We have been to Al Hamra Lebanese Restaurant in Holland Village of Singapore a few times, whenever we felt like having a different kind of food which is uncommon in this part of the world. And, Al Hamra has always provided consistent service and great food which we all liked very much. It still is one of the iconic Lebanese restaurants in town.
Last weekend, we took a walk along Holland Village and were looking for something new (like a new kind of restaurant setting or food variety). We walked almost to the end and found two restaurants we wanted to try – the first was Mexican and the second was Al Qasr which offered Lebanese food. My daughter preferred Lebanese food and we walked in.
For a family comprising of 4, we were offered a table which could seat 10. We were reluctant, but there was no choice, so we took the table. For a full 10 minutes, no waiter turned up, and after calling for one we got some action going. I could see some some kind of frustration on the waiters’ faces to serve us, as we were not ordering drinks (we avoid drinks when we go out as a family). We ordered Baba Ghannouj and Zatar Bread for appetisers, and they took a fair amount of time to be served. The bread was served without the butter and chutney which are standard offerings, and we had to chase the waiters to get the same, but by the time they arrived, we had finished the bread ! My son chased the waiters repeatedly so that they could get some refills of the butter.
We then ordered Joujeh Kabab (chicken choice), fish fillet, vegetable kabab and chicken Tajin. While the service continued to be terrible, the food was slightly better. My daughter said that the fish fillet was very good, while my wife seemed to relish the veggie kabab. My son was not very happy with the small portion of the chicken kabab and the Tajin stew was OK for me.
All in all, we found the Al Qasr experience to be found wanting in terms of service, portion size of joujeh kabab, and over-pricing. Al Hamra comes out a winner in any contest between the two restaurants, the food portions are generous, quality is unbeatable, and service is outstanding.
Well, we now know which one to drop and which one to go to……for Lebanese food in Holland Village !
22nd December 2013