Crunchy Bottoms

Striking the caloric balance. Barely.

The Queen & Mangosteen

If someone were to tell me that this was the title of the sequel to the fairytale The Princess and The Pea, I’d have believed them in a heartbeat. Really, wouldn’t it make perfect sense? Young girl sleeps on poor pea to prove she’s a princess. Fast forward a couple of decades, and now she’s a woman, trying to prove she’s a queen by dozing on a mangosteen.  How about that for a fairytale eh? I might just be inspired enough to write that one. 


What really takes the cake, all jokes aside now, is that yesterday I found myself deciding on The Queen & Mangosteen to have my dinner treat at with Oliver. That’s one hell of a restaurant name I’ll tell you. Absolutely love it. The unassuming entrance completely gives way to a part alfresco dining, part cozy pub design. I remember commenting on the waste of air-conditioning, but other than that, it was perfect gourmet pub ambience. I was a tad finicky, having chosen to sit inside initially (you’d have to arm yourself with cattle prods if you ever think of attempting to make me sit out in the Singapore weather) then changing my mind because candlelight was hardly food photography lighting. Need I emphasize that all I had then was a 8mp camera phone? 


I had the Roasted Rack of Lamb with Rosemary Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus and Mint Yoghurt ($29). Why I chose medium rare red meat, and lamb no less, when I’m clearly trying my best to avoid oily and heaty foods was beyond me. Do excuse the blurry, garish photo. On top of the less than ideal camera, my post-production skills leave much to be desired still. What I loved about this dish, other than the fact that it was sinful red meat, was the mint yoghurt. Tangy and slightly sweet, this was a perfect marriage between sauce and lamb and I only mourn that there wasn’t quite enough. The potatoes had this odd sour note, which didn’t bring out the rosemary flavour well, but other than that, the tender, pink blush of the juicy meat captured most of my attention. Thumbs up for a gorgeous medium rare. It’s a pleasant surprise because past experiences at various restaurants, including the brief stint that I had in the kitchen at Breeks, the Medium Rare was something I’d never put my faith in. That aside, I usually am unable to place a lump of fat into my mouth (like how some people eat their eggs scrambled and only scrambled), but for this particular rack of lamb, I willingly did so. For two times only actually. I counted. It was one of the rare occasions in which I found fat truly tasty. Crackling on the surface yet creamy on the inside. Then again, I don’t do this often, so this rack of lamb really is subject to individual opinion. Mine however, was that though it satisfied my tastebuds, it was rather pricey. Nothing I’d order again because we’re all still poor students. 


Oliver ordered Fish and Chips with Curry Tartare Sauce ($14), traditional British pub fare (one of them dishes that shouldn’t go wrong), and the running joke of the day was when we realised it was under the Nibbles section of the menu (“Oh! Fish and Chips is under the Nibbles!”). Careful with the pronounciation people. Anyway, why it was considered an appetiser/Nibble/starter is something I cannot comprehend still. The portion would’ve fed me really nicely – if I could bring myself to chow down an entire meal of fried food that is. The batter for the fish wasn’t anything to rave about however. Now, most of you might be wondering what this Curry Tartare sauce is. I’ll tell you. It is MacDonald’s curry sauce pwnage. That pathetic little thing wouldn’t hold a candle next to this sensational condiment (think Decepticons beside the Autobots). Anti-mayo people (myself included), will find your resolve crumbling at the tiniest taste. This wasn’t richly sickening or goopy. In fact, I think it should be made the official condiment to Fish and Chips, although in my case it was mostly the chips. It is the ultimate curry sauce and absolutely made my tastebuds sing. Or at least they would if they had individual voiceboxes, and perhaps they’d form a choir… 


On top of that, he ordered the Grilled Asian Pesto Chicken, Rosemary Roast Potatoes and Garden Vegetables served with a Tomato Coriander Sauce ($20). I took only a small bite of the chicken, and while it was succulent and tender, the Asian Pesto lacked the WOW factor I expected. I think I’ll make it a point to avoid dishes that come with garden vegetables from now on because all my experiences of garden veggies have been the same. Bland, semi-warm and oily. I have to give credit to the colourful mixture of cauliflower, broccoli, green snow peas, carrots and yellow zucchini though. The taste could be better. 

The both of us managed to catch up with each other, and it’s been too long since I’ve had such a familiar face to talk about anything at all. Poor guy’s got the Tekong cough though, and here I was thinking that was all bull. While he was gushing about his miserable life in camp, I made up my mind to order dessert. This is after finishing off my plate of food, polishing off half the fries and fish and eating whatever else that man couldn’t eat because he was full. What’s army food done to you dude?!?! I have to admit though, I’m overeating. While I can make my money’s worth at buffets and shock people with the amount of food I can put away for someone my size, I usually don’t. Whatever happened to 80% full? 

The dessert section of the menu was labelled Puddings. I ordered the Fruit Crumble with Kapiti Vanilla Ice Cream ($10). I have no idea why a crumble was under Puddings. I attempted taking a picture under the flickering glow of the candle on our table since we ate till the sun went down, I attempted to salvage it on photoshop, and I attempted to post it up here. My stomach wouldn’t let me. No way was I going to publish a dingy looking crumble, especially when it was delicious. It had this interesting chewy layer just below the sprinkling of crumble on the top that I found rather refreshing and the hint of ground cloves (interesting once again) somehow worked . The portion was generous really.  Oliver didn’t have any, which meant I was insanely thankful I’d brought a jacket to cover the evidence of my meal. 

The place was bustling on Friday night so I dismissed the less than attentive service. Other than that, the servers were friendly and made it a point to check on our comfort. I couldn’t decide if I was comfortable or not, because ‘full’ wouldn’t even come close to describing how I felt. 

I won’t subject my stomach to such torture again. I swear. I had a wonderful meal nevertheless. The company made all the difference. 

Vivocity 1 Habourfront Walk
Singapore 098585
Lift Lobby E or F


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