I have to admit that my previous experience with TCC has not been favourable so far. We mostly frequented TCC Changi Airport and TCC MBS outlets. The food was just so so, and the service was extremely bad. Therefore, when we decided to walk into TCC Vivocity for lunch, I did not hold very high hope, especially as we were left waiting for the table at the entrance while the staff was processing some receipts, even though there were lots of empty tables and we had a small child. Fortunately, the not so good initial impression was quickly redeemed by the attentiveness of the wait staff, the nice decor of the restaurant and the quality of food.
There were lots of pictures on the wall, together with a collage of frames, lending an artistic feel to the whole restaurant. It would be better if there were some background music, but maybe they purposely do not want to do so, so that diners can focus on conversations and enjoying the food. Anyway, it’s no big deal, and I was quite fond of the atmosphere. It gave me a feeling of sitting in an European cafe, not a chain restaurant in bustling Singapore.
We came here specifically for the cray fish dishes, which we found was the best that the restaurant had to offer, but unfortunately they ran out of cray fish on that day, so we had to substitute them with scallop. The cray fish turned scallop pasta was not bad anyway. The sauce was rich and creamy, and although the scallop seemed a bit undercooked and soft, at least it was seasoned well and did not have fishy taste.
We also ordered the cray fish baked rice, which also substituted with scallop. This time, the scallop was more well cooked, and our son really enjoyed it. Probably the baking with high heat and the cheese helped cook the scallop more thoroughly. There was enough melted cheese to keep the rice from being too dry, and luckily the cheese was not too salty so the whole dish tasted just nice, even for kids. And the springy and crunchy mushrooms also added a nice touch to the whole experience.
For my main course, I ordered the beef steak, even though there was a slight doubt passing through my head since this was not a typical steakhouse. In the past, we had had unpleasant encounters where the steaks ordered at restaurants not specialised in beef steak turned out disappointing. Fortunately, history did not repeat itself this time round. The stead came out on a long plate, cooked just perfect for medium, with some slight pink in the middle and nicely charred outside. The portion was a bit small, maybe around 150g, but it was quality beef, with a nice thin stripe of fat along a slice of moist, juicy, tender and succulent meat. Moreover, the seasoning was just enough so the meat did not taste bland, and the accompanying mustard paste complemented the steak really well, I felt myself using up all the paste provided on my lovely piece of protein. Definitely something that I will be happy to order again.
Worried that the food was not enough for 3, we also ordered 2 side dishes to share. First was the garlic prawn, and then after seeing that the steak did not come with any carbo at all, we added a portion of French fries to go along. Both of them did not disappoint. The prawns were fresh, medium size tiger, fried with crispy golden brown garlic. No batter involved. Definitely a more healthy alternative to the deep fried tempura prawns. Nothing special but the texture was quite nice.
The French fries, on the other hand, were exceeding expectation. Crispy golden and slightly bigger than Mc Donald’s fries, they were coming in still warm with accompanying cheese dipping sauce. They were cooked just right, with a crispy texture outside but still white and soft inside, and not a single strand on the plate was burnt. A bit expensive when considering that it’s just simple fries with no gimmicky add on like truffle oil, but the taste really provided a convincing justification. They were salted lightly only, so that you can still enjoy dipping them into the cheese sauce without getting your palate overwhelmed with salty feeling. Really lovely surprise and we finished up the last strand on the plate. Simple yet delicious.
Another plus point is the attentiveness of the wait staff. He was chatty and cheerful, brimming from the time we sat down till the moment we stood up, and made sure that our complimentary plain water was refilled almost immediately without us having to request. Very good service, the kind of service that made me feel no pinch in paying the service charge at all 🙂 Or maybe we were just lucky that we came in when the restaurant was not too crowded? Anyway, we have seen much worse in other outlets, so this is really a marked improvement.
So, we went in with not very high hope, but then left with quite a surprise and a nice lunch after all. And while we may still have doubt when it comes to other TCC outlets, this Vivocity branch is surely a place we can frequent again.