Strolling down the Singapore River, we found ourselves mesmerised by the scenery, the cool evening air, the group of angmohs enjoying some beer before the sun sets, and the occasional harass from a few of the “eateries” which touted free drinks to entice us.
History has it that this beautiful watershed was the place where the myths and legends conjured up memories of the lighters, bumboats, tongkangs with their painted eyes to see the danger ahead and sampans of yesteryear. This is the place where the Chinese, Malay, and Indian once lived. This is the the place where Sir Stamford Raffles once sailed through to land on Singapore.
The charming Boat quay offers a magnificent view of the Singapore River, with the Fullerton hotel as the backdrop, and the towering skyscrapers in the buzzing CDB just behind. Since the area is famous for its vibrant night life, one will certainly not associate the place with food, I had the same impression, that is, until I visited Dallas restaurant.
Entering the second level, it was a complete stunner as we experienced the hundred & eighty change in environment. From the blasting pub, we stepped into a room befitting of a semi-formal dining restaurant. With nice furnitures, carpeting, and the natural lighting from the windows, this room was ideal for a quiet and romantic dinner.
And if you think that is the end, you are in for a surprise. The bar and restaurant concept was fully displayed in the third level of Dallas. With a slightly tone down attitude compared with the second level, this one was all about the causal and relax approach for a hearty dinner. And the smoothing lounge music overhead certainly helps too.
To begin the long dinner which we realised in the aftermaths, lasting almost three hours, we started off with the Dallas platter ($12 for 2 person). The succulent mushroom immediately made an impact as the juices gushed out when we took a bite.
Chicken wings, and the Cheese Quesedillas completes the platter. There wasn’t anything extraordinary about the wings, but the garlic mayonnaise that came along was everything about garlic. On the other hand, the popular cheese quesedillas fared reasonably on my score sheet. Tasting almost like a Mexican taco, there was chicken bits soaked with tomato in chicken broth, but I lamented the fact that it wasn’t cheesy enough.
My dining companion is a big fan of prawns, and the Salad of green mango & prawns ($16) definitely worked its magic. While I felt prices did seem slightly steep for a bowl of greens, but there was a generous portions of the fresh & juicy prawns. And the crisp, tart green mango reminded me of the refreshing Thai-style salad.
Our first main course was the BBQ Barramunudi fillet ($20), one of Dallas’s signature dish. The watercress that accompanied the dish caught my attention, since it wasn’t that common to see this vegetable as a choice of green for salad.
Gigantic, huge, enormous are probably some of the terms you will link the baby back ribs ($22 for 1/2 rack, $28 for full rack) with. I’m a sucker for pork ribs, and the sight of this ginormous baby aroused the carnivore in me. Man, I can still clearly recalled the sweet and juiciness of the ribs now, and if it wasn’t for the fact that we had other food after this, I’ll gladly go for the full ribs instead.
I could only stared at the Tenderloin with shitake mushroom sauce ($28) when it arrived. Being almost full by the previous ribs, the thickness of the steak did shocked me for a bit. While some people would insist on medium well to prevent seeing red, I felt that it would not do any justice to the piece of tender meat.
Medium rare it is.
By the time the Roast chicken and Penne pasta ($16) navigated its way to our table, we were completely stuffed by the multi course dinner. Nonetheless, we did a sampling, and since I’m not a fan of penne, maybe it wouldn’t be a completely fair comment. I found the pasta pretty plain in taste, but the restaurant manager Kenneth, told us that it was a favourite among his angmoh customers, Acquired taste perhaps. And not to forget the roast chicken did wonders for me, it was akin to our roast pork, or more affectionately known as, sio bak.
We were told frankly by the manager that Dallas is still working on their desserts, and there was nothing to rave about. But being the dessert enthusiats we were, a meal wouldn’t be complete without any sweets, so we decided to go for the Dallas Cheesecake ($8). It could be due to the fact that we had zero expectations, the cheesecake actually didn’t turn out to be as bad as we thought. We couldn’t resist the rich and cheesy dessert. But for the price, I wouldn’t exactly recommend trying the desserts, just get another appetiser!
Dallas Restaurant & Bar stands out as one of the few gems among the food outlets in Boat Quay. I certainly changed my mind about the impression I had of the area, and Dallas proves that there can be a good place for you to dine and drink at the same time. Their set lunches are pulling in all the office crowds, with the 2 course lunch at $18++, and 3 course dinner at $28++.
I would like to thank Rayner from creative partner for inviting me for this food tasting session, and Kenneth the restaurant manager for hosting us for dinner. And oh yes, for you guys who are looking for a venue to have your birthday bash, or a group outing, Dallas has their function room on the third level with a private bar, and a balcony for this. For more information, email to [email protected]
Dallas Restaurant & Bar
31 Boat Quay
Boat Quay Conservation area
Tel: 6532 2131