When I read about the bad reviews, I wanted to cancel my reservation with them. However, my friends decided to give it a try 1st before crossing it off the list.
Our verdict is, we will definitely come back again for the buffet. The food is great. The service, although slow because they only have 3 serving staffs for the entire restaurant which seats about 80pax, was great n friendly. Except that they forgot to say excuse me when they clear the table. but not a big issue. Very accomadating and hospitable.Even gave me FOC hot water for my baby's milk. I definitely loves the dishes.
Although the table next toi us are very LOUD & Rowdy, that is not the staffs fault. everyone is trying to enjoy themselves.
All I can say is that, you got to try it to know it. BUT preferance is universal. What may be great might not be for others. Just lower your expectations and enjoy the company as well as food.
(Note: Pictures can be found here http://wildchildurbancity.blogspot.com/2012/05/dinner-at-garuda-padang.html)
This is a review that I have put off writing for many weeks, and that I have been on the fence with regards to its publishing. The reasons... will become apparent below.
One Sunday, my family was craving Indonesian food and we wanted to give ourselves a little treat. Instead of going to our usual Tambuah Mas or Grandma's Restaurant, we decided to try the Garuda Padang at Far East Square.
The drinks menu at Garuda Padang can be found on every table. The food menu(s) however, are broken up and lie around in a piecemeal fashion. Garuda Padang is set up Rendezvous Restaurant style, i.e. with a large steel counter at the entrance displaying metal trays of food. But unlike Rendezvous Restaurant, which has its entire menu on the wall, Garuda Padang has table place cards in front of the trays with the names of some of the dishes and their prices.
There were covered trays at the counter which made it confusing as to whether the dishes on the place cards were available. We found out that even though there was nothing in the metal trays, you can order the dishes on them.
In addition to the "menu" listed on the place cards, there was a menu was set above the large steel counter at the entrance. As our eyes had been drawn to the food at the counter, we had not even noticed this additional menu until we were paying our bill.
In respect of the decor at Garuda Padang, the furniture chosen is simple and shows clean lines. But it exuded a feeling of "hardness", and the chairs were a little uncomfortable to sit on.
My father felt like having the aloe vera drink despite its hefty price for just a few cubes of aloe vera. Lots of sambal was served with our sambal terong. If there were supposed to be anchovies in the sambal though, we could not taste or find them.
My experience with the rendang sapi was strange. The first few bites were good, and I remember being happy at the taste of well-marinated and tender beef rendang. But as I continued eating, the spices seemed to fade and become dullish, so that it was not really a pleasure to eat anymore. One thing about the rendang that definitely made me happy though, was that it came with lots of chewy tendon.
The Sambal Cumi Cumi was average, with the squid being a little on the rubbery side. The chunk of fish in the Gulai Ikan Tenggiri (Mackeral Fish Curry) was dry and overcooked. All of us ate it with a lot of gravy for some moisture. Lot of jelly-like pieces of tendon were served in the Gulai Kikil dish. The curry they were floating in tasted a little bland.
There was sambal distributed throughout the Tumis Kangkong - good. Only, the portion was a little small. The Sayur Lodeh came with bamboo shoots. Tasted average. It seemed like the curry used in the Gulai Ayam (Chicken Curry) was the same as that used for the beef tendons.
At first, the Tauhu Goreng Istimewa surprised us. I had never seen tauhu goreng served this way. And after picking up some tauhu and veggies with a fork and putting it all into my mouth, it horrified me. The entire dish was cold... very cold..... stone cold, as if the plate food had been sitting at the back of a fridge for a long time. The black sauce had a weird unpleasant taste - I had never tasted anything like that before. My parents did not enjoy the dish either, but just ate it silently so as not to waste food.
Even though we wanted to try the Ayam Goreng Garuda (Fried Chicken with Blue Ginger Floss), we were too full, so we took away a piece. But upon reaching home, I could not help opening the plastic container to try a little. The floss and chicken were still warm, and that made the dish taste better than expected (noting that my expectations had dropped really low from the dishes already eaten). The surfaces of the breast meat were good to eat as they had absorbed the flavour from the ginger floss. Deeper in though, the meat was tough and dry - a sign of overcooking.
When I think about our experience at Garuda Padang that Sunday, one word comes to mind: "miserable". First, the piecemeal menus confused us. Second, all of the dishes were served either at room temperature or cold. This made me father hopping mad. Spicy food, and especially curry, is meant to be served hot, not cold! Third, the taste of all of the dishes ranged from only average to bad. My father cursed at not having spent his money at Tung Lok Signatures instead, and my mother was shaking her head at the sorely disapponting food.
Garuda Padang charges Rendezvous Restaurant prices for its food, but does its standard even match up to Rendezvous Restaurant? From our previous enjoyable experiences with the Tung Lok group of restaurants, I find it hard to believe that Garuda Padang is part of this group. Perhaps Tung Lok should stick with Chinese cusine.
Garuda Padang Far East
A friend recommend their 1 for 1 dinner buffet. Extremely good deal at $30 for 2 persons.
Decent variety and at a fraction of wide spread hotel buffets.
Here’s a short summary of what we had:
1) Beef Rendang. Quite tender and nicely spiced and strong flavour.
2) Fried Chicken. My favourite due to the blue ginger floss that came with the chicken piece. Had a second serving.
3) Prawn with petai. Something different, the sauce goes well with plain rice.
4) Bergerdil. Packed with mash potato and and minced beef filling.
Apart from those dishes mentioned above, we also had the sayur lodeh, curry chicken, anchovies with peanuts and many others. In fact, we didn’t have stomach space for quite a few dishes!
We also topped up $3 for free flow of lime juice.
The service was prompt and our re-orders came pretty fast as well. They were very generous with their portions and the manager was friendly and warm.
All in all, a decent meal at an unbeatable price for buffet. This could become my monthly stop whenever nasi padang craving hits.
Had the 1 for 1 buffet with my buddies after work at Garuda the other day and boy was it cheap for its quality! Just about $15+ per person for a range of authentic quality Padang dishes.
We had multiple servings of their fried chicken, beef rendang, been tendons, prawns with petai, burgerdil etc. One of the best nasi padang I’ve had in town and definitely worth the visit when you’re super hungry and craving for some spice.
Fried chicken- crispy and tasty especially with the unique ginger floss. This is one of their signature dishes (through research) and you have to try it to know why it is a signature! The exterior is crispy but non-oily and the meat is really tender.
Another hot favourite is the beef rendang as the gravy is thick and they are very generous with the meat. The meat, unlike many other places is soft and tender, does not get stuck in your teeth (tested and proven when both of us have braces on)
The other favourite has to be the burgerdil. Garuda’s version of burgerdil is slightly different. The stuffings does not only consist of the usual mashed potato but also with minced beef. It is marinated well and not too salty. Even my girlfriend who is on a fierce diet abstaining from fried food couldn’t resist when we sliced the burgerdil into half exposing a well mix of potato and beef.
Worth the money and probably one of the best buffets in town (CBD). Quality was not let down, instead, the manager himself served us well by constantly asking if we need a top up of water or food.
We wanted to try every single dish since it was a buffet that comes rare especially with this price. $25.80++ for two persons (technically; as it is one for one).
Being all-time meat and spicy lovers, our favourites were the Beef Rendang, Beef tendons, Sambal Tapioca leaves, Sambal prawns with petai as well as the Ikan Billis with Peanuts.
The Beef Rendang came in huge chucks and easy to chew. I love the fact that it doesn’t get tuck in your teeth and the gravy is thick and delicious.
Beef tendons’ gravy was expected to be similar to the Rendang’s but it wasn’t. Instead, the gravy was less spicy and not as thick. Really easy on the palate as the tendons were braised till soft and tender.
The Sambal Tapioca leaves came piping hot and fragrant. A fragrance that literally filled the room. Apparently, Garuda’s Sambal Tapioca leaves tastes different from the ones we get outside. Theirs has this unique taste which seems to be an addition of dried shrimps or paste. You got to try it to know what I mean. (:
Sambal prawns with petai was great too, the gravy leans towards more of a sweet base rather than spicy and the prawns were fresh and crunchy. An appetizing dish! Perhaps you would like to ask for a lime to squeeze onto this dish giving it an extra punch!
Lastly, the Ikan Billis added a little texture to our dishes. The Ikan Billis were crispy and believe it or not, not oily. Usually, other places which also serve Ikan Billis are drenched in oil and our stomach would feel sick after a few mouthfuls. Garuda’s are tasty and screams for more after every bite.
Overall, a really good experience and will go back for more. I will definitely hop by with my relatives and friends again.