9 September 2007

Review: The Pump Room

The girlfriend's pals were gracious enough to let me in on their gathering at The Pump Room. So we got there early to get ourselves a table.

For the uninitiated, The Pump Room is a microbrewery and bistro. So we ordered our beers and sides first while we waited for the rest to arrive. We were ushered to a table and presented the menu. I took my time to look through the menu for something that might inspire me...


Personally, I prefer dark beers whenever come to a beer place. I have this preconception that dark beers from a place specializing in beers would offer something interesting. Plus dark beers usually meant more dimensions in terms of the flavor, which would be better experience compared the fizzy, foamy, bitter and pale stuff.

I settled for their Scottish ale, a dark beer with a nice taste of roasted malt. It goes down slightly more bitter at first, but ends sweetly.


Our appetite was growing as we waited for the others. So we decided to order some sides to keep our mouths occupied. I was disappointed that there wasn't anything like buffalo wings on the finger food menu. The best they could muster were a few potato-based sides and garlic bread. The rest of the table did set their eyes on something else...

Creamy Mashed Potato was pretty good. I did wish there was some bacon crisps mixed into it. Would have been a great combination of textures.

Sauteed Shitake Mushrooms with herbs was nice too. Although it was on the salty side. The chunky garlic was a nice touch which I liked.

Still waiting, I decided to entertain myself and the "early-birds" with my camera...

More of the interior

And the fascinating "optic fibre" lighting which changes color...


We were rather taken aback when we realized that the staff had failed to inform us about their special offers for their brewed beers. We thought fine, since we never asked.

Then we got really annoyed that many of the wait staff were selective of who they wanted to serve. There was this group of Caucasians that took the table in front of us and were given a VIP treatment while the other tables like mine were conveniently neglected and ignored. I then realized the wait staff were consistently tipped by that table for every item served. Talk about spoil market!

But I guess I shouldn't harp on that. I mean, there are other stuff to be peeved by. Like the wait staff's snail-like and begrudging response times for plain water. It seems like they convenient forget your requests. Not like we won't order other stuff, right?

Main Courses

I found the Linguine with Prawns, Mussels, Scallops and Squid Aglio Olio style was pleasantly spicy with black peppercorns. The seafood was fresh done just right, with the exception of the mussels which were really raw. I think it is because we are so used to the well-cooked mussels in chilli.

One can hardly go wrong with The Pump Room's Special Steak Burger with Salad and Chips. But it does lack the necessary punch to live up to its "Special" status.

Beer-Battered Pacific Dory with Chips, Tartare Sauce and Mesclun Saladwas nothing special, though the chips were pretty good.

My order was the Hickory smoked BBQ Baby Back Ribs in Special Beer Marinade. It was a rather standard and ordinary quality. nothing to shout about.

The verdict for mains collectively would be somewhere between mediocre and average.


The plan had been to stay to catch the live band perform. So we needed to "buy ourselves some more time" in the form of desserts.

The Warm Chocolate Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream was fantastic! The warm, thick chocolate pudding was probably oven toasted to achieve a crispy outer crust with a slightly charred taste. Every mouthful of the thick melted chocolate and the crispy crust was a luxurious experience.

Soft Centered Pavlova with Tropical Fruits and Passionfruit Curd was a light, zesty dessert thanks to the fruits involved at the sides. Pretty enjoyable if you just love the sugar. Personally, I found it a little too sweet, but nevertheless, it had a good mix of textures to be experienced with every little bit placed into the mouth.

There is a sudden realization that one can't really go wrong with a Cheese Platter. With very distinctive textures and tastes, it will instantly turn one into a cheese connoisseur.

By the time we wipe off everything on the plates, the band started their act. Plenty of 80's and 90's music to dance the night away.

Last but not least, the toilet was pretty decent, a good thing to have with all the booze going around.

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