we had lunch a marmalade pantry on friday because i really wanted to have pasta and we couldnt get reservation at the coffee club - even though we tried our luck by showing up in person at the latter (my secretary said they are fully booked till 2pm but you can try your luck walking in) and my friend said forget it we'll never get a seat, lets try marmalade pantry. and i was okay lets go.
well marmalade pantry is more expensive than the coffee club (another reason WHY i wanted to have lunch at coffee club) and honestly i dont think the price is entirely justified. then again, im no food connoisseur and i am a big cheapo at heart.
so anyway we had:
Homemade Dips with Pita Wedges
Linguini with Crabmeat Tomato Chilli and Pinenuts
Spaghetti Alio Olio with Crispy Kurobuta Pork Belly and Chilli
The homemade dips with pita wedges (at $9) were actually pretty good. especially if you like pita, and dips that taste light and yoghurty. the pita wedges (like around 9 slices) came served with two dips - one was a light green, yoghurty tasting, slightly mintish with very finely shredded cucumber (i think) in it, and the other was savoury with something that looked like a cross between eggplant and a dullish dark green soggy capsicum. (We really couldnt figure out what the second dip comprised of) but neither could we make up our minds to which we preferred - they were both good and complimented each other very well. i especially thought the light green yoghurty dip was very refreshing. This appetiser was quite the pleasant surprise.
I had the linguini with crabmeat tomato chilli and pinenuts. ive had this particular dish before at the palais renaissance outlet and i hated the stupid pinenuts (even though i hear that pinenuts are supposed to make you smart) so i asked them to serve it on the side. this they did, and i gave the small petri dish of it to my friend who poured it all over her spaghetti alio olio which i thought was blargh.
sorry, went off track. i thought the linguini with crabmeat was okay. especially if you like tomato based pasta and seafood i.e. crabmeat. my friend asked me if the crabmeat was fresh or was it something processed and honestly i couldnt tell. I think it may have been fresh and if that is the case, the $22 is justified. i thought the dish was okay. nothing to scream about, but it wasnt bad. above average.
my friend had the spaghetti alio olio with kurobuta pork and i told her dude, the only reason why i didnt order that was because i saw someone having that on the way in and the kurobuta pork belly is roast pork man! and well i was right. because it came served with pieces of what looked like chunky bits of roast pork and she said, after eating some of it, that roast pork did taste better. so it was kinda bit of a let down. i had some of her spaghetti and truth be told i dont care very much for alio olio based pasta. (i think they are somewhat tasteless and boring) so i make no comments really except that i suppose the dish was normal.
if you would like to go to marmalade pantry during lunch on a weekday i would suggest also that you make reservations. we nearly did not get a table. we were only offered one on the condition that we could clear out within 40 minutes. that was fine by us - how long we stayed depended on how long they took to serve the food. and they did serve the food relatively fast - so good for them.
staff was not terribly attentive, and were usually quite busy. we had to wave our hands in the air quite abit. water took too long to be served, bill we self paid at the counter. oh and my biggest gripe was how freaking noisy it was. we had to basically shout over the din to hear each other but we also had alot fun listening to the other table next to us describing someone who was going out with one of their friends as a money grabbing whore.
but otherwise, i dont think i would return, unless i cant get a place anywhere else for pasta. its too noisy. and a little expensive. i cant afford to eat like that every day!
as a final note, i usually ask the people i eat with how they would rate the place in terms of the hungrygowhere scoreboard. and my friend thought the food was 6, value 5 and service 5. and i told her you are too harsh man. so the scores you see are my own.