Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Victor's Kitchen II: A case of wrong recommendation?

Siew Mai ($4.00).

I'm not sure about others but ever since I "market" myself as a food blogger/foodie, Yours Truly realised his fellow readers, mostly family and friends have been asking/texting/requesting him of a good/nice/splendid place to dine. Well, I don't know about you. Maybe you think it's tedious or dumb but I consider it as a great privilege to be able to make suggestions and recommend difference places according to my knowledge and personal experience.  

But just as the process is fun, it doesn't always end up well and one particular story goes like this...
Har Gau ($4.50).

Friend KW texted me on one of those Sunday morning, asking me if I know anywhere in central Singapore that has good if not affordable Dim Sum brunch. To be honest, I'm not really familiar with places in central, preferring to stay in my comfort zone in the east but that's a lousy excuse for a foodie like me right? So I searched online and I thought my first-time experience with Victor's Kitchen was a rather fair deal, meeting Friend KW's requirements.
Steam Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce ($3.00).

Somehow just somehow, Friend KW and her family didn't have the same enjoyable experience as I had previously. Citing no ventilation, long queue, crowded if not hectic and cramp the place was and a lack of service as the cause for the bad experience. The food if I could quote her would be "soso only".
Char Siew Pau ($3.50).

Since then, I've felt kinda bad for causing such a bad experience for Friend KW and her family. I said countless sorrys, promising a make-up meal for her but I just can't help but to wonder if I really had made a wrong recommendation to her?
Lau Sha Pau ($4.00).

I knew I just have to pay Victor another visit to justify my previous review. I managed to squeeze some time out of my busy weekday and volia! Found my way back for Dim Sum, this time for dinner! Before I even typed this post, I actually did a detailed read-up on other people's opinions of the Dim Sum.
Minced Pork with Dried Vegetable Porridge ($3.50).

I understand everyone has their own definition of good service. Although I can't give you an universal definition but the least I could share are my impression of Victor's Kitchen as well as my definition of good service. Fair enough right?

Har Gau, round 2.

First of all, my impression of Victor's Kitchen.

I think every individual that ever dined at Victor's Kitchen would know that it's not  your typical Xin Wang Hong Kong concept cafe or the high class Yan Ting @ St. Regis Hotel. One shouldn't even compare Victor's with fine-dining Royal China @ Raffles Hotel. Essentially, what we have is your typical authentic Hong Kong Cafe with a Chef from Hong Kong possibly making almost every Dim Sum himself or at least with a bunch of other chefs?

One could be assured of hand-made authentic Dim Sum instead of eating machine-made ones. Trust me, you can tell one that is hand-made from a machine-made. It just taste different and it looks different too. I mean comparing the difference between my first basket of Har Gau from the second basket. The second basket looked much bigger at least to the three of us who were dining at that point in time.
Yu Tiao Cheong Fun ($3.50).

Like I said earlier, there's no way one should compare Victor's Dim Sum from those served at Yan Ting or even Royal China (My #1 favourite place for Dim Sum!). What's there to compare? In terms of quality of ingredients or presentation of the dishes? Just having your Dim Sums at posh restaurant is gonna have an effect on your mood and taste palate right?

Personally, Victor's Dim Sums might not be the best I've tried but you can't deny it's decent to make a good meal and I could always appreciate hand-made Dim Sums to machine-churn ones. For the kind of price in central area, I think it's a challenge to even find another one. If you do, please share alright?

Jade Dumpling with Fresh Prawn and Spinach ($4.00).

There's always bound to be hits and misses. It's something that can't be help. Just like I mention in my Ethical Guidelines. Taste is a personal preference. What I like might not be what you enjoy and vise versa but hey! No one can fault you if you still didn't enjoy it after giving it a try. Just like how we didn't enjoy our gelatinous  Jade Dumplings as much as the translucent white Har Gaus.

Double-boiled Egg White with Fresh Milk and Almond Juice ($3.50) (20 minutes waiting time).

Lastly about their service. From my two visits, I have yet to seen any action or behavior that would constitute as a bad service. My food came promptly and my Double-Boiled Egg White came even before the 20th minute mark.

To be honest, I wouldn't mind being asked/requested to collect my own utensils if I'm told where to collect which I always found the elderly staffs doing so. Like hello? You aren't paying any service charge here?

I understand language is often another barrier to good service. The staffs they hired are mostly, aunties and uncles whom I suspect might have never spoken a single English (Maybe apart from please and thank you?) in their teens compared to youth these days? But if you're a Chinese, can't you apprehend your own mother tongue? If you can't then shame on you! It would be bonus if you can speak their dialect, Cantonese. You know? Converse with the staffs or the lady boss in their language and who knows? You might make a friend or two?

Last but not least, the timing often decides the experience. I realised if you dropped by on the weekends for brunch, there's bound to be a queue and same goes to the going after 6pm on weekdays. If you ever wanna enjoy your meal quietly, just try to go before the peak periods and you're safe.

Do note that peak periods = lesser attention from staffs.
I know I know no matter how much I say, it might not change your stance on revisiting Victor's Kitchen. I believe my role as a foodie/ food blogger would be to showcase you my personal experience and opinions so that you can make that informed decision yourself to go or not to go.

To Friend KW:
I'm so sorry for your bad experience, do allow me to make it up to you alright? Say a meal at Royal China @ Raffles Hotel ought to do the trick yah? How about Man Fu Yuan @ Intercontinental? It's your "favorite hotel" afterall!


  1. Love this post. Authentic, honest and tactful. ;D

  2. I had a better experience than u =).

    How was the Double-boiled Egg White with Fresh Milk and Almond Juice?

    1. Was smooth and delicate though I think their double boiled with Ginger juice fare better!


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