Lenas, a casual diner serving American-Italian and Asian food, has opened in Orchard Gateway. It has nice interior decorations with an open and airy feel. You can spend a lot of time there just studying their extensive menu. The desserts & beverage menu alone runs into many many pages. Reasonably priced food includes pastas, pizzas, baked rice, meat balls curry rice, surf & turf, roasts and burgers. Iced fruit teas, sundaes and crispy banana fritters are some of the offerings to go with the mains.
Lenas is a brand under the Ministry of Food Group, which runs eateries like My Izakaya, AmaSoy, Dolce Tokyo and Social Square. LenaS is named after Lena Sim, the founder of the Ministry of Food (MOF), who has quite a remarkable life story. Apparently, a fortune teller told her family that she was a bad omen and she was thus abandoned by her parents and left to be raised by her grandmother. Having to be self-sufficient since she was a teenager, she put herself through university and became a trader with an international finance house. She quit her finance job to start her own business and brought the Azabu Sabo franchise to Singapore before setting up MOF.
We went to Lenas Orchard Gateway for lunch and were pleasantly surprised by the wide range of food offered. We ordered the Buffalo Wings ($6.50) and Deep Fried Pork Ribs ($6) to start. When they arrived, they kind of looked similar and they did not taste too different as well. They were probably prepared using the same recipe and just different meats were used. Both the wings and the ribs were nicely done and quite enjoyable.
For the mains, we ordered a Pork Korokke Ome Rice ($12.80) and Mushroom Lover 8 inch pizza ($14.50). Encouraged to save water by drinking alcohol, we also had beer at $7.50 for a half pint. The Pork Korokke (or Croquette) Ome Rice did not look the most appetising but turned out to be a very tasty dish. The meat patties were well fried until golden and crispy and the Japanese curry had spices that were well balanced and pleasant. The thin crust pizza had a base that was nicely browned and crisp. The earthy flavour of the mushrooms was clearly discernible. Those who like mushrooms would find the pizza to be quite nice.
For desserts, we had the Vanilla Almond Brownie in Hot Pan ($13.20) and the Banana Fritters with Chocolate Ice Cream ($9.90). The brownie drizzled with hot fudge sauce was made even more decadent when topped with a scoop of ice cream and a generous sprinkling of almond crisps. The brownie was moist inside and had a nice firmness and chocolate taste. It was delicious and satisfying. The banana fritters were average but we liked the creamy chocolate ice cream very much.
Lenas at Orchard Gateway is quite spacious but it seemed to be understaffed. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were warmly welcomed by a very pleasant lady. She was friendly and attentive but had go into the kitchen most of the time. We eventually found out that she was the pastry chef. Later, we were attended to by a surly waiter who did not seem to be enjoying his job. Our disappointment with his poor service was compounded when we found out, when paying our bill at the counter, that we were charged $0.30 for each glass of water. The usual service charge and GST were added to the bill.
The poor service of one particular waiter aside, we had an enjoyable lunch at Lenas Orchard Gateway with the general quality of the food better than we had expected. The desserts at Lenas would tempt us to return.
Lenus @ Orchard Gateway
#04-19, Orchard Gateway,
277 Orchard Road
Tel : +65 67026619
Opening Hours : 10:00 – 22:00
Nearby Stations : Somerset
#Location Fact – Orchard Gateway is a mall that straddles both sides of Orchard Road and linked by a glass tubular bridge. The glass bridge is located close to where the old overhead railway bridge over Orchard Road was, when trains of the Singapore-Kranji Railway ran across Orchard Road.