Dolphin Restaurant is a charming eatery located in the Everich industrial building along Genting Lane in Singapore. Despite its remote location in a quiet industrial estate, the restaurant is easily accessible due to its proximity to public transport and MRT stations.
The restaurant presence on the 7th floor (Unit #7-01/02) of the industrial building is marked by a signboard on the outer fence. Although the unassuming exterior might make you overlook its presence as a Western grill restaurant within.
An adorable dolphin themed restaurant
Furthermore, upon arriving at the 7th floor of the building via a large passenger industrial elevator. You’ll be greeted by a lobby area adorned with posters and framed newspaper clippings covering the restaurant. Also, the restaurant entrance has a large white signboard and flanked by well-aged wooden doors. The doors has a distinct shiny sheen of glossy paint possibly used to spruce up an otherwise weathered old-looking timber door.
It gives the place a nostalgic touch. Also, the interior of the restaurant exudes an old-world charm that has remained unchanged for the past 30 years. You can read the owner’s love for dolphins. This is evident in the adorable dolphin images on printed tiles and wallpapers, as well as a display cabinet showcasing dolphin memorabilia and large bronze statues near the restaurant entrance.
Moreover, on entering the restaurant, the ambiance is pure nostalgia. You can find old school items like old bulky CRT ceiling-mounted televisions, vintage passenger elevators, and steel trough urinals in the men’s toilet, taking you back in time. Notably, Dolphin Restaurant operates under the parent company Phin’s Catering Services, probably taking a hint from the Dol-phins. They also run other franchises such as Mignon’s Steak and Grill and Fisherios Fish and Chips at Takashimaya on Orchard Road.
A traditional comfort food western flair
Moreover, the menu at Dolphin’s offers a variety of dishes ranging from steaks and pork to lamb and fish. You can conveniently place your order using a digital menu and QR code, although traditional ordering methods are also available via the servers. Also, the selection is quite diverse, and you can expect the typical offerings from a Western grill restaurant.
If you are undecided, you can’t go wrong with their chicken chop dish. Here, their boneless chicken with honey starts at $20.80 per plate. Other alternatives include their Lamb chops ($20.90), and Baked cod dish ($29.90) as pretty good options.
A large offering for all tastes
Moreover, if you are hungry their combo meals like Chicken and Fish ($25.90) is one interesting dish to try. These are usually priced higher than a single dish. But you do get pretty much the best of both (or multiple) worlds.
Other options include their Ribs and chicken, or their Mixed grill of chicken, fish pork, sausage and egg for $26.90. For the hungry, their glutton for 2 for 1/2 Ribs, chicken, steak for a handsome but rather pricey S$58.90.
Topping up their menu is a chicken chop dish, here you get boneless chicken with honey. The chicken is grilled well, chewy, juicy and paired well with black pepper sauces. It does rival the offerings at Collins chicken chop, albeit at a more pricey price point here at Dolphin’s. Also, other menu options includes lamb chops, and baked cod are their better menu offerings for the price, priced similarly in the range of $20-30.
Also, their half dozen escargots $12.90 is a good way to start your meal, though they do run out of this dish fairly quickly into the evenings. It is also interesting that the escargots are already removed from the shells, buttered with baked cheese.
Moreover, their ala-carte soup and coffee set you back $5.90 and $4.90 respectively, and are served. Though you can self-help yourself from the counter in the dining area.
Check out their special seasonal menus
Additionally, Dolphin Restaurant also offers set dinners during special occasions, like Christmas. Here you can find off-menu special items like seafood pasta. This include a 4-course meal comprising soup of the day with garlic bread, salad, main course, cold dessert, and coffee/tea. I had the opportunity to try their western set meals, which take on the tried and test combination of soup, main and desserts for a value price.
Also, wrapping up, you be served small sweet tartlet ice cream puffs as desserts. They are like spongy chocolate puffs served sitting on top of a bed of ice cream in stainless steel bowls.
Not so-great Steaks
While the steak options on the menu are reasonably priced, they may not meet the expectations of true steak enthusiasts. Their selections start from Striploin steaks with 230-gram offerings ($27.90). Also, other menu options include their 230 gram Ribeye ($29.90) and their Tenderlion steak at a more expensive cut priced at $33.90 for 230g.
Surprisingly, their steaks are one of the few less impressive offerings here at Dolphin restaurant. Your rather basic steaks are served on sizzling bull-shaped hotplates with sides of potatoes and green vegetables. It is tad reminiscent of old Hainanese-style steakhouses such as Mariners Corner or Jacks place we previously visited.
However, you might find the steaks to be lackluster in quality, with certain cuts being tough to the bite and seemingly cooked from frozen. Additionally, the food quality is average, but still acceptable not great. Though I won’t exactly call the establishment a steak house either. Go for their baked potatoes when they are offered as a side, as their fries on some of my visits do feel old and soggy. It feels like they had been sitting around for some time.
I found Dolphin restaurant steak offerings less value than iSteaks diners. For the price and quality, you can get bigger (300g) and better tasting tender grain-fed steaks for the same price in the sub-$30 range.
Also, I found the prices and menu offerings of Dolphin Restaurant’s dinners are similar to those at Shashlik restaurant and Mariner’s Corner. The latter being another Hainanese-style Western food store in Clementi Sunset Way, which has similar homely hotelier roots of traditional Chinese western food as opposed to the more-commercialised mainstream Jacks Place.
An old school dining experience
Despite the minor shortcomings, Dolphin Restaurant’s unique old-school dining experience. This is combined with its nostalgic charm, makes it a place worth preserving and supporting. The establishment’s staff, though hardworking, can sometimes be overwhelmed, leading to slow service due to a lack of manpower.
Also, the building caretaker on the ground floor lamented the decline in the restaurant business during the pandemic, with some nights having no customers at all. So, it is nice that business is picking up now, with the restaurant about 1/3 full on Saturday evenings. You might not be able to overlook the restaurant’s flaws, but its endearing qualities make it an enjoyable experience.
Moreover, the availability of free parking in the industrial complex adds convenience for diners. Although the restaurant closes earlier than most, and is closed on Sundays, it remains a hidden gem worth visiting. Dolphin Restaurant is a place that brings back memories of an era gone by. Also, its continued operation serves as a tribute to the rustic family business restaurants of yesteryears. The quaint dining experience and the dedication of its staff make it a special place for those seeking a taste of nostalgia in Singapore’s bustling culinary scene.
All in all, Dolphin Restaurant at Genting Lane in Singapore offers a unique and nostalgic dining experience. Its unassuming location, old-world charm, and dedication to preserving its heritage make it a delightful destination for anyone seeking a taste of the past. While its steak offerings may not meet the highest standards, the restaurant’s chicken dishes and other menu items are notably good. You’ll find yourself stepping back in time as you enjoy a meal in this quaint and adorable establishment.
Must Go! | Actually pretty Good | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid
Dolphin restaurant Genting Lane Locality Map
81 Genting Ln, #07-01,
Opening Hours: 11am- 9pm
Closed on Sundays.