Ai Mien Bar

A strange one, this. Taking up a large corner of Capital Tower’s lobby, it’s difficult to classify Ai Mien Bar: As a bar that serves food, or a restaurant that has innovative cocktails and cut-price beers at happy hours? We moseyed in here a couple days after their official launch (their soft opening was two months ago) and were immediately bowled over by a rather high-ceilinged, dramatic dining hall. With a capacity of about 200, the Chinese-style décor with rosewood wall hangings and an unnecessary bank of TVs on a pillar complement the warm dark interiors. A comfy place for a meal, we thought. But the food disappointed in parts. The local noodles with minced pork and fish balls was pretty much tasteless. The noodles had a queasy, hard texture and the ingredients were so flat on the palette, we had to chuck copious amounts of chili padi in to give it some kick. Maybe the many sovereign wealth fund managers that populate this building don’t mind paying four times more for something they can get across the road at the Amoy Street and Maxwell food centers, which serve it up much tastier. Thankfully, the jade noodles with fresh mushrooms and black fungus was much better. A nice vegetarian dish with tasty broth, the texture of the noodles was just right—not too mushy, not too hard. We think the stars of the show here are the Chinese tapas and throughly enjoyed the deep fried scallops with crispy noodles and cheese and the deep fried prawns with green mustard and crsip noodles. The service was enthusiastic, smiley and friendly, but there were only three other tables occupied that evening. If you’re ever here, round off the meal with an order of avocado puree with aloe vera and walnut ice-cream, a creamy, interestingly textured number to finish to things off on a sweet note. Overall, this place is below par; it’s not really value for money and the good dishes are few and far between.