the laneway market, tanjong katong road, 2.0.

Friday, April 15, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

my last visit to the laneway market was almost a year ago. i've always wanted to try their squid ink risotto, but somehow never made it back, despite liking the dashi risotto i had previously. maybe because i'm not much of a carb-based dish kind of person- most of my meals are protein-centric, making it unlikely that i'd want to have risotto for lunch.

i finally made my way back to the laneway market for lunch yesterday. perusing the menu, i realised that they'd changed up the menu quite a bit. lots more new stuff (things like small plates and pies), but some of the old stuff was gone. and prices were quite a bit higher, now that i check back with my previous post. i saw that they had something called black rice ($21), so i assumed that it was just the squid ink risotto renamed. the menu described it as coming with crispy squid, salmon roe, olive tapenade, poached crabmeat and bonito flakes, which sounded awesome.

i ended up having to wait quite a while for my food. i was reading my kindle, so that helped while away the time, but i was really hungry. ended up eyeing the kitchen, which i could see from my table. seemed like there was only one chef churning out all the food. okay, given that, i suppose the wait was not that bad- he was cooking for all the tables in the café, and there were at least four occupied tables.

i was getting antsy by the time my food came- i had something on after that, so it wasn't quite the leisurely lunch i'd planned on having, given that i spent so long waiting. the black rice wasn't quite what i expected, though. i was expecting something more risotto-like, but it wasn't. it had none of the sticky starchy-ness i associate with risottos, reminding me more of a not-so-watery porridge than anything else. that's not to say that the food was bad- it just wasn't quite what i expected. i guess that's my fault, since nowhere in the menu did it describe it as a risotto. once i adjusted my expectations, it was actually not bad.

still, the menu description wasn't exactly accurate, either. i was promised salmon roe, so i was envisioning vibrant orange pearls. what i got, however, was black caviar. the bonito flakes was nowhere to be found as well. i got dill instead (which actually went well with the dish). couldn't find the olive tapenade- what i got was red pepper tapenade (i think).

the dish worked well as a whole, but i think portions are on the tiny side (more crispy squid please!). i remember the dashi risotto to be much more generous. they could've given more tapenade to balance out the dish, too. once i'd finished the blobs of tapenade, leaving me with just the black rice, the dish was crying out for acidity.

service was excellent as previously. the waitress was courteous and attentive, topping up my water whenever it was close to empty. perhaps i'll come back to try their other stuff (they have pulled pork sliders)! they should change the menu descriptions though- i don't like being promised things and not getting them, though perhaps other (less anal) people wouldn't mind.

the laneway market
266 tanjong katong road

reading menus is one of my hobbies.