Singapore for almost 200 years has been at the crossroads of Southeast Asia, where many cultures and nationalities live, work and more importantly, ... More
Straits Restaurant - Santana Row
Singapore for almost 200 years has been at the crossroads of Southeast Asia, where many cultures and nationalities live, work and more importantly, eat together. Singapore's cuisines logically reflect this cultural diversity. The four major culinary cultures -- Malaysian/Indonesian, Chinese, Indian and Nonya -- are in fact a blend of each other, creating a new cuisine that is unique and more complex in flavors and fragrances. Straits offers a menu that features the complexity of all these Singaporean cuisines in chef Chris Yeo's unique interpretation. This beautiful Santana Row location opened in January 2003.
I've been to Straits Cafe in Santana Row numerous times. If you want a drink, Straits Cafe is definitely the place to be. But if you want a decent dinner, head elsewhere. The food and services are poor and don't justify the hefty price tags.
I used to like the sea bass a lot but this time it's overcooked. So was the lemongrass beef. According to the menu, it should be served with sauteed seasonal greens and frites. What I got some horrible uncooked green which were marginally edible. My friend order pepper infused martini which tasted like chili oil. It was so bad that we returned it. (I've never returnd a drink before.)
The success must have gotten to management.
Straits Cafe is definitely a restaurant to check out in Santana Row, especially if you are a super extra trendy socialite:) I was most impressed by the entres: we had the seabass, which was the best I had in a long time (surprisingly better than the one in Three Seasons in Palo Alto), and the lamb chops. One of our appetizers, the chicken skews, was good, but not exceptional. The Ahi Tuna mix was awful; it tasted link Windex, no kidding. So avoid! The dishes arrive when ready, and sometimes it takes a long time to come... The atmosphere was nice and trendy, it is busy and quite noisy... We sat at the very end of the restaurant and the music was not as load. And watch out, Wed night is karaoke night starting at 9pm... Definitely on the expensive side... a mojito is $11.
This place is very cute. The wait can be long, but the food is pretty true to authentic Singaporean style. Try the roti prata and chow kway teow. The music can get pretty loud in the front on weekends, so if you want something quieter, ask for a seat towards the back.
Straits Santana Row is always packed; the bar area is always shoulder to shoulder and it amazes me that this place is a venue for little halter tops. The Straits in Palo Alto is 180 degrees from this, although the menu is largely the same. I like Straits, and their wine list is good, especially by the bottle. So are their mixed drinks. Try the lychee martini; it tastes like dessert. The service is actually very good, and consistently very good. It's the food that is wonderful one time and awful the next. Case in point is the duck dish -- marinated grilled duck confit. The first time I ordered this item, it was perfectly cooked, the sauces were awesome, and the garnish was fried potatoes with parsley presented in a gridiron pattern. The second time I ordered this item, it was a sorry remembrance of the first time; the duck was dry, the sauce was the same, but there was an insufficient amount of it, and in general it was awful. Similarly, the first time I ordered murtabak here, an item I first ordered in India Town in Singapore (I think), it was great. I've ordered this item two or three times since, and it usually is alright. However, the last time, the outer shell was like shoe leather, it took significant weight on a knife and a lot of friction and serration to get through the roti. It was probably really old, as I don't think many people order murtabak. The fresh rolls are consistently good, and so is the ahi tower. The sashimi is forgettable, but it's not bad, and it's served with a generous helping of pickled onions. The grilled beef in grape leaves is good, but caution, I've had it only once. The origami seabass has been delicious every time; it's sweet and rich. Likewise, the mussels are good, but they are sweet and rich as well, with some spice.
While the food is haphazard, the ambience is loud, dark and fun. Strait offers outdoor bar seating, with slatted benches, and the traditional high stool bar area. The SJ Straits always has a crowd, but I trust the food more in Palo Alto, and PA has a great outdoor patio. I have only been to the aseptic SF Straits once, about seventeen years ago. Forget about eating at Strais SJ unless you have a reservation. Straits is on Opentable, and they're good about getting you seated if you use that service. 2.2
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Straits Cafe has a long tradition of excellent Singapore cuisine. Having developed a reputation with their restaurants in Palo Alto
and San Francisco, Straits Cafe's latest offering in Santana Row is a further extension of this popular brand. The ...