For some reason I always think that going out on a Thursday night makes the weekend feel longer! The difficulty is dragging myself out on a Thursday, especially because it’s been so cold and miserable recently. I find that if I get in from work and get ready to go out straight away it’s much easier than sitting down then heading out later. Trader Vic’s at the Hilton has a happy hour that starts at 4pm so we decided to start our Thursday night there.
We arrived just after 4pm and grabbed a table. It started to get busy fairly quickly partly because the weather was better than it had been for some time. The views from the jetty area are lovely, you can see across to the Pearl and over to Nobu plus it catches the late afternoon sun.
We ordered food and drinks, both arrived quickly and the service was friendly and efficient. There is a happy hour menu for food and drink with most drinks priced at around 30QR and the menu offers a range of snacks and main meals. Greg and I decided to share 2 main dishes of Singapore noodles (60QR) and crispy duck (65QR). After waiting about 15 minutes our food was brought over, it looked really good. However, it looked better than it tasted!
The noodles were only just warm and didn’t really have any distinctive taste. There was a fair proportion of tender chicken and plump prawns to noodle and veg but there wasn’t any spice or heat to the dish, it was just bland. The shredded duck was crispy in that it was dried out. It was so dry it looked like it had been heated or kept under a grill as some pieces had a crust on. There was a small dish of tasty plum sauce and some nice, crunchy cucumber and onion strips but not enough for the number of pancakes.
However, because we were absolutely starving it was soon polished off. Unfortunately our friends had ordered the same as us and theirs were identical, which I felt showed this was the standard of these dishes.
The drinks on the other hand were good. Fresh, fruity, tangy cocktails and the atmosphere was pleasant too. It was quite busy and as the sun set and the music came on it was really enjoyable. My opinion? Go for the drinks and views but skip the dishes we chose. I had heard some negatives about the food from other people but I’d eaten here before at the Friday brunch and thought overall it was pretty good so this experience was a bit of a surprise. In addition, when we received the bill it was explained that you can’t use an Entertainer voucher on the happy hour main meals which our friends wanted to do so be aware of this. Our bill came to about 330QR for 3 cocktails, 3 whiskies with coke and the 2 main dishes.