|Romdeng's pool area. Pic courtesy of klutzychef|
Hard to believe but until this evening, I hadn't visited the good-cause restaurant Romdeng
since it relocated to Street 174 quite a while back. Teaching former street youths is a meritorious reason to take your custom to Romdeng and it's up there as the top-frequented eatery in town. It is also housed in a lovely restored colonial villa. But does it cut the mustard with its quality of food, well that's another question altogether. Sat on the terrace next to the small pool, a large group of birthday well-wishers making lots of noise immediately behind me didn't augur well. The popularity of the restaurant meant there was no-where else to sit. So it was a case of put up and shut up. The former street children who've been given an opportunity to learn hospitality skills buzzed around the tables, refilling glasses every thirty seconds, re-positioning napkins, etc. It wasn't exactly the quiet, romantic and personal experience that I would've required if I was accompanied by a girlfriend. As it was, I wasn't, so it didn't matter too much. I surveyed the menu, with a few meal options obviously shipped in from the provinces to the city, ie. friend spiders et al, and pursed my lips. I wasn't blown away, let's put it like that. I decided against being too creative and picked what the menu called their 'famous fish amok', which turned out to be pretty mundane I have to say. I've tried amok in many eateries across town and this one would've been lost in mid-table, to talk in football parlance. Whilst mosquitoes feasted on my ankles - the staff admitted they'd forgotten to put out the mozzie coils - the overall experience didn't make me want to rush back anytime soon. I would certainly suggest Romdeng is worth frequenting at least once, especially for visitors, but for me, I'll give it a while before I make my return.