The Pump Room, Clarke Quay

The office is closed on New Year's Eve, so technically, the last day of the work year is the 30th of December 2009. I decided to end off the work year with a bang (meaning: alcohol buzz induced bang) at The Pump Room for LA Drinks and Dinner.

Despite the initial insipid response, a lot of colleagues turned up! The free booze and food must have played an irresistible part in the attendance. As a result, we ordered almost everything off the menu. Somehow, everyone ordered different dishes, which gives me much to blog about!

The early birds got to enjoy the 1-for-1 happy hour promotion (see, it pays to be early). Since The Pump Room was known for their on-site brewed beers, we got 3 of them. From left to right, the Straits Ale ($13.50), India Pale Ale ($12), and Scottish Ale ($12). These were so smooth, light and easy to drink. Freshly brewed beers are always the best.

Onto the food, we got a few starters to share, the Fisherman's Basket ($26), battered scallops, prawns, dory fish served with tartar sauce, mesclun greens and chips. These were lacking in one thing, salt. The scallops, prawns and dory fish were fresh enough but completely tasteless. The chips were alright though.

The Crispy Blueswimmer Crabcake on Mango and Waterchestnut Salsa ($16), albeit the fancy name, was very lackluster. It reminded me of a fishcake.

The Spinach Ravioli with Gorgonzola with Cream Sauce and Parmesan Shavings ($16), was an equally ho-hum affair.

The Hickory-Smoked BBQ Baby Back Ribs in Beer Marinade ($28) was nicely smoked, but wasn't tender enough. It would have benefited from a few more hours in the oven or grill. 

The Crispy Duck Confit Leg with Parmesan Potatoes and Fine French Beans ($28) was alright though, it was richly flavoured and moist. I know duck confit is supposed to be crispy but I always find it too dry for my liking. I liked the fact that The Pump Room's version wasn't dry.

The Grilled Cod in Garlic Mash Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Baby Spinach and Olive Tapenade Sauce ($29) was flaky enough, but unspectacular. 

The Pump Room's Special Steak Burger with Salad and Chips ($20) was also ordinary, but it was generously portioned.

The Grain-Fed Ribeye Steak with Sauce Diane ($32) was alright, it was robust and full-bodied, grilled to a perfect medium doneness.

The Kangaroo Loin with Sweet Potato Mash ($32) was somewhat like mutton, a heady and tough game meat. I didn't take to it.

The Chargrilled Spring Chicken Piri-Piri on Roasted Rosemary Potatoes and Fine French Beans ($22). The chicken was a little dry and tough but the French beans was good.

The Braised Lamb Shank in Rich Onion and Red Wine Sauce with Whipped Potato and Sauteed Vegetables ($29) was just okay, but it was hearty.

The Charred Tender Pork Belly with Lemon-Apple Chutney, Baked Potato and Savoy Cabbage in a Light Star-Anise Glaze ($23) was quite commendable. The pork belly crackled and was meltingly flavourful, but then again, it's difficult to go wrong with pork belly.

Moving onto the desserts, we got the Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding with Vanilla Ice-Cream ($10) was the star of the night. This was a heavenly combination of warm decadent slightly bitter premium chocolate and cold vanilla ice-cream. If there's one thing on the menu I'd recommend, it's this dessert.

Mr Marathon Man was the only colleague that ordered a different dessert (he didn't hear my chocolate pudding recommendation), the Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice-Cream and Raspberries ($10), this was lackluster compared to the well-received Chocolate Pudding. The poor guy ended up eating off his neighbour's chocolate pudding.

Please note that The Pump Room has a 15% discount for Amex and Citibank credit cards.

The Pump Room
3B River Valley Road
The Foundry #01-09
Tel: 6334 2628
Open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 3am, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 5am
Website: www.pumproomasia.com/home.html

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