It’s kind of strange. When you patronize an eatery called Ya Zhou (Asia) Café, you kind of expect a variety of Asian food such as tomyum, pho, curry, sushi, dan dan noodles or something like that.
The ‘Asian’ essence of this place is that Chinese people serve Korean food in a space at Suntec City previously occupied by a Hong Kong café. Talk about globalization.
Pity the bispectacled Chinese waitresses who have to don up in pink Korean costumes, serve food, then mop the floors with huge buckets of water. I hope they are paid well.
The cafe needs a better interior designer. Black and white checked floor, violet walls, red rose pictures (something’s really wrong?), along with stacked drinks, utensils, an old metal cupboard and mops. It’s messier than my kitchen! No space in their storeroom? I don’t wish to think how the cooking space is like.
Their promotion sets priced from $9.00 to $9.50 includes a hotplate dish/ramen/bibimbab/fried rice, a side dish and a lime juice. “不可以换! (cannot change)” was the reply I got when I wanted the ‘abalone’side dish changed to some dumplings.
Surprise, surprise, the food was better than expected, and comes in metal chopsticks. How ‘authentic’. The Fried Chicken Chop Ra-Myeon 炸鸡扒拉面 ($6.00) had the fried chicken placed in a separate place. The meat was rather crispy and flavourful, with the noodles not overly cooked.
My Kimchi Chicken Ra Myeon ($5.00) tasted just like those served in ABC and XYZ food courts. You can probably replicate that same taste if you get the hot and spicy Shin Bowl instant noodles from the supermarket. The consolation is, they cook their instant noodles well.
The Mandu (otherwise known as guotie/gyōza depending on which culture you look at it) was nicely deep-fried, but that’s not the pan-fried dumplings we have expected. And yes, they probably come from the pre-packed ones from NTUC. So don’t ever bring your Korean friends here.
Ya Zhou Cafe, 3 Temasek Boulevard #B1-058A Suntec City Mall
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm Daily
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