I cannot survive at work without my secretary. It's totally true. There was once she was laid up for several months when it was leading up to a trial, and I actually ended up crying at work because I was just completely overwhelmed without her. When I was just starting out, my secretary taught me much of the legal trade and procedure. She was one of the few people you never have to worry about asking "stupid questions". Although I spent 4 years in law school, I was no match for my secretary, who, with more than a decade of experience under her belt, was a lot more well-versed and familiar with legal procedure than I was, a fresh-out-of-school pupil/trainee lawyer. Go ask any lawyer, and they (the honest ones, at least) will tell you the same. Most of what we lawyers learned in school is completely useless and inapplicable in the working world. That's why I've got a lot of respect for our secretaries, the unsung heroes of our profession. So, for the one week that honours our support staff, my team always makes it a point to go out and celebrate their invaluable support.
Park Regis (not to be confused with the ultra posh and ultra luxe St Regis Hotel), a 4-star hotel catered to the business traveller (coz it's located just at the CBD fringe that is Merchant Road), was offering a Secretaries' Week set lunch promotion from 3 April to 27 April at their coffee house ($33+). We'd heard good things from the lawyers that'd eaten there when they were having trials at the Sub Courts (it's walking distance from the sub courts at Haveock Road).
The restaurant's simple but classic chic design, double storeied-high ceilings and natural light flooding through its floor-to-ceiling windows running through the entire length of the restaurant immediately greet you when you step into the lobby of the hotel lobby. The restaurant was barely filled, and mostly occupied by lawyers (easily recognizable from their black and white court attire) and their clients who'd walked over from the sub courts in the midst of their trials. A quick glance through the somewhat limited menu proved the mainly local fare to be really quite cheap, with most mains costing not more than 20 bucks. We took up the 3-course set lunch though, made up of continental and European cuisine which aren't available on the ala carte menu.The dishes were pretty commendable, service was a bit filmsy but discreet and helpful, and ambience very low-key and quiet.
The Potato, Artichoke, Egg, Olives and Roasted Almond Salad, one of the two starter choices, was really not bad, except for the whites of the poached egg, which was just a smidge overcooked. The spicy lemon and caper dressing provided a refreshing lift to the warm salad though.
The heavy prawn-base of the Cream of Shellfish Bisque, glazed with cognac and topped with garlic shrimp, was a bit rich and one-dimensional for me. It was lacking in depth but too cloying, and I ended up peppering this a lot. The shrimp was good though, sweet and crunchy.
I liked the Pan-Seared Norwegian Salmon Fillet, with delectably crisp skin and moist flesh, topped with grilled cabbage and watercress, and drizzled with a roasted garlic and balsamic teriyaki sauce. I'd asked for any parsley to be held off, and so they gave me a bacon and salted cabbage stir-fry instead of a parsley-filled dumpling. Good service there for sure.
The dumpling version of the salmon dish.
The Roasted Ribeye Roulade stuffed with bacon was pretty good as well, moist and juicy, served with pan-roasted vegetables, onions and gherkin and with a drizzling of sweet port wine glazed brown sauce.
While the White Chocolate Trifle was too sweet, the cringe-worthy passionfruit coulis topping balanced it out with its sour elements. Forest berries compote and fresh raspberries and strawberries completed the so-so dessert. Disclaimer: I really am not a fan of white chocolate anyway.
The distinctive berry compote layer wasn't able to balance out the richly milky white chocolate sponge layers, but the sour passionfruit topping sure did.
23 Merchant Road
Level 1 Park Regis Singapore
Tel: 6818 8851
Open daily from 6.30am to 10.30pm