Friday, May 27, 2011

Back for More Origin

I went to Origin for dinner more than 9 months ago, blogged about it, and ended the post with "...not sure if I will go to Origin again". Well, well, well, maybe what I meant to say was "...not sure if I will go to Origin again if I had to pay" because lo and behold, I found myself at Origin again several weeks ago for lunch. What for? It was one of my boss' birthday and my other boss suggested to go to Origin (they've never been). Woooohooo! =D  I remember the last time someone had a birthday in the office we went to Canoe ~ And guess what? My birthday is coming up in June too hehe. I know, it seems like I work for some baller company or something but honestly, I work at a very small firm so several birthdays once a year won't break their bank (it's all expensed anyway) But still, I realize that I'm pretty lucky and I heart my bosses. They are truly awesome.

Ok enough about work love, moving on to food love. 

A brief recap: the last time I went to Origin, everything was good, I didn't have any complaints. I merely thought that it didn't impress me as much as I thought it would given their price tag. Like I said at the end of my first post, I wouldn't mind going again with friends if they want to try out the place but personally, I will not voluntarily go and eat there again. Having said that, if money wasn't an issue (like this time) I wouldn't mind going back because their food is still good. However, although I didn't have to pay for this lunch, I still thought that some of their dishes were just ridiculously over priced.

K now that you are up to speed, let's go back to the lunch.

For office lunches now it's almost given that we order Gewurztraminer if we are having white wine (and if it's on the wine list). We all adore the grape.

I know this is stupid but thought I would share anyway. I was fiddling around with the utensils while waiting for food and noticed how the knife can stand up straight like that, all by itself. I dunno....I was impressed.

Hamachi ceviche + chilli + mustard + sweet potato + corn nuts + yucca ($19)

This dish was so very, very, very tiny, and the hamachi pieces were cut way too small. Although it looks pretty, the taste was average as the hamachi was swimming in that mustard sauce; pretty much a waste of fresh fish in my opinion. 

Smoked cod croquettes + saffron aioli ($7)

Same comment from last time, "simple but delicious". I liked how the outer shell is crispy yet firm.

Oysters in the half shell + yuzu dressing (market price)

Hm. I wonder how much this was? Nothing much to comment here as I didn't have any - just wasn't feeling oysters that day.

Bangkok beef salad + peanut + mint + mango + fried shallot + nam jim dressing ($16)

Our first dish with generous portion size *hurray*. An overall tasty salad with a good kick from the nam jim dressing. Beef was also very well marinated and tender.

Chinois duck + spring cake + cucumber + hoisin + sriracha + sour cream ($17)

Only two spring cake for one order so we had to put in another order. I had the same thing last time and I didn't enjoy it much so when my colleague suggested ordering it this time, I thought to myself "noooo don't do it, it's not good!". BUT it was actually really delicious this time.

So what made it different then? I personally think it had to do with the plating; check out the exact same dish from last time.

Actually, my mistake, last time was a "wrap" and this time was a "spring cake" but nonetheless, doesn't change the fact that the plating and presentation last time was horrible; it wasn't visually appealing and I remember nobody had any idea how to share the dish - it was just hard to eat, and now I realized why I made the comment "nothing really went together' because every element of the dish was separate and on its own. This time around, all the ingredients were piled up nicely together on the spring cake and there was no question as to how to eat the thing.

Burrata +  pesto + eggplant + roasted red peppers ($16)

Love this! Loved it last time and the love continues. This time around the romesca was replaced by eggplants but either combination works for me.

Beef sizzling hot plate + mushrooms + onions + truffle butter + ponzu sauce ($29)

This was $29, can you say "STEEP"? I honestly don't think I would order this if I had to pay. I know it's the truffle butter and all, but other than that it was really just several pieces of sliced flank steak. The flavour was good but it reminded me of typical Asian style marinated beef. I did not care for the presentation either; I swear we did not touch anything on the plate but it just came like that with everything onto one side. Oh and no sizzle either. Nada. This is a problem for me because I'm so used to the hot plates at Chinese restaurants; you know what I'm talking about, the ones where you gotta hold up a napkin to shield yourself from all the loud and sizzling action in front of you? Not at Origin - when this came all quiet and silent, I was immediately disappointed. Maybe I gotta adjust my expectation of "sizzling hot plate" when I'm not at a Chinese restaurant.

Spicy Spanish fries + chorizo + manchego ($9)

These fries were so tasty. Hot & spicy with the mayo & cheese =)

Origin beef burger + avocado + smoked mayo + arugula ($17)

I insisted on ordering this because apparently none of my colleagues like burgers (well not to the extent that I like them at least). I mean, I took a picture with a magazine just because this burger was featured on the cover! So there was no way I'm not getting it... I was fully prepared to eat it all by myself if nobody wanted it, even after all that food.

*SIGH* This was disappointing. I didn't care if it was tiny as I expected it but what was frustrating was that it didn't even taste good. It had fantastic height for sure due to the pure thickness of the burger, but the burger itself was not juicy at all and was very, very dry. If it weren't for the smoked mayo on top and the avocado beneath the burger, it would've been difficult to eat. My boss had the other half and he said the exact same thing. 

Who knows though, I've heard good things before about this burger so maybe it's just me.

Do I have a conclusion about Origin after being there two times? Hm I think there are some really good dishes on their menu, as well as some very, very mediocre ones, and when I average it out, it all just becomes...okay. Oh and it also doesn't help that the mediocre dishes were also the pricey dishes =(

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