The Bravery on Horne Road

The Bravery
66 Horne Road
Singapore 209073
Online menu: Click here
Remarks: No gst, no service charge

Opening Hours
Mon, Wed-Fri: 9am to 6pm
Sat-Sun: 8am to 7pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Halal status: all dishes are made with halal ingredients
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Average spend per pax: $22 for a drink and a main

Hey guys! Another puasa day another review. How is everyone doing? Hope each day is better than the last. The mood this year for me is  #taubatlikeitshot (thanks Abang Snoop!) and I really hope to become a better Muslim, Sisyphean though the task may seem!

Aaaaanyway, have you guys been to the Bravery café near Jalan Besar? I went there last Saturday for the third time ever to refresh my impression of the café. I mean, there’s really no two words about it, The Bravery is about as hipster as it gets. Check out the Bravery FAQ on their website and you’ll see why!

The Bravery Café - Outdoor Table

Look at the outdoor tables. So hipster aiyoh.

Located on Horne Road which is quite isolated compared to other similar establishments, The Bravery offers its patrons a quiet respite on any given weekend. There are individual tables, as well as communal tables with newspapers for you to read while you wait for the food to arrive.

The Bravery Café - Exterior Facade

There’s the door in the middle. Lots of people seem to have problems finding it, including my friend whom I spotted from the inside, walking around right past the door and around the back entrance LOL

The Bravery Café - Sir Mixalot

Any Sir-Mix-A-Lot reference, no matter how cheesy, gets a plus in my book!

The Bravery Café - Table Decor

Did I mention the centrepiece for the communal table is an aluminium foil horse? It’s beyond great.

The Bravery Café - Decor Viam Light Experience

Also you get a bonus light installation by lifestyle brand MUKK. I have no idea how long it’ll stay here, but I really like it IDK

The Bravery Café - Viam Light Experience

So yes the interior decor gets an A- for me. The – comes from the uncomfortable chairs, some of which are backless.

Here’s a look at the Bravery menu:

 

My friend got the Flat White (S$4.60) with an extra shot for an added $0.50. He wanted it to be known that when he asked the waitress if the Flat White came with a single or double shot, the waitress didn’t immediately know, and had to check. I was like, hey dude that’s fine right, and he was all “no, they should already know this.” Divas, oy!

Anyway I got the Iced Raspberry Tea (S$5.50) which was delish and had bits of raspberry seeds at the bottom, in case you doubted the authenticity of the tea LOL.

The Bravery Café - Flat White and Iced Raspberry Tea

Flat White (S$4.60) // Iced Raspberry Tea (S$5.50)

So for my main, I got The Prime Burger (S$18), which consists of prime cut beef patty, aged cheddar cheese, Spanish onion, Roma tomato and baby arugula. According to the website it’s supposed to come with truffled potato chips, but first of all I’m not sure if they meant chips in the British way (which would then mean fries), and second of all my burger came with French Fries that did not taste truffled.

The Bravery Café - The Prime

The Prime (S$18) – 7.5/10

The Bravery Café - The Prime Burger

The Bravery Café - The Prime Burger Cross Section

Mmm that patty

OK quick sidebar, I can’t believe I’m voluntarily reviewing food when I’m fasting. Cobaan… (Tests or trials). Back to the food – I thought the patty was really good quality, but was just a little dry. Not unlike the patty from The Lab SG, this one needed more binders or whatever holds the ground meat together. Still, not a big deal – you can taste the quality beef in the patty. Also I had asked for no onions, and I suspect the onions would have made the burger juicier.

My real gripe is reserved for the bun 😦 The bun was a little too aerated and insubstantial, with hardly any bite and none of that chewiness that I look for in a good, solid, burger bun.

Apart from that, the tomato added a nice tang and the rocket provided a delicious nutty flavour – wish there had been more of it, together with more cheese! More cheese is always a good idea. 7.5/10

My friend got the Holy Crab (S$14.50), which is the béchamel crab cakes with sautéed mushrooms and a poached egg, together with some side salad.

The Bravery Café - Holy Crab Crabcakes

Holy Crab (S$14.50) – 7.5/10

The Bravery Café - Holy Crab

Another angle for good measure

His first reaction was “That’s it? So small? This is why I hate café food” LOL. And I mean, I have to agree. I’m definitely a daintier eater than my friend who is a veritable food monster, but come on man these were like 3 very small begedils. To make matters worse, another major flaw is that the coating was too big for the crab filling – when we cut through one crabcake, we could feel the shell giving way for a split second before the knife actually touched any crabmeat. So yes, major problems with the portion.

Size aside however, I really liked the taste of the crab cake, and there is truly no way to screw up sautéed mushrooms, so I enjoyed the taste and texture of them both very much. The poached egg was a little overcooked so it wasn’t as runny as we wanted, but I’ll allow it. 7.5/10 for this dish with 0.5 docked because of the portion.

All in all, I had a pretty good time at the Bravery largely due to the quiet, very laidback, easy-like-Sunday-morning, ambience of the place. The food is OKAY, like it’s not life-changing, but I definitely see myself coming back for more of like, the avocado toast with smoked salmon, while I read my New Yorker, that sort of thing. Also maybe I’ll check out the widely-Instagrammed Pancake Stack (S$15) because who doesn’t love ricotta pancakes!! YUMMM. I’ll def update with another post the next time I’m here 🙂

The Bravery
66 Horne Road
Singapore 209073
Online menu: Click here
Remarks: No gst, no service charge

Opening Hours
Mon, Wed-Fri: 9am to 6pm
Sat-Sun: 8am to 7pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Halal status: all dishes are made with halal ingredients
Halalicious rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: $22 for a drink and a main

WORD. at Upper Thomson Road (Permanently Closed)

**Word Cafe has permanently closed**

WORD.
906 Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 787110
Reservations: Text 96858468 and state the number of pax, date and time, and a confirmation text will follow
Remarks: No GST

Opening hours
Tue-Thu: 11am to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am to 1030pm
Sun: 11am to 10pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$40 for 1 app, 1 main, and 1 drink each
Recommended dishes: Cut the Crab crabcakes (S$15), Cow’ch Potato steak (S$24)

I first heard about WORD. a couple of weeks ago from a friend of mine who is ever the intrepid food-explorer with her husband.  Not to be outdone by this Magellan of halal dining, I made the trek out to this new container-style bistro/café yesterday, dragging my endlessly patient BFF with me.

Tucked away among a row of shops on Upper Thomson Road, and further obscured by major construction works for the future Springleaf MRT station, WORD. is definitely not easy to find without directions from Google Maps, so keep your phones handy, people.

By the time I got there right around 230pm, the place was almost full and buzzed with conversation.

Word Café - Ambience 2

I really loved the decor of the place – it had elements of industrial-chic but managed to feel very cosy at the same time.

Word Café - Decor

The very Instagram-worthy main wall of the container

Word Café - Ambience

How do you not love the stylized lion poster?

Word Café - Wall

The wall behind the counter – how delightful!

So given that this place is only some 2+ months old, their menu is still a work in progress as they continue to experiment and streamline it. This explains all the blacked out bits and the manual additions. Take a look here:

Word Café - Menu 1

Salmon Khan!!! I love it, and can’t believe I hadn’t come across this pun before.

Word Café - Menu 2

Confession: “Between the Buns” makes me quite uncomfortable HAHA

The first starter we had was Magic Mushrooms (S$10), which consisted of fleshy white mushrooms coated in savoury batter, served with an aioli dip:

Word Café - Magic Mushrooms

Yum – I’m more of a stir-fried mushrooms type of eater, but I have to say these were pretty good. The batter was light and crunchy, with some sort of salty seasoning that I liked. However, the seasoning was not quite even, so you got some mushrooms that are a little saltier than others. Apart from that, all good – the aioli was decent too. 8.5/10

We also shared the Cut the Crab (S$15), which are mozzarella cheese crabcakes served with a spicy belado dip:

Word Café - Cut the Crab

OK immediate cons: As you can see, this looked almost identical to the battered mushrooms. Same platter, same dip, same side salad, same coating. I was a little disappointed. Also, where is this spicy belado dip? It looked and tasted like regular old aioli to me – not that I don’t like aioli, but I wish they hadn’t set up that expectation for an imaginary belado dip.

Pros: Bells and whistles aside, the crab cake itself tasted really good! It was fairly savoury and packed with crab meat!  9/10

For my main, I chose to go big and got myself the Cow’ch Potato (S$24), which is the beef fillet steak with potato purée and a side of mesclun greens.

Word Café - Cow-ch Potato Steak

Now, again I encountered some mismatch in the menu description and the platter that arrived – this was supposed to have come with the grilled spinach onion, and a choice of hollandaise or brown sauce, but all I got was the steak, the salad, and the potato purée. Where the grilled spinach onion and sauces at, bruh?

The absence of sauce was problematic because the potato purée was so finely puréed that it was more like a dense paste, whereas I prefer a light, fluffy mash. I asked one of the servers if I could get the sauce and it seemed she was not aware the steak should come with any sauce at all. In the end I did manage to get a steaming hot cup of brown sauce though, so that made the puree quite nice and runny, and the meat very juicy.

I requested for my steak to be medium, and I think it came perfectly cooked:

Word Café - Steak cut

Mmmm so juicy and pink ❤

The meat was tender and succulent, especially when you cut up a chunk of it and drag it through a pool of saucy potato purée. I thought the done-ness was perfect. There were no sinewy or tough parts, except for the one strip of (is it tendon? I want to say tendon.) running lengthwise on one side of the fillet, which was easy enough to remove. I did wish the steak had come with fries or actual mash potatoes, instead of the purée though! 9/10

My friend got the cheekily-named Mother Cluckers (S$14), comprising of a whole chicken leg with grilled garlic potatoes, poached asparagus and pimiento with béarnaise sauce. Unfortunately, neither of us remembered to take a photo of it! I was too busy digging into my steak when the chicken leg came, sorry guys. I’ll update you once I find a photo of it online ok!

My friend liked the lemony béarnaise sauce, but found the chicken meat too dry and a little stringy, if you know what I mean. I eyeballed the chunk of chicken leg and had to agree with him. Until they can make us moister, juicier chicken, 7/10 for the Mother Cluckers.

I had no room for dessert, thanks to the Coconut Shake (S$7) I got, which was thick as thieves (incorrect use of the simile, but you know what I mean):

Word Café - Coconut Shake

The Coconut Shake (S$7) was a little too thick and tasted like melted Paddle Pop ice cream with a hint of coconut. Get the Iced tea next time if you’re looking for something more refreshing! 7/10

Word Café - Latte

My friend got the Latte (S$5), which came on this adorable red saucer shaped like a paint palette! Loved it. Can’t comment about the coffee though!

All in all, I felt there was some promise with the menu items, and I do want to come back and try more dishes soon (like the Salmon Khan! And the Ikea Made Us Do It beef balls!). However, the location is a little out of the way for me. I know they have a 3-year lease on the place, so I figure if they stick it out a little longer until the new Springleaf MRT station opens up in 2020, they’ll definitely be set then.

Because of the container shape of the place, the acoustics are not the greatest. There are several tables with kids around us, and so the place became really quite noisy at times, making us feel a little harried during our meal. I suppose it will be much better on quieter days instead of Saturday peak.

I’ll leave you guys with some photos of the place:

Word Café - Crate tables

Crate tables and seats for those who just want snacks and drinks!

Word Café - Dessert display

The counter/dessert display area

Word Café - Mirrored ceilings

Check out the mirrored ceilings and the crazy wired lights all over

Word Café - Mirrored ceilings 2

Word Café - Kitchen View

A window into the “open” kitchen

 

Word Café - Tyre plants

I don’t know what to make of this, but points for recycling old tires

Word Café - HDB Door Table

An old HDB door as a long tabletop!!! I LOVE IT <3<3

WORD.
906 Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 787110
Reservations: Text 96858468 and state the number of pax, date and time, and a confirmation text will follow
Remarks: No GST

Opening hours
Tue-Thu: 11am to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am to 1030pm
Sun: 11am to 10pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$40 for 1 app, 1 main, and 1 drink each
Recommended dishes: Cut the Crab crabcakes (S$15), Cow’ch Potato steak (S$24)

**Word Cafe has permanently closed**

The Royals Steakhouse on Jalan Pisang

The Royals Steakhouse
10 Jalan Pisang
Reservations: +65 6291 3326
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 10pm daily

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 9/10

Average Spend: ~S$30 per pax

During the Vesak day holiday, my friends and I decided to have a girly lunch together and check out The Royals Steakhouse, a relatively new halal café/steakhouse on Jalan Pisang, near Arab Street.

It’s a pretty small space; I dare say just slightly smaller than The Lab SG (its hipster neighbour along Jalan Pisang), and perhaps roughly the same size as the old Royz et Vous, which used to be on Bali Lane but has now moved to 137 Telok Ayer Street. The decor is pretty simple and breezy, with some old-school themed wall decorations.

The_Royals_SG_Wallpaper

An anthropomorphized steak called Sir Loin!!! ADORBS.

The_Royals_SG_Meat_Cuts

I genuinely am not acquainted with the different textures (and tastes?!) of the various cuts, but this tutorial is a good first step.

IMG_6084

We shall see, shan’t we.

The_Royals_SG_Kitchen

Open kitchen concept with bonus fire.

The restaurant is styled as a steakhouse, so most of the options comprise burgers and steak. Check out the simple menu here:

IMG_6082  IMG_6080  IMG_6081

I’m not a huge breakfast person so by the time I got to the restaurant I was ravenous and ordered two starters; the Homemade Pumpkin Soup (S$6) and the Crispy Fries (S$6). Out of sheer politeness I invited my friends to “feel free to have some!” but in my greedy heart of hearts I knew I’d want to have them ALL TO MYSELF 😦 Little did I know, I needn’t have worried, as the portions are way generous!

Royals_Pumpkin_Soup

The pumpkin soup was SO GOOD! It’s got just the right consistency – rich, creamy, and of perfect thickness so you can savour it in your mouth before swallowing. The taste was also spot on, slightly sweet and salty at the same time. UGH perfect. I’m not a fan of croutons in my soups, but my friends had them and said they tasted good, so I guess that’s a bonus too. 10/10 for the pumpkin soup!

Royals_Fries

I had my doubts about the fries – I was worried ‘crispy fries’ would mean skinny, unjuicy fries but what came was a large bowl of fat fries that were crispy on the outside but perfectly mushy on the inside. Tremendous. 10/10

For my main, I had the Australian Striploin (S$22) in medium, served with a side salad, grilled Roma tomato, and your choice of either caramelised onion sauce, black pepper sauce, or mushroom sauce. Superb! I went with the reliable black pepper sauce, although next time I would like to try the other sauces.

Royals_Sirloin

The meat had some parts that were tough, but the rest was perfectly done – I had requested for a medium, on a scale of rare, medium rare, medium, medium done, and well done. The meat was fresh, tender, and savoury enough with its own juices (and what I assume was maybe butter). There were also bits of fat that were just SO tasty and nicely charred. The salad though, I did not touch, so no thoughts on that, apart from that I would have preferred a side of fries or mash, instead of them greens! #roadtoheartdisease Overall, 8.5/10 for the steak!

Interestingly enough, the meat dish also came with a trio of condiments – fresh cut chilli padi, freshly milled black pepper, and some rock salt.

The_Royals_SG_Condiments

According to our waiter, they serve these condiments on the side because they want us to (a) really taste the freshness and the quality of the meat, and (b) be able to adjust the taste of the meat to our liking. Definitely a plus point for me!

I took some photos of the other items my friends ordered so you can have an idea of what they look like:

The_Royals_SG_Crabcakes

Special Recipe Homemade Crab Cakes – S$12

The_Royals_SG_Crab_Cakes

Delicious, with a savoury actual-crab meat filling. 9/10

The_Royals_SG_Baked_Potato

Baked Potato (S$3.50), served with sour cream and beef bacon bits! I didn’t taste this but my friends said it was decent.

The_Royals_SG_Caesar_Salad

Caesar Salad With Herb Croutons, Egg, & Smoked Salmon (S$8). I didn’t taste this either but the portion looks generous!

The_Royals_SG_Lamburghini_Burger

The Lamburghini (S$20) – juicy lamb patty burger with caramelised onions and melted cheese. I had a bite and it was quite good, although I wish the patty were less ball-like. 8/10

The_Royals_SG_Raspberry_Mint_Lemonade

Raspberry Mint Lemonade (S$5)

The_Royals_SG_Green_Apple_Mint_Lemonade

Green Apple Mint Lemonade (S$5)

The_Royals_SG_Cakes

The cake display! With slices ranging from S$6.50 to the odd S$7.60 (looking at you, Opera Cake!)

All in all I’d say this place is definitely worth repeat visits. Service was very attentive and patient, although I have to say we were one of two parties present at the time. The food is hearty, tasty, and served in decent portions. A bonus feature is that you don’t have to order and pay at the counter like at some places in the neighbourhood like The Lab SG and Working Title. It’s full-service so you can bring friends and family for a good time!

Speaking of family; my friend brought her 1-year-old daughter to the restaurant and they provided her with a cute frisbee-like plate made of plastic, along with a plastic spoon, for her to play with so she could feel like one of the adults at the table! It was adorable. So feel free to bring your kids here, guys! It’s a family-friendly establishment!

The Royals Steakhouse
10 Jalan Pisang
Reservations: +65 6291 3326
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 10pm daily

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 9/10

Average Spend: ~S$30 per pax