28 September 2007

Review: Lunar Asian Fusion Bar

I received this eDM (electronic Direct Mailer) in my mailbox. From the design, I thought it was an atas club with nice stylo-mylo oriental music, possibly nostalgic and even some Shanghai Jazz too, interior decor that would make Shanghai Tang really proud and service that would come from a team of waitresses dressed in ankle length cheongsam.

So when Lunar opened, I got the girlfriend along with her friends to check the place out. Like all club openings, the place was packed and music booming.

Once we entered, the attention was on the large screen which was screening Rain's concert, with fans screaming in the background. There was hardly any room and on the first level, we decided to move up to the second floor. I was quite impressed by the lift and the waitress team that played lift attendants. Judging from their looks and grasp of English language, they were all our foreign talent directly from China. Good and Bad. Good because it sort of upped the kinky fantasies quotient. Bad because, well, you know how the locals think about foreign talent...

Since we are on the topic of the waitresses, their uniform was functional, especially the striking bob wig, which makes for easy identification in the dimmed environment. The whole package with the short cheongsam dress, stockings and boots however reignites the debate of whether Singapore's very own Annabelle Chong should be considered trailer trash or local pop culture icon.

There was hardly any standing room and it was rather difficult snaking through the crowd. When we managed to find an available spot to rest at, the live music started. The first reaction by the ladies was, "Bad singing of even worse songs." A quick inspection and we realized it was a live band on stage. The female vocalists only scored in the looks department, singing wasn't great and failed to carry the feeling of the songs. Their attempts on interpretation failed spectacularly. Male vocalists weren't any better and looked liked the sharpei (Peking bulldog).

click for hi-res close up

Just when I thought the music could get any worse, the band got off stage and house music resumed... Guess what? They spun Afro-American Hip-Hop, Rap and R&B. Tak match to the extreme can!

Even though a waitress had previously taken our order, the drinks never came. Due to the crowds and the demand for the free drinks, we only managed to get one drink each after lots of pushing and shoving. I was pleasantly surprised by a quiet but friendly bartender who diligent served up requests of drinks.

We took our time to finish our drinks. One of the ladies wanted to hit the dance floor but was promptly discouraged by its emptiness. We decided to take our leave but also have a good look at the interior decor which was really nicely done up.

Some rather nice paintings too. There were also some racier ones on the ceiling, but I missed out taking photos of them. Guys, don't hate me for depriving you of those artistic paintings.

The ladies particularly liked this throne and spontaneously hammed it up there...

And the same pictures with some styling...

And just as we thought the first band couldn't get any worse, another ensemble took the the stage...

We waited for their first piece only to be disappointed and appalled yet again by the quality of sound made. It likened to the ad-hoc performances in Chinatown which employed Mainland Chinese ladies prancing around on stage looking as if they played the Chinese instrument.

So Lunar seemed to know nuts about Oriental music. Perhaps they should consult the Esplanade's producer for Huayi Festival for its musical direction. Seriously, the concerts there are much more happening.

My Parting Note on Lunar

Lunar to me is pretty much like Café Del Mar (Sentosa) where the music failed to fit its image. The management probably didn't think the crowds would appreciate anything that is non-mainstream. Great effort in the decor, but it fails spectacularly by missing the complete experience by miles.

For more photos taken at Lunar, click here.

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