04 May, 2008

Aston Prime - The Reprieve

After a very unfortunate experience previously, I was surprised to receive a personal call from the owner, Mr Aston Soon, whom invited me back to Aston Prime as a mystery diner as a way of compensating my last dining experience as well as to help provide feedback to him. So with that in mind, I rounded a couple of friends (in view that a biased review will not take place) and off we went to Katong for our Sunday lunch. Lunch took place at 1.30pm and there were only two tables – us and another table (2 more tables were occupied by the time we left). With the review in mind, I ordered most of the items that was ordered previously. As always, the meal began with the Complimentary Bread and Homemade Garlic Spread. For a good start, the bread was served slightly warm and soft, however, the spread came really chilled this time round – till small ice-chips were found on the spread. As far as I remember, this was not the case when my family and I dined there previously. I have to highlight though that the spread was still as good, but to pair a warm bread with a really chilled spread just doesn’t seem right to me.

The Wild Mushroom Soup ($5.00) to me was still as disappointing – no doubt the generous serving of shrooms, what it lacks was the oomph of the mushrooms flavour and what one gets is just the “milky” experience – perhaps a dash of Porcini Mushrooms might do the trick.

The ½ dozen Oysters On The Rock ($12.90) we had though was commendable. Served chilled, they were very fresh and meaty!

The sides ($3.00 each) we order came next, and honestly, we weren’t impressed by it. The Macaroni & Cheese was bland and lacked the cheesy flavour everyone was anticipating. The macaroni was overcooked, thus too soft and cheese gravy should have been stronger and thicker.

The Baked Potato and Potato Skin was nothing to shout about either – both were dry and overcooked and both were left unfinished.

Among the sides, only the Cream Spinach managed to pass the test – the spinach was cooked just nice and the cream was a good complement to it. However, even it failed in terms of taste - a little hint of salt would have complete it but alas it was not to be and it was bland to say the least.

Once again, I order the 10 oz USDA Choice of Ribeye ($36.90) cooked medium rare and thankfully this time round it came right.

The marbling produces a juicy, and incredibly full-bodied flavoured steak that makes consumption delightful.

However, I am pretty surprised that they do not served English Mustard and the waiter suggested American Mustard instead – which if my mind doesn’t serve me wrongly, it’s meant for hotdogs and sausages – perhaps my readers can educate me if I am wrong. Other mains that night includes a very HUGE serving of USDA Baby Back Ribs ($26.90) that was value for money but perhaps the meat a tad too dry for my liking.

The Roast Rack of Lamb ($29.90) was done nicely in medium and the mint sauce complements it nicely. The "lamb smell" was surprisingly missing from it which might do good for some, but personally, I prefer to have a hint of it.

The highlight for the night has to be the 8 oz Australia Grain Fed Tenderloin ($31.90) that took slightly a longer time to cook but was well-worth the wait!

Nicely done in medium rare as well, the thick bite was simply awesome to chew on – a great choice for those who do not enjoy the marbling that a ribeye offers.

One thing to note though is the steaks could have been rested slightly longer so that the juices could be nicely distributed back to the meat. Compared to the last experience, this was definitely much better with service more attentive and food quality slightly better. The Mains were much better this time round but the Sides, left much to be desired.


Food: 3.5/5 (Mains were good but Sides left much to be desired)
Service: 4/5 (Service was prompt and attentive)
Ambience: 3/5 (Simple furnishing)
Price: 3.5/5 ($165.50 for 4 isn't expensive but could be better)
Total: 14/20
467 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427678

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