Location: Clarke Quay, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore
Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in The Central branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.
I had enjoyed my experience in Chili's in the few opportunities which arose. Their food is delicious and addictive, prodding me to revisit whenever possible. With my last visit to the branch in Clarke Quay, I decided that its food deserves to be immortalized in my blog with a post. I am not one for high decibel ambient but my wife and I both enjoyed its food so much so that we braved the noisy environment just to get to their dishes.
The restaurant chain originated from the US, its first operation occurred in 1975 in Texas, serving American food and Tex-Mex cuisine. Interestingly, certain food referred to as Mexican food in USA is, much to the chagrin of the originals, not Mexican, Rather this is a regional cuisine of the American Southwest, blending food products available in United States with the culinary creations influenced by Mexicans, originally invented by the Mexican-Americans who missed their food but could not get the ingredients in the States. The term Tex-Mex lent its name to such a blend, differentiating them from the originals. So bear in mind that despite being served Spanish named Fajitas, you are in fact dining American dishes, not Mexican.
Its name as 'Chili's' may not resonate with what we have in mind, with fire-invoking spicy chillies in the dishes. One of the iconic Tex-Mex cuisine is chili con carne, which is known usually just as 'chili', hence lending the restaurant its name. Too bad this is not served in the local branches of the same restaurant.
Fitting to its name as a bar, patronage who enjoyed the companion of a high decibel environment would fit right in. Unfortunately for me, I was not at home in such environment. The ambient was so full of cacophony that we barely heard ourselves speaking, and the music blaring at us didn't make things better. Even so, one thing I did enjoy with was the indoor deco. Stained glass tubular lights were one of Chili's recognizable feature, illuminating our seats in a darkened interior while injecting some vibrancy into the scene.
The waiters and waitresses would zipped here and there, appearing almost everywhere except when you tried to get their attention. Most of the time they were too busy serving dishes or bringing guests to appointed tables, leaving their focus split between tasks and getting them to take your order a daunting matter. With the loud ambient, a multitude of 'Excuse me' got drowned in the cacophony, leaving me fuming sometimes with the difficulty in getting my orders across.
Despite my dislike for loud places, I still chose to revisit Chili's for one reason - its food. One should be prepared for its serving, an amount not for light eaters unless left to starve. I usually got stuffed up after finishing every serving, sometimes leaving the satisfactory meal with some guilty leftovers.
I have yet to try their Baby Back Ribs, the pride of the restaurant, but my personal favourite so far has been a crispy chicken dish deliciously named Crispy Honey-Chipotle Chicken Crispers (SGD25). The honey coated exterior lend the meaty dish an addictive taste on top of its crispiness, as if the latter was not enough to encourage diners. Coupled with everyone's favourite fries and corn on the cob (had I mentioned how sweet it was?), this combination can never go wrong.
Of course a refreshing beverage is always necessary to wash down after ravaging a meal. I particularly appreciate Chili's Bottomless Beverage section where the drinks could be refilled, and with the size of the glass approaching the definition of a mug, you wouldn't need to frequently ask for refills. This would be especially useful for crowds looking to spend a long night of hearty discussion and gossips, where the drinks can keep on coming until you get ready to go.
|Grilled Salmon with Garlic and Herbs (SGD29), served with broccoli and rice. The generous slice of salmon was grilled to perfection, each slice parting easily and each chew revealed a tasty melt of garlic into your mouth.|
|Crispy Honey-Chipotle Chicken Crispers (SGD25), served with corn on cob and home-made fries. I just could not get enough of the honey coated exterior, and I still miss the sweet sweet corn on cob which they served... A sure thumbs up from me!|
Writing this post made me crave again for their meal, and I realized from checking their menu that I did not try some of the Tex-Mex dishes which can hardly be found in Singapore, like Fajitas and Quesadillas, and not to mention their Margaritas to trickle down the throat. Maybe I should plan a visit to them soon, but to another branch to see if the ambient is less noisy...
Environment: A taste of America by the Singapore River
Suitable for: for family or friends, or just for usual dining
Operating hours: (Sun - Tue) 11.30 a.m. - 10.00 p.m.
(Wed - Thu) 11.30 a.m. - 11.00 p.m.
(Fri - Sat) 11.30 a.m. - 12.00 a.m.
Directions: Disembark at Clarke Quay MRT and enter The Central. Look for the directory to find the restaurant facing the roadside.