I have amassed $75 worth of Marina Bay Link Mall vouchers, and since I couldn’t find anything to buy there, I decided to treat the old folks. It was apparent mum only had one thing in mind, raw fish! Despite I hinted her I would be bringing them to another Thai restaurant soon, she insisted on patronising Absolute Thai, particularly for their raw fish (Yu Sheng). Well, dad & me gave in, we would have otherwise preferred Japanese (I thought dad preferred Chinese though, but ironically, he suggested Japanese that afternoon). I didn’t want to try Paradise Inn, their raw fish was too plenty for 3 diners, and I didn’t know why my parents ignored Din Tai Fung, whose raw fish was selling at $29 (if I remember correctly) for 3-4 diners.
Mum had initially wanted raw fish and another steamed fish. But I made it painfully clear to them I only had $75 in vouchers and had no intention to top up too much cash, so I told her, either raw fish ($36.90++) OR steamed fish ($29++), plus other dish. So I ordered a Tom Yam Seafood Soup for 3 persons plus a salmon raw fish along with 3 bowls of steamed rice. It sounded petty, but hey, let’s not forget the portion of the raw fish was meant for 3-4 persons, and we needed to split up the 4th person’s share! It was always me who come to the rescue if the old folks can’t finish the order, and frankly speaking, I don’t like it nor to waste food. I had initially wanted a Tom Yam Seafood Soup with a red broth, seemingly hotter with the addition of milk. However, mum dreaded of milk taste (don’t ask me why she love coffee with milk!), and requested the Tom Yam soup to be less spicy. Darn, I faint! I thought Thai restaurant was meant to be spicy?! Why on earth you step into a Thai restaurant but couldn’t take spicy stuff? Speechless… (=.=)”
Anyway, the Salmon Yu Sheng came with a few thick slices of salmon, shredded young mangoes (if I had saw this then I would definitely not step in, I hate mango!), shredded carrot, shredded radish, shredded red ginger, pickled green, shredded winter melon, shredded dried oranges, crumbled peanuts, sesame seeds, dried shrimps, red chili padi, golden crackers, homemade tamarind sauce & plum sauce. It certainly possessed the look, but…
I have a few reservation about the term ‘homemade’. They could call it self-made, special recipe whatever, but in my opinion, that term ‘homemade’ was abused here. Whose home was it made? The owner’s? Anyway, taking away my disgust for mango, I personally found this raw fish below expectation. Taste was one thing, which I shall elaborate shortly, but the whole procedure was just not right. Elsewhere, the condiments were usually evenly sprinkled over the raw fish by the waitress, so diners simply needed to lift their chopsticks and stir them over a certain height to stipulate fortune arising. Right here, they were placed by the edge of the plate. Imagine the crumbled peanuts, sesame seeds etc, how on earth could I scoop them up with just a pair of chopstick (believe me, the soup spoons weren’t of much help either)? Alright, they called it the Thai style, but let me elaborate, Thai style don’t embrace raw fish in the first place. Although I give credit to Absolute Thai for embedding Thai flavour into a traditional Chinese dish, whoever thought of this was certainly not considerate enough. OK, let’s come to the taste. Mediocre! I was looking for the chemistry among the ingredients, but it tasted just like a bloated plate of salad, with not much cohesion between them, which means every bite can offer you a different taste, that defied the purpose of stirring the raw fish in the very first place. It can be argued that we did not stirred evenly enough, but seriously, try teaching me how to scoop up the crumbled peanuts and sesame, which I think should have been sprinkled on top of the raw fish before serving, that is, if they didn’t want to wash a few more bowls. I do have some positive feedback on the size of their salmon though, some restaurants sliced them too thin that I could hardly taste them, at least Absolute Thai did it right here. Mum was full of praise for their Salmon Yu Sang, but sometime she can be a hypocrite, LOL!
This picture shows my serving of the Tom Yam Soup with a clear broth, which the waiter kindly scooped for us, but I felt it was a bit of a let down. The spicyness of the soup was disappointing, though I wonder whether it was mum’s weird instruction or the clear broth itself to blame, I really had anticipated more hotness, perhaps I should have ordered the red broth instead. I also felt the ingredients were too plain, the conventional prawns, squid, fish, mushroom, and some lemongrass. Apart from the sub-standard taste, the display itself could do much help from some green, such as lettuce & cabbage? Honestly, its appearance was unappealing, looked more like our own home-cooked dishes than those we can expect to find at restaurant, too modest in my opinion.
We also had 3 bowls of rice, and the total cost added up to $72.70, including taxes and surcharge. What I can say is, these dishes are what I am unlikely to order again if I re-visit, may be I can look forward to their other entrees. Other than that, we were quite pleased with their service, then again, it was Saturday afternoon, and hardly any crowd there.
*Yu Sang is the Cantonese pronunciation for Yu sheng (pinyin)