The way the Chinese know how to show love best is through food. Go to any Chinese grandma and know that when she piles your plate up with food she has put a lot of time and care into preparing, it’s because she loves you. When a Chinese grandpa stands by the fruit section tapping on watermelons and sniffing the ‘butts’ of mangoes, it’s because he wants to bring home the sweetest fruits for his nearest and dearest.
Chinese people aren’t big on affection, especially those born and bred in Asia. Ask them to say “I love you” and you might as well be asking them to pull their tooth out without anaesthetic. My family is a little bit of an anomaly in that we do give hugs and say I love you to each other. Even so, we still enjoy using food to convey just how much we love each other.
And so, after the wonderful weekend to Yangon that Flo treated me to, I couldn’t help but want to say thank you in a way that spoke louder than words. I was quite torn as to where I wanted to take him to for a nice meal and spent quite a lot of time reading up to find the right place.
After going through countless top, fine-dining restaurants in Singapore, I suddenly recalled that while we were in London, Flo expressed that he would have liked to try a good ol’ Sunday Roast – at a good ol’ English pub. Unfortunately, not being able to spend a Sunday there meant that we had to give the Sunday Roast a miss.
I scoured the internet for a venue in Singapore that serves a mean roast. There weren’t many to be honest and the one gastropub I had my eye on initially I found to have a trail of bad reviews quite recently which turned me off. I happened to be flicking through Instagram one day though and came across Lawry’s the Prime Rib. I always thought of Lawry’s as more a steak place but further reading informed me that they specialised in the art of roasting aged USDA prime ribs of beef. And to go alongside, were the usual suspects that formed what the English would call, a Sunday Roast – yorkshire pudding, peas, creamed spinach, corn, and lashings of gravy.
But first, we were treated to their famous spinning bowl salad. A blend of romaine lettuce, julienned beetroot, chopped eggs and croutons were tossed in a metal bowl that spun as it sat on a bed of ice. As the bowl spinned, the server added Lawry’s vintage dressing into the greens and gave everything a good mix before portioning them out and adding exactly two cherry tomatoes on top!
When you have a spinning bowl like that, you’re bound to have a well tossed salad!
After a short wait, the chef rolled out this large silver cart where the meats all sat warm and snug. To the right of the meats were small pots containing creamed corn, buttered peas, and creamed spinach, and to the left were the mashed potatoes and gravy.
Flo requested for his Californian cut (160g) of prime rib to be medium rare, upon which the chef picked out the medium rare slab, and carved the beef right by our table.
Not more than 3 minutes later was Flo’s Yorkshire Pudding served sizzling hot to our table.
As for me, I couldn’t help but treat myself to the main of Atlantic Lobster Duo. Two broiled lobster tails were served with sautéed vegetables and drawn butter. Not too sure what the thick, yellow sauce was. Usually this is also served with a side of mash but I asked for more vegetables instead.
The lobster tails were sweet and very fresh. The wedge of lemon was more than enough to season it with and perk up its natural oceanic flavour.
It was nice being able to treat Flo to a good meal, especially one that he has been curious to try for a while now. I’m also glad that I picked Lawry’s to go to because the service was attentive and warm, and the food was heartfelt and homely.
Part of Lawry’s charm is in the little glimpses of theatrics that they put into their service although the performances of spinning salad bowls, flambé-ing crêpe suzettes and serving food table side may not appeal to some. It’s a bit like being transported back into the 1970’s. I think this gives Lawry’s more character and sets it apart from restaurants we find these days.
While the food at Lawry’s doesn’t come cheap, I quite enjoyed its quirkiness and they definitely do make a mean prime rib – I tried some of Flo’s beef and it was so tender and succulent. More than that, I relished the time I spent with Flo and seeing the contented look on his face after our meal made it all the more worthwhile!