Monday, April 12, 2021

Four Reasons Not to Visit Orchid Live Seafood at HomeTeamNS Khatib

I've always wanted to try Orchid Live Seafood after seeing various social media sponsored posts and influencer sponsored posts about how good this place is. Saw too many lobster porridge and this "steven chicken" advertisements haha. As someone who loves cooking crustaceans and seafood, especially in seafood broth, I was really looking forward to it. Finally, the day came to celebrate a birthday so we booked the place thinking that we can indulge since it was a special occasion. Initially, the food was kind of average but as we ate, each dish really got worse and really underwhelming for the high price that we paid. Can see why their place is only half filled on a Sunday evening. Below are some reasons NOT to eat there because of the food. Service was average, nothing to complain about.

1. Pushy servers; micro mini lobsters in the default lobster porridge

There were about 7 or 8 mini lobsters so you can really have a sense of how small they were since total was about 1kg of lobsters.
Very "normal" broth. Don't see why everyone is raving about it.

The servers kept pushing their big Australian lobsters to us which was 1 for 1. Per lobster is $288. We were not keen though as we wanted to eat other dishes and saw the lobster porridge as a side dish. Besides, not everyone ate lobster. So we went with the "1kg lobster, lobster porridge" thinking it would suffice since there were only 4 of us. We were somewhat shocked though when the porridge came because the lobsters were micro mini super tiny! In fact, you can see from my picture that they were spoon sized. I can understand trying to perhaps save abit of cost by using such lobsters but for a dish which cost $100/kg, this wasn't really what I was expecting. We were also disappointed that the porridge was average at best or maybe we were too picky since we do eat quite abit of seafood broth porridge and soup at home. The only ingredient were the lobsters, lumpy bits of rice, a little hint of chinese wine and too much ginger. It can't even be compared to the novel seafood broth/lobster broth soup at kopitiams which are much nicer... Massive disappointment. We didn't even finish the porridge.

2. Stuff not available on menu or very small

Didn't impress the parents at all...

We wanted some noodles... no noodles during weekends. We wanted some crabs which were 1kg and above... sorry, biggest 800g... When we settled on Teochew cold crabs and it eventually came, it was so tiny like about 400g which really didn't justify the price since we are paying lots for just shell.

3. Black pepper beef disaster & steven chicken

The worse stir fried beef I have eaten in my life.

Never in my life had I had such underwhelming black pepper beef at a zhi char stall. The presentation was awful, the size of the meat felt like beef trimmings. Strange chewy texture for some pieces yet too soft and too springy for some. Lumps of corn flour everywhere. This was definitely bad corn flour coating and fire skills which is sad because for a chinese kitchen, these are very basic things. Steven chicken was highly recommended by the server and it wasn't too bad. About above average I would say. It's actually just butterfly-ed chicken drum in tangy sauce. Except for the preparation work, most zhi char stalls can replicate the taste.

4. White pepper or black pepper crab?

Head was removed so you can have a better look at the dish.

So the backstory to the crabs was interesting. Upon realising we wanted big crabs, the server came to us halfway during our meal and told us there was a 1.1kg one that just arrived so we thought ok let's try the white pepper crab. Finally, something worth indulging in! At this point of time, we were feeling quite meh by the dishes already - my parents were complaining the lobsters and crabs were too tiny. So I thought crab should be ok one, most zhi char stalls won't get it wrong. But big shock again... the white pepper crab... was kinda black? So we clarified with the server and they mentioned it was indeed white pepper. It was apparent though that the pepper ratio was quite off and the fragrant smelling white pepper aroma didn't come across well. The crabs were also a tad over-fried with some kind of coating (likely corn flour) and weren't juicy. A pity because it was a good crab.

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