Thanks to Hungrygowhere's reservation system that I receive not only a surprise slice of cake for a dear gene's birthday, but also a birthday discount of 50% off a main course for dinner! And to top it off, an instant photo card was presented to my friend too. What a memorable birthday for my friend indeed! Thank you Lawry's!
I am a frequent diner at Lawry’s, and I often endorse it to friends and colleagues. The prime rib is exceptional and the service usually made an effort. HOWEVER I really need to write about what happened to me last Jan 30th, the eve of Chinese New Year, when I experienced what is probably one of the RUDEST wait-staff treatments I’ve ever had.
My companion and I started dining late at 830pm, as per our reservation. They actually gave us a great table (it was not full). By mid-meal, there was just one other table left in the restaurant, apart from ours. I am guessing it was because it was eve of CNY. As we went through our food, we couldn’t help but feel we were being rushed, prompted several times whether it was fine to clear the table, even when there was still a lot of food on the plates. At one point, we were asked twice in a span of five minutes. It was just 9:47pm then, so I just had to ask what time the place was closing. Apparently, last order was 9:45pm, though no one had checked with us, and they said that closing time would be 11pm. Right after that, I heard the word “FASTER” spoken out loudly from somewhere across the room, from the direction of the other wait-staff. Closing was one hour away then, but despite that we still tried to finish up fast, since the rest of the staff was rushing around us and clearing up, with the loud clattering of utensils and glass so overtly disturbing. Here’s the real clincher. About a minute after we asked for the check, one of the wait-staff several meters away, hidden from our view, makes this mock-announcement so loud that it was audible throughout the entire empty restaurant: “Excuse me everyone, an announcement please, table 107 has asked for the check”. And then silence. At this point, I could not help it. I stood up, walked about twenty steps over to where they were standing, and took issue. I said that I “over-heard” the big announcement they just made (how could I not!) , and wanted to confirm whether they were indeed referring to us. I was definitely trying to suppress indignation now, and when they said yes I just had to suggest that perhaps I can help them by also announcing loudly once I’ve paid. That way, everyone can go home early. All I got then were embarrassed looks and a mad scrambling about. The manager who was now standing right beside me, tried to make small talk, but seemed not to understand what was going on. The person who made the loud announcement (Stephanie, if I recall her name correctly, though I am not certain now) just walked about and said nothing, as she handed me the bill for signing – no apologies or the sort. We finally signed the bill and walked out by 10pm. Our server tried to quietly hand me a discount voucher --- I handed it back. Some things just aren’t about money.
It was an ad hoc decision that the brotherhood of the meatarians decided to convene dinner at the round table, at Lawry’s. Straight after work, we all made a beeline towards mandarin gallery on orchard road from our respective places of work.
I was first to arrive, as the reservations would only be held for 15min. my timely arrival meant that I’d have to hold the fort till the gang arrives. The hospitable staff stopped at nowhere to make me feel welcomed, and they suggested a drink while I wait for the rest of the pack.
I took my time with the beverage menu, while the staff gave me the privacy to browse, while being on full alert for my signal for attention.
I also took the liberty to browse the main menu, as well as the wine menu. I have to say, though I’m no connoisseur for grapes, I have good reason to believe the comprehensive list of wines was carefully selected to complement the meats on the main menu.
No doubt we were certain that we were in for the 1-for-1 deal, but the prices tagged to the dishes were quite jarring. Nonetheless, all for the love of meat! Glorious meat!
USDA prime rib dinner it was, and it comes complete with some bread & butter to set our salivating palates a little, followed by the gungho demonstration of the original spinning bowl salad.
The salad was deliberately served chilled, drizzled with the exclusive dressing, and consumed with a chilled fork. I personally felt it tasted good on its own, and better with a generous sprinkle of the Lawry’s pepper.
Soon as we were done with the salads, it was time to bring on the meat! And we weren’t going to be lenient on the cow. 6 of us seated at the table, 4 ordered the “diamond Jim Brady cut”, while the other 2 who had a late lunch settled for nothing less than the Lawry’s cut. Doneness was subject to individual’s preference… considering it was going to be thicker than the usual, I settled for rare.
Served with a scoop of mashed potatoes, a fraction of the golden brown Yorkshire pudding on the side, as well as whipped cream horseradish for adventurous dippers. In my opinion, the horseradish serves rather similar purpose as it would when savoring sashimi and/or sushi…. Horseradish on raw or rare meats likened to the concept of a horse & carriage.
To lighten the all meat session a little, we also ordered the creamed spinach for sharing.
What started off to be a bustling chatter of male professionals sharing testaments of the past month at work, we were hushed to a lull as soon as the 1st slice of the meat entered our mouths.
Ladies reading this, you now have a tip on what it takes to silence full grown men; sports on TV and/or MEAT!
Now that there’s an ongoing 1-for-1 promo via tablesDB, I should think there’s more reason to revisit.
For the price I was expecting something good.
The food was mediocre, with the California Cut served with just a measly serving of mashed potato. If you desire other side dishes, those can be topped up for a ludicrous price.
I was told that their specialty was the spinning salad. Well, it's just a salad served by the waiter in a spinning bowl--basically tossed salad in an unconventional way. The veggies were crisp and fresh but the overall creation was flat, boring and generic. It's like the salad you can get for $9 but it's a lot more expensive because of the ingredients, not the uniqueness of it.
The meal cost ~ $120
See the full review with pictures here.
Lawry’s has this discount where if you download their app for your smartphone, you get 1 for 1 mains during weekday lunches (we saved $70)
The food they serve is somewhat like a Sunday roast (that you get all over the UK), but better than most of the sunday roasts I’ve tried. The meat is very tender and marinated thoroughly. And it comes with a humongous Yorkshire pudding! They fry it in a huge skillet and the sides rose pretty high and was perfect with the gravy.
This was a california cut – which is the second smallest cut – you can see how thin it is. They euphemized the smallest cut as the “singapore cut”, which is much thinner and almost like an appetizer.
I got two atlantic lobster tails which were broiled and over done. The whole place reminded us a bit of John Thomas (if we are talking about atlantic lobsters I guess you mean like Boston lobsters or Maine lobsters – these were more like the size of Boston lobsters) and the lobster was overcooked, just like in John Thomas. I guess they don’t want you to have to go through the trouble of deshelling it, which I wouldn’t have minded. Crustacean shells are one of the great feats of engineering in nature, benefitting both the prey as well as the predator- The prawns or clams or lobsters are protected from an untimely death in the sea while the human lobster lovers can enjoy perfectly cooked seafood when they are boiled/steamed/fried with the shell on.
One of their “highlights” was their spinning bowl salad. I don’t really get why. I think a big part of the Lawry’s service are these “performances”, like a waitress with a pretty french hat twirling the salad bowl over a larger bowl of ice, and we’re expected to watch. My philosophy for restaurants is that the waitstaff should be practically invisible, not make a big fanfare over spinning a salad. You can do it much more efficiently now with salad spinners where you pull a string from the top of the container that spins the inner colander, why the need for a human to do this? I guess mine’s a very engineering-y way of looking at it. I don’t particularly enjoying watching other people do servile things for me, things that I can do myself.
The creme brulee was pretty good, tasted almost exactly like mine, which means lots of people must be using Alton Brown’s recipe. Only their sugar crust did not give a satisfying (enough) crack, like they melted too little sugar, and it looked like castor sugar, not vanilla sugar. Very pretty though, plated on the doily with a mixed berry compote and mint.
All in all, I really enjoyed the roast but that was pretty much about it. It wasn’t that cheap either, about $65 per person? Despite having the 1 for 1 offer. And they neglected to tell us that DBS cards get 10% off for a la carte items not on promotion. Well now you know.
Celebrated my brother Zach's birthday yesterday at Lawry's. Wonderful, juicy steaks, great ambience, and a lovely bottle of Chateau Montrose 1979 to pair with the food. Then the slice of complimentary cake came, and the staff danced, and sang a birthday song, and took a picture of us. What ruined the occasion though, was at the end when the bill came (AFTER we had finished our dinner and Zach had eaten the slice of cake):
Waitress: Sir, can I please see your NRIC?
Zach: ... *frowns* (takes out his NRIC to "prove" his birthday)
Waitress: Ohhhh 1st October.
Thereafter, we felt it was ridiculous for them to demand for Zach's NRIC. The couple at the next table who called for the bill and also had a birthday celebration was not asked for an NRIC. My sister's friend, who was sitting just a few tables away from us and was also celebrating a birthday (who's actual birthday was 2 weeks away too), said that Lawry's had never demanded any NRIC from them today and when she came previously, and she was surprised to hear this.
We then had an argument with the manager (who was quite apologetic) on this issue. What was their problem? They did not trust us? They think we are lying about Zach's birthday? If they want to give us a complimentary birthday cake, they should be giving it out of goodwill to their customers and not demand for the NRIC AFTER the meal? The manager tried to explain something about this being a birthday promotion, and some tables showing a birthday card instead of NRIC. I was puzzled by their explanation. We merely told them that we were celebrating Zach's birthday prior to the dinner and I didn't see any brochures or advertisement for their supposed "birthday promotion" or any terms and conditions. If anything, we were using the Standard Chartered 1-for-1 Promotion today. And birthday card? Sounds strange. Probably cooked up by the manager. We checked with my sister's friend who confirmed that none of these were true. Of all the customers in their restaurant, they had to pick on our table of 6, who had spent close to $500 on this meal (including 2 desserts - P.S. we were not hard up for their cake). I also wondered, what if they discovered that the customer had lied? Were they going to embarrass or shame the customer? Make the customer pay for that pathetic slice of cake (which probably cost less than $5)? It will be slippery slope for Lawry's if they continue to enforce this policy.
After this nasty experience, it is unlikely that we would go back to Lawry's again.