Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ah Meng Restaurant at Singapore Zoo

Ah Meng is fondly remembered
This is a continuation from yesterday's post on Ah Meng Kopi. The grand dame of the Singapore Zoo is fondly remembered at two new eateries there. At Ah Meng Restaurant, there is a wall of photos lovingly chronicling the highlights of the orangutan's life at the Zoo. There's also a wall of press clippings at the other end of the outdoor seating area.

The air-conditioned section of Ah Meng Restaurant is packed
The restaurant itself is a casual, tribal-themed eatery with cafeteria-style self-service stations (a bit like IKEA's restaurant). There is an air-conditioned area (guaranteed to be full on weekends!) and lots of al fresco seating.

The staff, dressed up as wildlife park rangers, were friendly and helpful (they immediately offered to get us baby chairs even before we sat down). They were also diligent and efficient at clearing tables.

I chanced upon the Assistant Manager, Angela, who went out of her way to help us with our orders and made sure we were well-attended to. Thank you, Angela!

Cold sandwiches, fruit, salads, desserts and drinks
You pick up what you like and pay at a cashier. Upfront are some cold selections - pre-packed sandwiches, fruit, salads, candy, desserts and drinks.

Self-service stations at Ah Meng Restaurant
The hot stations serve a variety of food, and there's bound to be something for everyone. I seem to be in a bit of a dim sum phase, so I couldn't help trying some of these, even though I knew they would not be the same as what you'd get in a Chinese restaurant.

Chicken-shrimp siew mai
There's no pork or lard here, so the main meat for the dim sum is chicken. The chicken-shrimp siew mai (S$3.50) was a pleasant surprise. Finally, a chicken siew mai that's actually more than edible! It's probably more got shrimp than chicken. Anyway, it makes a good protein snack that isn't deep-fried, for the kids.

Shrimp Dumpling or Har Gau
The har gau or shrimp dumpling (S$3.50) did not fare so well. The skin is a little thick and floury (probably done so to withstand the continuous steaming).

Glutinous rice in lotus leaf
Glutinous rice in lotus leaf (S$3.90) with bits of salted egg and sliced dried mushrooms. It's mostly rice, but has enough flavour.

Fish and chips
The fish and chips (S$8.90, I think) were gorgeous. Two slabs of nicely battered fish fillets that stayed hot and crisp for a good length of time. I think we liked this best of all.

Hainanese Roasted Chicken Rice
Hainanese chicken rice set (S$8.90). You can choose either white steamed chicken or roasted chicken. I think there's even a porridge option. I think by the time I finished all photography, this got cold. Jolie enjoyed the rice though.

Chicken Briyani Platter
The chicken briyani set (S$8.90) does indeed come with fluffy rice. But the chicken was very mild in flavour. Perhaps to cater to tourist tastebuds? The dhal was more tasty, and complemented the rice well. The raita is extra creamy - it's likely full-fat yoghurt there!

Freshly brewed ice lemon tea - check out the orangutan stirrer!
What we all enjoyed very much was the freshly brewed ice lemon tea (S$3.50). On a a hot, sweltering day like this, it was an ice-cold godsend. Comes in a HUGE mug, complete with cute orange orangutan stirrer. You can keep this as a souvenir.

I'm glad the zoo now has more eateries and options beyond KFC and Pizzafari. Actually I think there's enough demand to support more. You can really work up an appetite walking around and exploring the zoo. Again, hearty thanks to the Zoo and its agency for inviting us. We had a lovely time.

Zoo animal photos on my Flickr set.

Now if someone can figure out how to air-condition the whole zoo....

Singapore Zoo (somewhere in the middle)
80 Mandai Lake Road
Singapore 729826
Open Daily: 10.00am – 5.00pm (air-conditioned area)
Additional live stations available on weekends and public holidays between 11.00am – 5.30pm


  1. lol! an indoor fully air-condition zoo? :p

    I also got the tickets from them, need to find a companion to go with me to the zoo first :)

  2. I know what you mean about being in a dim sum phase... There are days when I just can't do without my morning siu mai and wu kok! :D

  3. oh wow, food looks good! i think you manage food photos well even w/o the use of macro lens. can't imagine how much better they will be when you're equipped with one :D

    i love cafetaria-style eating places like this (and IKEA) but the queue at IKEA can get quite damning at times!!

  4. LIC: Why don't you hold a " The Bachelor" type reality show competition on your blog? The winner gets to go with you to the zoo! :P

    Kenny: indeed! =)

  5. Evan: haha, thanks. Really tempted to get a macro lens. Maybe for my 2nd blog anniversary...hmmm!

    Oh gosh, yes, the queue at IKEA on weekends is impossible!

  6. Finally, some affordable and decent food at the zoo! Next time, I don't have to pack our own picnic for our zoo outing! :) I remember the queue at KFC was very long too, cos the other option was the restaurant which charged local food at hotel prices. Imagine the bill for families or large groups!

  7. hahahah. don't want! later nobody want to go i pai seh. lol! when's yr second anniversary? I always thought your blog is older than mine. haha

  8. Julia: oh I didn't know the previous restaurant was so pricey! I just never ate at the zoo!

    LIC: haha, try lah, who knows you may get dozens of fair maidens vying to win your heart!

    My second anniversary will be in May, just 3 months younger than yours lah. I've actually had my DSLR less than a year but I agree the macro lens is way overdue.

  9. Cruel and delicious punishment first think in the morning! Particularly the steamed dumplings!!!!!

  10. Can we see tiger through the window in the restaurtant? Cos my taiwan's friend ask, as he saw the adv over there. And I was like HUH? got meh?

  11. Is this really the zoo? haha...

    I have not been to the zoo since I was a little kid!

  12. gosh is this new? i was there last dec but din see this :P

    anyway i find the concept and selection of food is just fantastic ;-)

  13. Meg: they're best eaten in cold weather, like yours!

    Anon: no, I didn't see any tigers through the window. The restaurant is next to the elephant rides though.

    K-man: yes, it's the zoo - time to go see it again!

    Babe_KL: the restaurant is fairly new, they opened just last year, not sure when. Thanks!

  14. but.... zoo only for kids right? if I have to baby sit a kid, I will bring the kid there. ;-)

  15. I didn't know there is an ah meng eatery at the zoo... guess this just shows I haven't been to the zoo for too long. The food looks pretty good and afforable which is a surprise to me :D

  16. K-man: the zoo is not only for kids (maybe kids and kids at heart). hey, it's actually a lot of effort entertaining a kid at the zoo! lol

    Noobcook: I didn't know either, until they contacted me! Yes, I keep hearing that food was previously expensive at the zoo...I have never really eaten there previously.


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