Thursday, April 16, 2015

Honzen 本然 (Farrer Park)

We're here today at Honzen 本然 vegetarian restaurant for dinner. Since arrival at 6:30pm, there were NO CUSTOMERS throughout the night. So it kinda feels like we booked the entire restaurant. Nice and quiet, decoration was exotic with soft oriental music. Staff were warm, polite and friendly (all wait staff or maybe they were the business owners, were Chinese nationals).

www.honzencafe.com.sg

41 Sam Leong Road
(Farrer Park)
Singapore 207931


Starters:
Mango Seaweed Roll (left)
$6
I like this dish, it's crispy with the goreng pisang texture with chewy prawn-like mock meat inside; very tasty

Ngoh Hiang (right)
$4.80
Not impressed

Since we ordered the 8-course Set Meal ($28), it comes with one drink, two appetisers, one salad, one platter, one main, one soup and one dessert.
You get to choose the drink, main and soup, the rest were seasonal.
My choice for drink was Chrysanthemum Tea. 

The staff explains in-depth, the health benefits for each item on the menu, so you make an educated decision. I thought it was pretty cool, despite knowing well that it's just a theme.

Appetiser One:
Apple and Jelly Salad
Not impressed

Appetiser Two:
Passion Fruit and Pumkin
Despite the lacking in presentation, I quite enjoy the crispy texture and fruity fragrance.

Appetiser Three;
Green Salad
Don't think I need to explain this..

Appetiser Four:
Spinach in Peanut Sauce, Mash Potato, Crispy Bean Curd
Interesting presentation, however strictly speaking, there should be three unique cooking method. Secondly, they do not compliment each other. Pretty to look at, normal tasting, but wrong in all gastronomical aspects theoretically.
Note that I'm being extra strict for the $28 I'm paying, I'm usually lenient towards cheaper options.

Main:
Lotus Leaf Rice

Beef Rendang with Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice
The rice is fragrant. I really like the acha (pickles). The rest screams of mediocrity.

Soup:
Tree Bark Soup or something, I forgot (top and middle left)
Cactus Soup (middle right)
Ling Zhi Soup (bottom)
The Ling Zhi Soup came in a tea pot, and is pretty tasty.

Dessert:
Chinese Pear with Cinammon
Quite tasty, for cinammon lovers.

For $28, here's my verdict:
Food Quality: 3.5/5
Presentation: 4/5
Value for Money: 2.5/5
Ambience: 5/5
Service: 4/5
Toilet: 4/5
Return Factor: 3/5

Room for improvement if you're charging $28. Food is fresh, but too much effort into presentation and perceived image, neglecting important factors such as food pairing and ingredient combinations.

Fun to visit, but not for serious, culinary-educated foodies.

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