I've said this before and I'll say it again. I love my free-and-easy, no-kids life. I love the fact that I can choose to do anything on my own time and terms. Over the weekend, the BFand I headed to the gym at noon when we knew there'd be the least amount of people (everyone's having lunch then). So when we finished at the gym at 3pm, we took the opportunity to check out the somewhat-newly-opened Applebee's Neighourhood Grill & Bar at TripleOne Somerset. It was right smack in the middle of the lunch and dinner peak hours, so the restaurant was only two-thirds occupied when we arrived for a very late lunch / very early dinner.
Applebee's serves all American Tex-Mex cuisine and is very similar to Chili's Grill & Bar in terms of cuisine, menu, and concept, so comparisons are bound to be drawn between the 2. My take is that foodwise, they were both just as great, but Chilis fares slightly better in terms of service. Chilis' staff are generally more knowledgeable and efficient. Maybe Applebee's staff just needs a little time to iron out the kinks in their service. While they were pleasant and cheerful enough, they just seemed very "blur". Our food orders were taken wrongly and the bill was churned out wrongly as well.
We ordered the smothered grilled chicken but we got the Fiesta Lime Chicken ($21.80) instead. It was just as well, because we didn't even know we got the wrong dish anyways (I guess we're just as "blur" as they were).
Chicken breast was grilled fiesta-style with a zesty lime sauce, topped with Jack-cheddar and Mexi-ranch. This was served with crisp tortilla strips, seasoned rice and fresh pico de gallo. We really loved this. The chicken breast was so incredibly moist and tender, it didn't seem like breastmeat at all. The lime and Mexi-ranch sauce on top of the chicken breast added a refreshing twist to the savoury melted cheddar cheese.
We also ordered the Three-Cheese Chicken Penne ($22.80), with fresh basil and alfredo sauce and bruschetta. This was supposed to be served with a toasted side bread, but the bread didn't come with the dish. Not that we noticed that either! Fresh, slightly tart tomatoes cut through the heaviness of the cream and cheese, making this a lovely dish that was devoured in minutes.
We also ordered a side of Sauteed Garlic and Mushrooms ($5), this was lightly flavoured and oh-so-yummy!
As usual, we ordered a side of Seasonal Vegetables ($5). This was very well done, the baby carrots, zucchini and broccoli were blanched just right, cooked through but still retaining a little crunch. I asked for melted butter and smothered the veggies in it. So much for healthy eating.
The Soup of the Day was Broccoli and Cheese ($5 with any main), served with freshly baked foccacia. The aromatic foccacia was amazingly soft, fluffy, and delicious. The soup, while flavourful, was a little too thin though.
Applebee's Neighbourhood Grill & Bar
111 Somerset #01-11/12
Tel: 6735 9671
Open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm; Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12midnight