Halal Thai restaurant Blue Jasmine needs to turn up the heat
Blue Jasmine at Park Hotel Farrer Park opened about a year ago and gave diners a halal Thai food option.
The restaurant offers a buffet at dinner and an a la carte menu throughout the day, with the latter being refreshed to include more regional dishes.
So while you get your classics, you can choose to explore.
The meal starts well, with the Cha-Om Fried Egg ($12).
It is a simple dish - an omelette rolled up like a Swiss roll with sliced acacia leaves. There is also a platter of fresh vegetables to go with it and a shrimp paste.
It is refreshing and has just the right amount of vegetables to make it feel healthy, the flavour-packed sauce providing that extra touch to take it up another notch.
The Thai Fried Kway Teow (from $14) is competent, simple and comforting, although it does not really move the needle .
It could do with a tad more wok hei (although it does not seem that the Thais are overly enamoured with wok hei) but I would recommend this for anyone missing Thailand.
The chicken part of Roast Chicken, Esarn style ($16) is delicious. The skin is crispy, the meat juicy. I love how aromatic the bird is too. Take a whiff - it will whet your appetite.
But the Isan part - the sauce - needs more kick. The restaurant should just rename this roast chicken and that will help us manage our expectations.
I expected a searing experience with the Tom Yum Sea Bass 'Poh Tek' ($20) because I was told Poh Tek means "very spicy" and must have deep-fried chilli and basil.
It does not look it, but Thai food aficionados know that clear does not mean genteel. It is though, in this case.
The chicken stock is, at best, punchy, but lacks heat. The deep-fried seabass is fresh, so that cushions the disappointment a little.
I was also disappointed with the Red Ruby ($12). The presentation is classy but I felt it is lacking in every area - from the crunch of the water chestnut to the sweetness of the coconut milk. The touch of jackfruit is a welcome addition but not enough to elevate it out of mediocrity.
To be frank, most of the dishes fall squarely in the middle.
If the food is not sensationally good or spectacularly bad, it is then just blah, which is culinary purgatory.
Let's hope Blue Jasmine turns up the heat a whole lot more and charge on with tongues blazing.