When somebody names a restaurant after him/herself, you would figure that this place may mean a lot to the owner and can reflect the personality and taste.
It is not surprising that you can often find Lena Sim, also the person behind the Japanese eatery and desserts chain Ministry of Food, hanging around the newly opened restaurant at Bugis.
Starting with the concept, it sells every from American to Italian and ice-cream to beer. And upon meeting her, she gives a very gung-ho, dare-to-try vibe, yet with a touch of fun and casualness. Therefore, the wide variety of food here is not only to attract the mixed and varied crowd at Bugis, but to reflect the everything-must-try attitude of Lena.
The handmade thin crust gourmet pizza I had was light and well-garnished with greens, suitable for those who want a guilty yet healthy treat. While the setting for the restaurant is casual, the taste of the food still indicated a certain quality expected at a finer restaurant.
A special mention is the smoked duck salad. While I am not a total fan of duck meat because of its usual toughness, this version would melt in your mouth and the tangy sauce added a sweet flavour to balance it off.
I was urged to try the Signature Ice Mint Tea – inspired when Lena Sim traveled to London and tried a similar version. This cooling thirst quencher with blended mint came in an over-sized mug, best for a hot day with a group of friends. Mind you, I only managed to drink my second cup, because Lena Sim ‘ordered’ her staff to switch the first one because it is not up to perfection.
From the food to the decor, customers may feel that the theme is slightly messy and random. Also, reviews from various sites have been mixed, especially on the service. Perhaps it just needs a bit of time to fine-tune and understand what the customers want. This new cosy and homely restaurant has potential, and just needs a stronger branding to reach out to the Bugis crowd.
200 Victoria Street #01-88/89 Bugis Junction Tel: +65 6336 7630
Opening Hours: Mon–Thu: 11.30am – 10.30pm; Fri–Sun: 10.30am – 11.30pm