Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tavern, River Valley Road

A large piece of ribeye steak and beautifully cooked sweet peas at Tavern

My maiden visit to Tavern last week, tucked away unobtrusively on River Valley Road near the Mohamed Sultan stretch, was a pleasant surprise for its very good value and decent cooking. This place has a certain old-world appeal about it, dimly lit and with a slightly worn but comfortable and laid-back air. Think dark wooden furnishings, wait staff togged out in white shirts and vests, and a huge portable wooden stand with the daily specials written in chalk Y

Our set lunch at merely $17 nett included: a starter, a main course, dessert, coffee/tea, and a complimentary glass of soft drink. Now that’s the way to make your customers happy, there’s nothing more that turns me off than petty restaurateurs trying to make a quick buck by charging customers for every single item. Our bread came piping hot and it was pretty good, with soft fluffy innards and crusty exterior…although admittedly I personally prefer a stronger and more yeasty flavor.

For the starters, it was a toss-up between the calamari salad and onion and potato soup, so naturally I took the salad which was unremarkable except for the rather unusual dressing of a sharp-tasting pesto. There was a good range of choices for the main courses, so I picked the grilled rib-eye steak while my friend chose the pan-fried Pacific dory.

My steak came with some beautifully cooked sweet peas – such a bright green colour, and unwrinkled! – so simple yet so difficult to get right, as well as the obligatory carrots and potatoes. “GENEROUS” was the thought that crossed my mind, as I started attacking my steak, a good hefty cut of about 150g. I had no bones to pick about the quality of meat (passable but naturally not in any of the ‘prime’ / ‘dry-aged’ / ‘marbling factor gazillion’ categories) since I had already made mental adjustments for the price J. However, it was a pity that the steak was cooked to medium-well doneness instead of my stipulation of medium-rare. My friend’s dory was a huge size portion but I felt that it was overcooked and hence quite dry, plus, it did not have much taste. Finally, dessert of a chestnut and chocolate cream was enjoyable, light and not too rich.

Indeed this place is a good choice for business lunches if one doesn’t want to push the boat out too much.

The Tavern Pub & Restaurant
229 River Valley Road

No comments:

Post a Comment