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2014-02-15 38 views
Astons is one of those well-known names known for offering tasty, quality western fare at competitive prices, giving many of the more pricey restaurants a run for their money. They have an "Express" branch at Woodlands, at a nondescript coffee shop just a stone’s throw away from Marsiling MRT. I must admit that I was rather surprised at the choice of location, but I am rather glad for it. More quality food in the heartlands? Why not? Chargrill Chicken ($7.50) - with Baked Potato and Onion Rings
At first glance, we thought that the portion size of the chicken is pretty small. However, the chicken meat, which is slightly pinkish, is really very tender and succulent. The sauce is light, but goes well with the chicken meat. You can choose two sides to go with the meat so this actually has the potential to be a healthy meal depending on the sides you choose. We initially wanted to get the Pasta Salad as a side but it wasn't available so we swapped for the not-so healthy onion rings. On hindsight, we should have gotten the potato salad instead. Nevertheless, the onion rings are quite decent although it'd be perfect if the rings are slightly crispier. The soft baked potato would make a healthy companion to the chicken as well if not for that big dollop of butter on it. We only smeared a pinch of the butter on the potato to add a little more flavour and ditched the rest of it. Hickory BBQ Chicken ($7.50) - with Mashed Potato and French Fries
Like the Chargrill Chicken, the chicken here is equally tender and succulent. But of the sauces, the Hictory BBQ sauce wins hands down. It is sweet and very flavoursome and both of us like Hickory BBQ Chicken more. However, we both agree that there should be more of the sauce to go with the meat as we ran out of sauce to dip the chicken in even before the end of our meal. The mashed potato is also quite good and we enjoy the smooth, creamy potato with its tasty sauce. The french fries are quite okay, we like that it is flavoured with powdered seasoning instead of salt, but it'd be better if they are served piping hot or even warm rather than cold. Cream of Mushroom ($3.00)
The Cream of Mushroom is thick and very creamy, with generous bits of chopped mushroom in it. It also comes with two slices of crispy garlic bread which are quite tasty when dipped and eaten with the cream of mushroom. I adore the texture of this soup but some might find it too creamy after a few mouthfuls. The portion is not big either, but it will make a wonderful complement to their grilled chicken for a more tasty and filling meal.
Overall, I’d recommend getting the chicken from their "Grillworks Chicken" series, especially the Hickory BBQ Chicken for the flavoursome sauce. Sides worth getting are the mashed potato, potato salad and baked potato, sans butter. It is also worth getting the Cream of Mushroom to pair up with the meal, especially if you are a big eater as the portion of the chicken can be a tad small.
Prices may be pricey for a coffee shop but definitely value for money for quality western food, and there is no service charge to pay here (GST is already included in the prices). That you can also get to choose your own sides is another bonus point for us. However, the food may take quite some time to prepare even during non-peak hours, but the service is generally quite decent and the staff are friendly and helpful with queries and recommendations. Environment is so-so, considering this is located at a coffee shop, but in our opinion, the food is worth coming for!