Friday, 19 December 2014

An Uninspiring Lunch


I was at The Salad Bar@Damansara Utama last weekend for an early lunch. I have not been there for ages because I fell out of love with their salad :(

When The Salad Bar was initially set up, I used to love going there with my partner for lunch or the occasional dinner. We would order a salad each and top up with pasta. My one and only favourite salad is The Spicy Salad. I have tried others like High Energy Superman, Red and Old Granny Caesar but the taste of the dressing did not sit well with me.

The only other dressing that I liked is the Asian dressing and sometimes I would tell the staff to make me a Spicy Salad but with Asian Dressing. Their Caesar salad is not really a Caesar salad at all. The dressing is more like an Italian dressing with too much herbs. That was what I remembered the last time I ate it. 

The place used to be run by a tall guy named Harry but since he left, things have not been the same. The salads did not quite live up to the expectations that we had when we first got acquainted with this little cafe. Hence, we abandoned it for a while.

So why did I come back? I needed a lunch that was low in carbohydrates and I was craving for some cauliflower fried rice. This item was introduced in their new menu. I had tried it on previous occasions and I'll have to say that they do it rather well. So let's see what I had.



As I mentioned, I only like the Spicy Salad. I ordered a half portion. It comes with a piece of toasted herb bread (if you order full size, you get two pieces). I avoided that because I was not eating any carbohydrates. Besides, I never liked the taste.



There was no improvement since the last time I visited. In fact it was worse. The dressing was so diluted and the taste was just off. I don't know if this is an isolated case or if the person in charge of making the dressing simply does not know how a dressing should taste like. The quality control has to be improved.



I felt sad because I used to love this salad so much. When I was nearly done, my Cauliflower Fried Rice came. Thankfully, this was still good. It came piping hot and had a "wok hei" aroma. As you know, there is no rice in here. The cauliflower is grated very finely to resemble rice. So this is a fried fake rice hah..hah... But very tasty.



There are two options with this Cauliflower Fried Rice. You can have either spicy or garlic. I have tried both and I reckon they are the same except that the spicy one has cili padi while the other one has fried garlic. Yup, it was spicy. Look at the cili padi I found in the rice.



With my order, I had the option of topping up with a juice and a small salad or fruit cup. Since I was already having salad, I chose orange juice and a fruit cup.

The orange juice is freshly squeezed juice, so it was alright. The fruit cup consisted of cubed green apple, watermelon and orange. Nothing out of the ordinary but a nice finish to the lunch.



Total damage RM32.65. A rather pricey lunch don't you think? If the salad was good, I would not have minded at all. I appreciate that good food and good quality has to be paid for. Sadly, the salad was a write off for me. So will I come back? Maybe. But not for the salad. I want to find out if the pasta is still good.

42 comments:

  1. Morning dear. Yep I could see a lot of cili padi in the 'fried rice' leh.. Ooooo so this plave serve cauliflower fried rice.. I always thought cauliflower fried rice was invented by some home cooks or those health conscious mommies, didnt know they serve it in restaurants too. Glad to know the 'fried rice' is still up to your expectations.. I dont like salad so I never order one when I eat out, well, unless that salad has salmon or grilled chicken with hard boiled eggs or potatoes and lots of cheesy creamy dressing, heh :>

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    1. Louiz, the cauliflower fried rice was invented for people who want to eat less carbo. Quite good the taste. I will come back for this but not the salad.

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  2. hmm I guess it's nice to be treated like a friend in the eatery, and similarly if the one whom you know has left, it just felt rather "kurang umph" to go back and see cold faces huh??

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    1. The new staff are quite OK but the standard of the salad has dropped a lot.

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  3. anyway back to your food.. the salad actually looks a little pathetic to me, like it's simply tossed and served, haha!! the fried rice, though, looks nice and I would love to try that.. cauliflower fried rice sounds interesting.. and lastly the fruits and juice, kind of appetizing probably because of the color?? all for over RM30 for this lunch, hmmmm, guess can only patronize once in a while huh?? :)

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    1. Yup, the salad was pathetic to say the least. Luckily the cauliflower fried rice saved the day. The fruits were OK, ordinary lah. Yeah, for that price, cannot go too often hee..hee...

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  4. Hi Phong Hong, I've bookmarked a cauliflower fried rice recipe but yet to try it as got 'protest' by my big kids then. It looks really good with some garnish chilli.
    Maybe you could render your salad consultancy service to the restaurant ... with chargeable consultation fee ... hee hee ^-^!

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    Replies
    1. Karen, hah..hah... that would be nice to become salad consultant :D Just surprise your kids with the cauliflower fried rice. They will be surprised that it tastes very good.

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  5. Oh dear! Expensive some more. Hop over to my blog tomorrow and see my salad and everything else. Hehehehehe!!!!

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    1. Yeah, not worth it! Ooo...looking forwards to your salad :)

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  6. I almost jumped to conclusions and was going to comment: "You want to avoid carbs but eat fried rice? That's weird!"..
    But now my comment will be: "I wonder what is the correct way to cook grated cauliflower, I tried to do this fried fake rice once, it left me in tears of frustration because it tasted horrible.."

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    Replies
    1. RG, you can check out these two links :

      http://nomnompaleo.com/post/3195098303/asian-cauliflower-fried-rice
      http://thefussfreechef.blogspot.com/2014/01/fried-cauliflower-rice.html

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  7. My dear Phong Hong, this is usually what we experienced whenever we eat out. Our minds started thinking, why didn't we made these at home......But what the hack, money earned is supposed to be spent. I don't mind paying but it must be for something satisfying. The worst is sometimes the people who prepared the food thinks that we know nothing about quality food....and price.

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    1. Kimmy, you are so right! I have been to nonya restaurants where the food is so horrible. And I think to myself, I can cook better. hee..hee..hee,..

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  8. Oh dear...that salad does indeed look awful! It looks like something we can throw together ourselves (just lettuce and chicken) at home (and probably still taste better)!! :'(

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    Replies
    1. You are right! In fact ours look better and tastes better!

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  9. I have to say, for the price you paid... Tony Roma's salad would be a much better and more value alternative.

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    1. Lina, I am sure that would be the case. Haven't been to Tony Roma's yet, though.

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  10. Oh no, it's sad to see a restaurant's food quality drop....

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  11. thats expensive! anyhow that cauliflower fried rice is something new to me! fried fake rice huh! haha hope i get to try one day! =D

    Eat All You Can Here!!

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    Replies
    1. Henry, then you must try cauliflower fried rice. You'll be surprised how good it is :)

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  12. I also have such places-at the begining everything is perfect and than sth changes into disaster!

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  13. Replies
    1. Yup, don't want to spend like that anymore for lousy food :(

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  14. The fried fake rice looks good, I would love to try it.

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    1. Nancy, you will be surprised that it tastes quiet good.

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  15. I hate when that happens. You have good memories of a place and it ends up disappointing you when you go back. I am sorry to hear about your disappointing lunch :(

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    1. Cathleen, I hope that they pull up their socks.

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  16. An eye opener! I have not seen this fake fried rice made from cauliflowers before.

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  17. Oh at first I thought it was rice till you mentioned it was not... yes, I heard of this recipe before... in fact my colleague had tried it... very healthy wor... no carbo there... :)

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    1. Claire, do try it if you have the chance. It's good!

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  18. i would love to try out the fake fried rice ..if i have an opportunity to go there or anywhere where it's on the menu! something new to me..that plate of salad looks a bit depressing to me...ops!

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    1. Lena, you must try the fake rice. When I ate it the first time, I was pleasantly surprised. But that salad, I think better make at home hah..hah...

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  19. Heard a ot of good review about this place but never been there before

    I think will try the fake fried rice. Looks interesting.....minus cili ah

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    Replies
    1. I did read good reviews previously and I also agreed. But not anymore.

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  20. Poor thing .. im sure you can cook better than that.

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