Gurney Drive is a popular seafront promenade which is also one of Penang's most popular tourist destination. It was also the place for yummy Penang hawker food, before the hawker stalls were being relocated to a nearby location. Guess what.... It seems that Gurney Drive has arrived in Singapore!
Located in Ang Mo Kio Central, on the first level of the Jubilee Entertainment Complex, I spotted this new food establishment - Gurney Drive. And you guessed it right, its name was inspired by Penang's Gurney Drive. As I have never been to Penang, nor tasted Penang food, I decided to have my dinner at this place with Bbb.
For drinks, I ordered the Ampla drink, as the menu stated that this drink contains antioxidants. This is due to the freshly squeezed juice from the "buay long long" fruit. The drink was served with crushed ice, with a sour plum fruit added on top of it. Although the server mentioned that the drink is quite sour, I didn't know it was THAT sour! Ok, it was not that sour for the first few sips. But the more I drank it, I couldn't take the sourness... Too sour that I had to exchange my drink with bbb's.
Well, actually I got him to order the bandung with chin chow drink. It was meant to be my 'backup' drink, should the Ampla drink was too sour for me (and indeed it was). Despite drinking bundang drinks for umpteen times in my life, I have not tried bandung with chin chow. It was not diluted and I liked the unique mix of bandung and chin chow. 'Chin Chow' is grass jelly, by the way.
For our side dish, we ordered the Penang Lor Bak. The pork meat is wrapped with super thin beancurd skin. It reminded me of ngoh hiang. There were also the tofu servings, along with cucumbers. This dish came along with 2 sauces - Chopped chillies with black sauce and some sweet sour spicy sauce (something like the Thai chilli sauce, or maybe it was that). This is one of the restaurant's signature dishes. I like the tenderness of the meat and its unique taste... Anyone who dines here should try this dish out.
Bbb had the Mee Goreng, which I really had no idea why he would order that. How special could it be anyway? (-_-) Indeed, it was nothing fantastic. It was simply a plate of stir-fried yellow noodles, with prawns, squids, fish cake, bean sprouts and tomatoes added in it, which was simply a plate of overpriced mee goreng.
I ordered the Gurney Thai Apple Chicken Rice for myself. It is supposedly a recipe by the Gurney Drive's chef. This dish contains of thai-style infusing apple shreds and crispy fried chicken slices which were served along the oily rice, with a special homemade sauce to complete it.
Apparently, my rice was too hard to be consumed, and I requested for a change. I was then asked if it is ok to have the coconut rice as they were afraid that the oily rice in the rice pot might still be too hard for me. I'm not wearing dentures... so if the rice was hard, it was INDEED hard. I had no choice but to have coconut rice. Since I felt that it was really unhealthy to be consuming one whole chunk of the coconut rice, I did not finish it.
Other than the rice, I would say that the chicken slices were tasty and I liked the homemade sauce. The sauce blended well with the apple shreds and chicken slices, which also brought out the chicken flavor. Perhaps I would like this dish a little bit more, if only I had the oily rice to go along with it.
The staff had good product knowledge of the food they offered and was able to provide recommendations for us aka first-time diners at Gurney Drive. However, the food took quite awhile to arrive.
If I was eating at the hawker stalls in Penang's Gurney Drive, I wouldn't mind if there were houseflies around me... But to encounter a constant housefly problem throughout my meal in this air-conditioned restaurant was certainly very unpleasant.
Honestly, I would say you can give this restaurant a try if you had not tasted Penang food before. But I believe there are other places in Singapore that offer Penang cuisines too. Now, I just wanna head to the Gurney Drive hawker stalls in Penang. (This review can also be found at: http://felizaong.blogspot.com/2010/07/penang-food-at-singapores-gurney-drive.html)
Ampla Drink & Bandung with Chin Chow Drink
Lor Bak, Bandung with Chin Chow Drink, Gurney Thai Apple Chicken Rice Other Ratings: