The Orange Lantern
1 Maritime Square
#01-98 Harbourfront Centre
(+65) 6274 1968
I find that there’s something intrinsically wrong with dining out in a shopping precinct, even if it is new and shiny – which The Harbourfront Centre most definitely isn’t. However, since I live close by, I often drop in to this über-casual Vietnamese eatery after shopping in VivoCity.
The food isn’t spectacular but it’s good and cheap. I usually order the relatively healthy special beef noodle soup with tender sliced beef, brisket, and beef balls. The broth is simmered for 18 hours, which makes this deceptively plain dish incredibly flavoursome.
If, however, I’m feeling less than virtuous I’ll order the full-fat Vietnamese chicken curry, filled with tender chicken, pumpkin pieces and potato in a rich, aromatic gravy. My only complaint is that the chicken is served on the bone – otherwise it’s a pretty decent curry.
James never waivers from his choice of Vietnamese stir-fried rice with beef, and we always include side-orders of imperial spring rolls filled with minced pork and shredded carrot, wrapped in a crispy net and served with fresh green mango salad. I am also a huge fan of the avocado milkshake, which at first sounded truly disgusting, but is actually sweet and delicious.
The speed of service decreases inversely to the number of diners, but is acceptable enough to keep us going back for more. Although the restaurant has an online delivery service via Cuisine Express (www.cuisineexpress.com.sg), the food is much better when eaten straight from the kitchen.
Le Tonkin Restaurant & Lounge
18 Mohamed Sultan Road
(+65) 6235 6006
The Orange Lantern (formerly Pho Temptation)
73 Killiney Road
(+65) 6732 8032
1 Empress Place
(+65) 6339 1720
Siem Reap 1
44 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village
(+65) 6468 7098