Dinner @ Orchid Live Seafood

April 30, 2015 in Chinese

Having just knocked off from work and feeling kinda tired, my friends and I wanted to have dinner somewhere near. Which meant up north of Singapore. To which, someone suddenly suggested Orchid Live Seafood. And I thought, “Why not”. Since it felt it has been a while since I last had Chinese cuisine. =p

And I’m glad we drove. Getting to Orchid Live Seafood can be a little tricky to arrive by public transport as the place is only accessible via bus. If not, there’s always cab of course. $_$ Parking isn’t a problem since they have their own space for patrons to park.

Upon entering the premise (which was the moment once we drove through the metal gate), we were immediately teleported to the (good, old) kampong days. Not that I’m old enough to have experienced the kampong days. (^^lll) Ha.

Although there’re indoor seats, we were led by the staff to the alfresco seats. Which I felt was more appropriate, especially if one wishes to soak up the atmosphere. And although it was a weekday, children donning netted singlets were running around and playing ‘Pepsi-Cola 1-2-3′! OMG! Nostalgic.

In fact, I liked the laid-back atmosphere and not-too-bad food so much that I went back again! It’s a refreshing change from the usual restaurant affair.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2), we ordered:-

1) Baby nai bai, $8 (S) (above)

2) Sambal kang kong, $8 (S) (above)

3) Steven chicken, $12 (S) (above) – My original choice was shrimp paste chicken, but I was told by the staff that they don’t have / keep stock of the shrimp paste chicken because people normally order their steven chicken. Like what! So in the end, I went along since I wanted to eat chicken. And it’s understood why it’s one of their signature. There’s something about the marinate which was really addictive. Tangy yet sweet. But what I really like was that the chicken was cooked in such a way that the marinate was crispy. Eat the dish when these are served piping hot!

4) Crab, $5 per 100g (above) – We had wanted to order just 1 crab since there was only 2 of us, but we were informed that there’s a minimum number of 2 crabs. With 3 ways of having the crabs prepared (steamed, chilli, black pepper), we went with chilli. The staff asked if we wanted to order mini fried buns, but we decided not to. And I have to say, these Sri Lanka crabs were definitely heavily fertilised. Just look at the roe! However, my friend and I suspected the crabs were not fresh. Its texture was slightly powdery although the flesh still came out as shreds. We paid $80 for the crabs.

5) Red grouper, $8 per 100g (above) – The staff highly recommended the fish, and we went with it being steamed. We paid $52. So while the fish was undeniably flesh, my friend and I noticed one-third of the flesh (nearer to the tail) was missing when served. Hmm…

6) Lobster porridge, $60 (above) – And from the menu, the lobster which is priced at $10 per 100g can be served with porridge, butter coated or garlic steamed. And since lobster porridge is their signature, we had to go with porridge. And this was not too bad. Upon served, the staff proceeded to remove the lobsters from the porridge. And the soup was light. Although when I compared it to the other lobster porridge that I had tried, the lobster porridge at Orchid Live Seafood only had a little lobster roe.

So while there’re not many places like Orchid Live Seafood which transports one back to the 1980s, one should manage one’s expectation of the service before coming.

During my first visit, the female staff who took our order was very insistent. We had wanted sambal kangkong, but was told kang kong was not available. When we asked what (vegetable) was available, she replied “Kai lan and nai bai.” Even though I decided to go with kai lan, the staff continued to suggest nai bai. Even when I turned her down. And when she repeated our order, she repeated our order as “nai bai”. Obviously, by then, my friend and I decided to leave it as it is since it was just vegetable after all.

1 Bah Soon Pah Road, Singapore
6756 0311, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Sun : 11:00 – 23:00
Ambience: 6
Value: 6
Service: 5