyable, and I didn’t enjoy myself at the restaurant.
Grandma’s
23 Serangoon Central
#b1-15, Nex
Singapore 556083
T: 6634 8949
Rating: 4.192/5 (for food alone). 3.501/5 (food and service).
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