HGW review: Orange Lantern

HGW food review: Orange Lantern Restaurant

Hits and Misses

So yes! kudos to myself for being the earliest for the HGW food tasting session at the orange lantern. Well, that's beside the point as soon after i stood around the bend of the restaurant waiting, hoongan appeared! *phew*. And with a click of the fingers we were whisked off to the reserved table (in the middle of the restaurant nonetheless) and provided with drinks. It was the avocado juice for me and warm water for him. Guess all the food tastings had left a toll on him. Well, returning to the point, the avocado juice was excellent! The addition of coconut milk/condensed milk however made it a little too heavy and removed a bit off the freshness of the avocado. Think the drink could have done a little better with just the richness of the fruit alone. Still, it was a refreshing drink and one that was almost non-absent throughout all the other tables.

2nd dec Nectarie outing + HGW outing to orange lantern

from the top left(clockwise): Rice paper roll with shrimp, Vietnamese Imperial Roll, Chicken Kabobs?, Shrimp paste on sugarcane,

A pre-warning to you guys, having been to Vietnam twice, I had many a chance to sample the authentic local foods. Even resorting to squatting by the roadsides on cheap plastic chairs slurping on vietnamese pho drenched with fish sauce and other condiments. Washed down with a cup of almost chokingly thick vietnamese coffee. The experience, literally heart pulsating with the high dosage of caffeine thrown in. These memories I hold dearly and thus i arrived for the food tasting with very much an elevated standard of the food served up. It was either make or break. And ruthless I would be with my comments.

2nd dec Nectarie outing + HGW outing to orange lantern-1

from the top: Mango Sald, Fish rolls?, chicken rolls with lemon grass, chicken kabobs?

So to start off, we were presented a bunch of appetisers to share. The rice paper rolls with shrimp wrapped within was excellent which went well with the sweet chilli sauce provided. The Vietnamese Imperial Rolls were spectacular as well with the usual spiced ngioh hiong like innards deep friend to perfection coated with a cage of crisp skin akin to a yam pastry you would normally find at a dim sum restaurant. The fish sauce complimented its favors perfectly. My only gripe, the fish sauce was a tad sweeter and much less salty (and hence addictive) then the usual one I had back in Vietnam. Perhaps the restaurant had done a bit of modification to it.. hmph.. The mango salad a pomelo salad were standard fare with the latter straying towards being a little strange. Never did quite like the pairing of pomelo and herbed leaves. The shrimp paste on sugarcane, I had extermely high hopes for. BUt this one failed my expectations miserably with the shrimp paste lacking in flavor. The chicken with lemon grass stick however managed to steal the show however with the chicken being succulent and wonderfully marinated. A hint of lemon grass permeating each and every bite as you tore through the stick.


Before I continue on with the description of the food, let's explain the whole scenario here. Imagine 6 people around 4 really small crowded table with a heavy influx of food at an immensely speedy rate. It was like a carnival in there with dishes being passed around the table and excessive replacements of small plates happening concurrently. NOt to mention the flies??! gosh.. wonder where they came from..


Moving on the mains, all of us agreed on getting smaller bowls of pho bo instead of the usual sized ones so that we had enough room for the rest of the food. And that sure was a good move as by the time we recieved our mains, I was already stuffed! Thank god for my personalised order of pho bo without beef brisket. If not I would have definitely pushed that away. And thank goodness for that bowl of noodles once again. With every spoonful of the warm soup, my head splitting migraine (one that i had inherited much earlier in the morning) started to vanish. Now this is what i call true comfort food. Wish the taste and smell of the mint could be stronger though. Maybe a bit of rubbing and heating the mint would do the trick. The soup base was delicious and so was the pho that accompanied it. Specially imported in from Vietnam, it beared witness to the expertise of the vietnamese in their mastery of making these thinly sliced rice noodles. And for once, as everyone tucked into their individual bowls, there was silence throughout the table apart from the soft murmurings of appreciation and pleasant slurping noises...


Last but not least, I would like to bring your attention to the Vietnamese Curry Chicken served up. This was excellent. Bearing a little similarity to its cousin the thai green curry. With an omniscent fiery red tinge and yet a soothing coconut underlying taste. I was taken by the richness of it. Dipping my hot toasted french loaf into the curry, I could have practically licked up the entire pot if I it weren't for my polite dining companions. haha. *giggles*

Well, too bad the party had to end without the usual vietnamese coffee finale as I had to rush off to catch a movie. But I'll sure to be back for more in future!!!

The Orange Lantern

authentic vietnamese cusine

for more tune in to their website here!


Weili said...

oh ginseng, no wonder u said i'd drool over your pictures of those food...haa luckily i had my lunch already..and yes wow they really look very delicous, especially that soup n curry, soup reminds me of beef balls noodles haa !

ladyironchef said...

i always missed the food tasting sessions organised by HGW. can't help, they always have it on weekdays, and i was in camp. tsk tsk.

so u went three times already? who always go with u?

how come u got take photos of the food, but yesterday u never take any! haha

SiHaN said...

weili: told you the food looked good. haha.the beef soup noodles and chicken curry was so good lar! *slurps*

ladyironchef: it's so sad you missed them too. cause i was talking to one of the members who went for the basilico outing. He said the food was fab. and the people who go every outing changes lor. They would call 3-4 different members each time. oh regarding the photos. haha.lazy to take when there are so many DSLRs around. haha. as usual.. haha. let the professionals do the work. tee hee.

evan 이벤젤린 said...

hello ms sinny lee :p

i wanna go for the outing at HGW oso leh!! and u havent posted the entry on nectarie yet :( btw if u do, cannot post the group photo k haha. when u gonna buy a DSLR?

btw, when r we going to claire's place? :D

ratatouille said...

hi sihan, it was nice meeting you at the Orange Lantern. nice photos.

Fen said...

Wow, now so make Vietnamese food so irresistable... I am not sure what to order and which restaurant to go. Maybe we can meet up and get you to order an array of Vietnamese food for us to enjoy...

Yah, don't forget to let me know when you are going to Claire's house, I am so curious about Mango and her other puppies... So adorable...

SiHaN said...

Ratatoulle: It was my pleasure meeting you as well! what a small world that you know ling and Tim! haha.

Fen: Vietnamese food has always been quite good in my opinion. yar! i don't mind, we should try some stuff other than the usual next time! hehe.

I have no idea when are we going over to Claire's house though. haha.