Moi Lum, Chinatown

It is always easy to write reviews on very good or very bad restaurants – but how do you solve a problem like Moi Lum? (How do you catch a cloud and pin it down…)

Although an old name since 1920, the restaurant is so modern… look at this:
Wireless gadget ok? One button to call for service; one button to call for bill! And look at the hightech website, you click on one photo, and it makes a mechanical sound, like in a computer game.
It seems to me that if you’re an old name restaurant, you either keep the look OR renovate. If you keep the look, you’re cheap but the nostalgic atmosphere provides an experience for the patrons although the place is probably dirty *cough* qun zhong eating house *cough*. If you move and/or modernize to catch up with the times, like Moi Lum, you lose money renovating and lose the atmosphere (it looks just like a normal Chinese restaurant), but the place is “clean and bright… you look happy to meet me…”
And the servers did look happy in their jobs. Good, prompt, friendly service.
Here comes the not so good part, the food. We ordered:

Claypot chicken rice

Venison with spring onions

abalone-mushroom with bitter-veg

egg with strange hard thing
If I were a teacher, grading a paper, all these dishes get 50-60% from me. They all passed, but they were bland and unoriginal (except for egg). The egg had a special crispy thing (I forgot what, we ate it too long ago) which made it interesting but the portions were miserly. Granted that we make bad decisions in ordering the dishes (each person ordered one dish, and they were lousy orderers, I should make all decisions next time), the quality of the food was subpar coming from an old name.
But because of the service and because of the modernization (the restaurant is obviously trying to better itself) and because of the heart in the management, I will go there again to try the famous dishes. I wish the servers have recommended some dishes, instead of I having to go to the website to see its specialities.
$20 each for 5 people. Very value for money.
Moi Lum
38 Maxwell Rd
Airview Building
T: 6226 2283
Daily: 11.30-2.30pm; 5.30pm-9.30pm
Rating: 3.071/5 stars

Categories: $20-$40, Chinatown, Chinese

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