SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - My last visit to Mariners' Corner Restaurant was five years ago, and when I returned last week, it was as if time had stood still.
In the last five years, my take on food has evolved and my taste changed along with it. But I realised my appreciation for restaurants doing food the old-fashioned way has not abated.
I am happy that Mariners' Corner is still stubbornly clinging on to a bygone era.
The menu has been tweaked, but thank goodness nothing major has been done to it, especially with the signature Braised Colonial Oxtail Stew ($18.50).
This is still the same recipe from 1984. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The flavours are bold and the meat is tender, without losing the flavour.
If you have a stomach for only one dish, order this.
Also good is the Fisherman's Pan ($19.80). It is a pan of seafood - fish, mussels, prawns, and squid - in a sauce of white wine reduction and cream.
I love the richness of the sauce with that hint of garlic. This is a stomach filler, so be careful not to over order.
A staple of Western restaurants in Singapore is the seafood and meat combo.
Here, it is the King Prawn Combo, and I pair the garlic prawns with sirloin steak for $22. But this does nothing for me.
The prawns are overcooked, and the steak is unremarkable. The chopped garlic helps but that can only do so much to improve the dish.
Also lacklustre is the Escargot Gastronome ($10.80 for six). The butter sauce usually makes or break the dish and here, it is underwhelming.
I was pleasantly surprised by how balanced the Grilled Chicken Chop ($18.50) was.
This dish is another staple but often glossed over and ends up an oily mess, but here, the meat is still juicy and the mushroom sauce does not overpower it.
There are many dishes here worth trying at least once, and with so many places hawking heritage dining, maybe there will be a revival of food from the days of the coffee house.
Mariners’ Corner Restaurant
Where: Maritime House, 120 Cantonment Road
Open: 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm, daily
Info: Call 6224-9928