I was looking for a special place to bring a dear girl friend to celebrate her birthday as well as catchup on things. As it was only a small group, just the 2 of us, I wanted it to be cosy and nice. And she being a smoker, needs an open space for that. I was glad i decided to bring her to Secret Garden in the end. Every time i visit this place, it always seem difficult. There was some renovations done to its interior with Art pieces to die for as hanging display. Too bad though the open air area was closed for the night.
A convenient escape from the busy world away from the dusty road and rumbling cars, with nice ambience and well priced dishes with good serving.The fish and chips are priced at a good 12 dollars and it comes in a large portion.
Having dined at several eateries around the area such as Basil Alcove and Victor's Kitchen, I was astounded that I had entirely missed out on MSG. Even with address in hand, it was by no mean feat that we managed to navigate our way there. Later on, I found out from Paul, the proprietor of MSG, that the compound which now houses MSG and an art gallery used to be a small chapel, which adds on to the surreal tranquility and serenity echoing within the premises.
The quiet interior is great for nice little conversations with your dinner date or for housing private functions should anyone decide to book it in it's entirety.
I didn't really like the Cream of Mushroom Soup. Too lumpy...
The Lobster Bisque here wasn't that bad, just unlucky that I ate the one at The French Kitchen for lunch earlier that day.
The Squid Inked Ravioli Stuffed with Mushrooms($20++) was hearty though the presence of squid ink was miniscule. The Creamy Mushroom Sauce was a treat in itself. We requested for additional bread to wipe the plate clean of it. It's just a pity that even for an entree portion, there was only 5 pieces of Ravioli(3 pieces/$12++ if you order it as an appetizer).
I was pretty much the only one in the table of 4 who took a deep liking to the Carbonara($20++). The rest seemed to think it was only so so and didn't like the fact that the bacon was more chewy than crisp. To each his own I guess.
Australian Lamb Rack($36++) has to be the most awesome dish here. "Roasted, coated in a light mustard sauce, encrusted in macademia and pistachio nuts, served with sauteed garlic, capcicum and red wine sauce", the tantalizing amalgam of contrasting flavours that flooded my palate was unimaginable. The lamb itself was cooked to a nice tender medium rare, devoid of any gaminess. This has to be the best Lamb Rack I have eaten! I was secretly happy that R doesn't eat lamb and I was in no hurry to persuade her to try the one here, she didn't know what she was missing out on and that just left more for the rest of us. Shoot, good food just brings out the worst in me...
I'm a sucker for all Sitcky Date Puddings with Vanilla Ice Cream($12++). JW was concerned that it would taste like the army red date meusli bars but decided to try some upon my reassurance. Actually, I didn't really enjoy the Date Pudding here too much. The taste of red date was a little too overkill to what I'm comfortable with.
"Highly recommended by Wong Ah Loke himself" came the description of the Triple Choc($12++). If you don't know who that is, shoot yourself first then pick up The Sunday Times and flip to the Lifestyle section on food, then shoot yourself again. If you are still alive by then, head down to try out the Triple Choc. In a nutshell, it's a warm chocolate brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream but that's pretty much an understatement. Orgasm-inducing aphrodiaisiac would be more like it!
Some like it with lots of rum and brandy, others prefer the teetotaller version. Some adore the creamy layers, others for the biscuit. For me, the Tiramisu($8++) here was enjoyable with thick creamy Marcapone layers and robust espresso.
I'm not sure why MSG has such mixed reviews in the online community. I had a great time here and can't wait to go back for my next indulgence.
For the full review/pics, do visit http://yumyumformytumtum.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/my-secret-garden-the-surprise-birthday/
My girlfriends brought me there thinking of having a nice dinner to celebrate my birthday but everything was bad from head to toe.
1st - We wanted to sit at a cosy area at a corner of their restaurant but was REJECTED by the waitress, saying that area is meant for 2 person. ( There's 3 of us) All the tables and chairs are movable thus I asked if they can help us join the tables together so that we can sit that. The waitress went to ask the manager/owner and came back with the answer "NO"! Isn't that ridiculous? Is this what we call customer service? Such a small request and they can't even deliver it to us. Just a "NO" and thought of brusging it off. Fine.
2nd - As we were waiting for another gf to reach, we were being served menu cards but no drinks and nobody even bother to offer us anything. Thus we sat there for like 5 mins before we asked if we can have a glass of water first. THEN, we waited for another 10 mins and nobody wants to take our order. Thus, we asked if we can have a soup and chicken wings to start with first. They also don't bother to ask for our main course. Very lousy service I must say. And when the manager/owner walks past my gf, he didn't even bother to look or smile to her! I mean, this is customer service we are talking about, helloooo? Instead, he gives us the feeling that "so what if it is your birthday?" This is not the worse. The best is coming up.
3rd - My gf asked them if they can help us keep the birthday cake as we will be having here and guess what they replied? A charge of $10 is required for celebrating with a birthday cake. This is the most ridiculous sentence I've heard in a restaurant.
With these, I shall end off with their slogan "The most desired lifestyle place to be, whether you are wining, dining, entertaining, CELEBRATING or socializing"
Please have a good laugh.
Oh btw, we left after the starters. =)