Came here for a leisurely dinner + drinks before hitting up the new AMC 16 (new, reclining seats!) across the street. Pretty much a perfect night. Merlion is like Straits, but without the CROWD, the Santana Row bling, and minus a handful of cocktails here n' there.
Their GARLIC NOODLES ARE FTW! I mean, what is yummier than al dente chow mein noodles tossed in an abundance of garlic and shitake mushrooms? Chicken, tomatoes, and basil were also in there. Bowl of delight, sir, bowl of dee-lite. Quality is non-greasy Singaporean food. However, quantity and price were overrated, but that's what they're going for. Menu is just about identical to Straits, 'cept not as big. Enthusiastic yes to the roti appetizer (hot, crispy, chewy flatbread w delish, not too spicy, extra coconut-y curry), no to the eggplant (it was more of a zucchini dish garnished w a couple pieces of eggplant). Also, no to the coconut rice. It didn't taste like anything resembling a coconut, but BIG yes to the cocktails. Their bartender manager is not flimsy w the amount of alcohol poured into your cup. I very much liked the Shark Attack and recommend that if you like creamy blue cocktails.
ATMOSPHERE: It's a very new restuarant. They're technically not even officially open yet and it shows. It has a very toddler-learning-how-to-walk feel, but come here if you don't want to fight Friday night Santana row traffic and hour-long waits. Interior is clean and crisp (love the water glasses) and service is... well, my sister's a waitress there, so I'm biased, but yes, it(she)'s very good! Come here now and beat the crowd before word gets out.