I go to church every Sunday morning and my church is in TST. In TST, one big problem is there are many restaurants but aren’t that many nice and inexpensive ones. I’m not talking about cheap – just “inexpensive" in the sense that it doesn’t hurt my wallet, that’s all.

Anyway, last week, as both of my two lunch-mates didn’t show up (well, one went to the morning service and the other had to stay home to take care of her dad who’s ill), I had to find a place to have lunch on my own. And I walked pass this little cafe near Ashley Road and the menu seems attractive. Price range is $48-$68…fair enough. So, today I went there with one of my lunch-mates.

This cafe is called One Cafe. Nice decor (well, it’s not like really classic/distinctive but…nice) with a dark wood theme. The first impression is that the setting is not crowdy at all though it’s not really spacious. It looks clean.

The set lunch contains soup, main dish, coffee/tea. There are around 20 sets to choose from and I chose stir-fried angel hair with mushroom while my friend chose salmon filet with potato and veggie. 

Soup: my friend and I both ordered veggie soup (the “red" soup) and it just tastes weird. We called for the manager and he offered to give us the cream soup (“white" soup). As he delivered the cream soup, he explained that the chef didn’t add enough salt and thus the soup tastes like “grass". Well, this explanation may satisfy those who don’t cook at all. Unluckily, both my friend and I do cook a little bit. And we conclude that the weird taste comes from: 1)right, not enough salt; 2)the veggie is not fresh enough; 3)wrong combination of veggie. And obviously, the first reason is the least important one. The “white" soup is…full of cream and starch. Well, it’s not cream… I think it’s just made of “cream soup powder" plus soybean powder. The reason that I don’t think it’s cooked with too much soup powder is it tastes plain. I added quite some pepper powder to make it tastes like soup. 

Main dish: well, my friend ordered Salmon filet and it’s fine. the stir-fried angel hair with mushroom is a disaster. I expected it to be salty but the angel hair tastes sweet (well, a little bit of sweetness is good but it’s too much). The mushroom…tastes weird. My friend said it’s rotten. No, it’s not. The weird taste comes from the root part of the mushroom. Obviously, those in the kitchen really needa learn how to cook. You needa cut and discard that root part! Ok, I do keep them when I cook for just myself at home…when I’m extremely tired and lazy. But this is a cafe…>_<

Coffee: came with condensed milk. After adding condensed milk, the coffee just looks like… sewage water. Alright, it’s coffee, not a pageant queen…looks doesn’t matter, only taste does. Well, tastes awful! Brown sugar gave the sweetness and the condensed milk gave that not-so-watery texture. The coffee beans…well, obviously being over-boiled and so gave the sourness. And the three – sourness, sweetness, not-so-watery texture – don’t blend together. Imagine that!

I left this cafe with an unsatisfied stomach as I could only bear to finish the soup, 1/3 of the angel hair, and four sips of coffee. Yes, four sips…just coz I wanna figure out where that taste comes from. At the end, my friend and I went to McCafe right after leaving this cafe and each bought a cup of coffee. Taste way better! How sad!

P.S. This cafe is a good example of a Cantonese slang: 好眉好貌生沙蚤. The decor looks good, the soup looks good, the angel hair looks good, the coffee looks good. Everything looks good…better than just good but tastes absolutely horrible. Can’t think of a good translation of the Cantonese slang… I mean, no translation may truly express this slang in a good way. Let’s try literal translation (I know, I know…just laugh): Good eye-brow, good looking, but with lice – normally used to describe a person is decent/good looking but indecent in terms of conduct. 

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