Hararu Izakaya at Bussorah St

Hararu Izakaya
16 Bussorah St
Singapore 199437
Tel: +65 62915373
Online reservations: Click here
Online menu (no prices tho): Click here

Operating Hours
Sun to Thu: 12pm to 11pm (Last Order 10pm)
Fri-Sat and Eve of PH: 12pm to 12am (Last Order 11pm)

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: S$44 (omg why do we spend like kings)
Recommended dishes: Hotate Turkey Bacon (Scallop) (S$6), Gyuniku Nitsuke (Stewed Beef Ribs) (S$18), Negima (Chicken & Spring Onion) (S$5)

OK you guys I finally tried Hararu Izakaya at Bussorah St a couple of weeks ago! (edited to add: ok it’s now become a couple of months ago because I am just the worst and I sat on this review with about 20% to go and it just remained in drafts FOREVER).

Some of you might know I went to Tokyo on holiday in May this year, and came back literally 2 days before Ramadan began. I had an amazing time there eating my absolute weight in sashimi, sushi and even life-changing lobster rolls from Dominique Ansel Bakery (OK lah I’m not so strict which is why I *need* to keep a halal blog to encourage myself to find halal options). Unfortunately I only had time to visit one halal ramen place called Naritaya near the Asakusa shrine, prior to attending the Sanja Matsuri festival. (P.s. it’s not great, but it’ll do if you’re looking for halal food in the area!)

So you can imagine how happy I was at the opening of Hararu Izakaya in late April 2017, the first halal izakaya in Singapore! We’re still some ways away from like, a halal Shinji or even a halal Teppei for that matter, but still this is a welcome step in the right direction! You can read more about the restaurant founders in this article I found online here.

So hilarious fact: Hararu is how the Japanese would pronounce the term “halal”, just like how in Southpark, the (Japanese) people at Sony had a meeting to discuss their “serusu report” (sales report) for the new PlayStation and the launch of their Brack Friday Bunduru (Black Friday Bundle) LOL I died. Loved this episode.

Also, in case you guys didn’t know, the term izakaya refers to a Japanese gastropub, and has its origins in sake shops that allowed its customers to stay and drink on-site (‘”i” means to stay, and “sakaya” refers to sake shop.) So okay lah not super halal origins, but why should seekers of halal food be denied those delicious grilled skewers, right?

Hararu_Izakaya_Foreword

Hararu_Izakaya_Mural

Located on Bussorah St right next to Kampong Glam Cafe and opposite the now-defunct Vintage Delicafe, Hararu Izakaya occupies 2 floors of the shophouse. I made reservations about 5 days in advance and was ushered to the more pleasant upstairs seating – sweet! We were asked to remove our shoes to sit on the tatami mats (don’t worry there’s a depression “moat” in the floor around the table so you sit on the edge and put your legs in, so you’re effectively sitting on a bench instead of cross-legged and risking accidental indecency if you’re wearing a skirt lol). I was so thankful I wore sandals that could be slipped off and on with ease instead of, say, shoes with buckles UGH. Or like sneakers with ratty sockettes lol. Y’all have been warned.

Hararu_Izakaya_Decor

You sit on the floor and put your legs in the “moat”!

Hararu_Izakaya_Wall

I assume all mountains in Japanese drawings are Mount Fuji because I don’t know any other names help omg let me read up more so I don’t stay ignorant ugh

We ordered from a digital menu on an ipad attached to the table – I can’t tell you how much I love this. This iPad ordering system is prevalent in Japanese izakayas as it facilitates ordering skewers gradually and incrementally. Love it. Plus you don’t have to keep calling the waitress over to take your order. It’s great, 10/10.

So anyway we started off with the Hotate Turkey Bacon (S$6 for 2 skewers), which features grilled scallop wrapped in turkey bacon. You can choose the version with shio salt dressing or teriyaki sauce dressing, and we tried both:

Hararu_Izakaya_Scallop_Turkey_Bacon

Hotate Turkey Bacon on Teriyaki sauce (S$6) – 9/10

Hararu_Izakaya_Scallop_Turkey_Bacon2

Hotate Turkey Bacon in shio salt (S$6) – 9/10

YUM I really liked these! The scallop tasted fresh and was flavourful, while the turkey bacon really helped raise the umami quotient. I’m a little torn with regards to which dressing is better than the other; it’ll really depend on your mood as the teriyaki dressing can be a little sweet for some but also more juicy than the salt. I’d say a solid 9/10 for both of these.

We were deciding between udon or soba noodles, and eventually decided on the Zaru Soba (S$8). Here’s a definition for you guys taken from Just One Cookbook:

Zaru Soba is a chilled noodle dish made from buckwheat flour and served with soy sauce based dipping sauce called tsuyu (つゆ). The word zaru means “a strainer” in Japanese and the name of the dish was derived from the way the noodles are served over a bamboo strainer during Edo Period.

So I always thought I was more of an udon girl; I find the chewy texture of the thick noodles in hot broth very satisfying and comforting. However, in the past year I’ve been dipping my toes in the proverbial cold soba waters (this metaphor does not work but go with me on it) and I’ve come to really like cold soba as a refreshing, light dish.

Hararu_Izakaya_Zaru_Soba

The ones at Hararu, unfortunately, were not great. The soba was too starchy, while the good-quality ones were more refined with a springier, lighter texture. The dipping sauce was just fine, but the noodles are really the star of the show, and to have them be mediocre is a little disappointing. I hope they tweak the texture next time! 5/10

We also had the Negima chicken thigh and leek skewers (S$5 for 2 skewers):

Hararu_Izakaya_Chicken_Thigh_Leek

Negima Chicken Thigh and Leek Skewers (S$5)

YUM. Happy to report these chicken thighs were juicy and well-seasoned, yum! I even ate the leek which had a slightly charred taste yum and wasn’t super oniony YES. Definitely a staple skewer for me. 9/10

We tried to be all healthy and included the Shiitake Negi (S$4 for 2 skewers) in our order so we can say alright we had some vegetables:

Hararu_Izakaya_Shitake_Negi

Shiitake Skewer (S$4) – 6.5/10

I confess I am not usually the biggest fan of shiitake, especially in stir fries, but I don’t mind them grilled! That being said, I still found these were pretty average – a little dry and rubbery, although I honestly don’t know if they would’ve been better elsewhere. 6.5/10 I guess!

We also had to try the Gyu Kushi Ponzu (S$10) which were the beef skewers in a citrus + soy sauce glaze (bonus: click here for ponzu recipe):

Hararu_Izakaya_Beef_Ponzu

Gyu Kushi Ponzu beef skewer (S$10) – 8/10

You will not believe how many times I accidentally typed Ponzi (as in Ponzi scheme) instead of Ponzu in this review lol. Anyway these skewers were just a smidge tougher than I would have liked, but I did enjoy the citrusy-umami flavour of the ponzu dressing. A little steep at S$10 but worth a try if you like your red meats like I do. 8/10

Moving on from the skewers, we tried the Yuzu Miso Tebasaki Chicken Wings (S$12 for 6 pieces):

Hararu_Izakaya_Chicken_Wings

Yuzu Miso Tebasaki Chicken Wings (S$12) – 7.5/10

These grilled chicken wings (tebasaki literally means wing tips) were not bad – they were savoury and lightly sour, with additional flavour from the sesame seeds and seaweed garnish! While the meat was succulent, I thought the skin could have been either a little juicier, or crisper instead of in-between. 7.5/10

Finally the pièce-de-résistance was the Gyu Nitsuke (S$18) featuring stewed tender beef ribs in some sweet-savoury sauce.

Hararu_Izakaya_Beef_Ribs1

Gyu Nitsuke beef rib (S$18) – 10/10

OMG GUYSSSSSS this was really good!!! The beef was really so, so tender, and juicy, and packed with flavour!! I swear, it was super succulent and the meat slid right off the bone and onto my chopsticks UNFFFF YASSSSS.

Hararu_Izakaya_Beef_Ribs2

HNGGGGGGGG gasm.

OK full disclosure – towards the end, it did get just a little bit jelak because the sauce was a little sweet, but thankfully the dish came with some sort of dip on the side which had a hint of wasabi, helping de-cloy the flavour. I’d still rate it 10/10 though!

All in all I had a good time at Hararu Izakaya, although I do think there is room for improvement in the quality of the dishes. Nothing some tweaks and continuous fine-tuning wouldn’t fix. I LOVE the ambience of the 2nd floor seating, and I love the ipad ordering system. I do however wish they would serve more like sashimi stuff (OKAY I KNOW this is a yakitori place ugh I’m sorry but I love sashimi help please send me some).

Also I hate that they do not serve water, and a drink costs you like S$3-6 at this place. I def got a sore throat the next day because of all the skewers and not enough water (my fault for being too cheap to buy mineral water) so either come with a water bottle of your own or be prepared to pay for water (mmmm I just do not agree with paying for water ugh).

Still, looking forward to going back and trying that amazing Gyu Nitsuke beef ribs ugh.

Hararu Izakaya
16 Bussorah St
Singapore 199437
Tel: +65 62915373
Online reservations: Click here
Online menu (no prices tho): Click here

Operating Hours
Sun to Thu: 12pm to 11pm (Last Order 10pm)
Fri-Sat and Eve of PH: 12pm to 12am (Last Order 11pm)

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8/10
Average spend per pax: S$44 (omg why do we spending like kings)
Recommended dishes: Hotate Turkey Bacon (Scallop) (S$6), Gyuniku Nitsuke (Stewed Beef Ribs) (S$18), Negima (Chicken & Spring Onion) (S$5)

Advertisements

Wilder Cafe on North Bridge Road

Wilder Cafe
749 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198717
Online reservations (only for 4 pax and above): Click here
Online Menu: Click here

Opening Hours
Tue-Sat: 1230pm to 10pm
Sun: 1230pm to 9pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$22
Recommended dishes: Eggs and Salted Egg Crab Croissant (S$17)

Happy weekend guys! It’s been a while since my last post. As always, I have been eating and eating, but just have not found the time to upload photos and start writing! Worse stilll I’ve been OBSESSED with this book I’m reading called Shades of Grey by Jasper FForde – NOT, I repeat, NOT, to be confused with the horrible 50 Shades franchise. I borrowed mine from the National Library, it’s SO GOOD!!!

Shades of Grey is about this dystopian world where social hierarchy is dictated by the colours one can perceive, and so the Greys are the lowest on the scale, whereas the purples are considered high up because they can see red, blue and purple – that sort of thing. The dialogue between the characters are usually really funny in a dry humour way. Such great writing, like a modern day Evelyn Waugh, and more accessible.

Aaanyway, unlike the Rihanna and Calvin Harris collab, this book talk is not what you came for. I’m really here to talk about my recent lunch at Wilder Cafe on North Bridge Road before heading over the the National Library for Rent the Musical! (My first time watching Rent, great set design.)

Wilder Cafe - Table Decor

Cantiknya ya Allah (lol melebih)

Wilder Cafe - Interior Decor

Industrial chic like the former Rouse

Wilder Cafe - Interior

I’m not supposed to pixelate his face right?

Wilder Cafe - Table Flowers

As you can see from the photos above, Wilder is beautiful! I love what they’ve done with the space, it feels very welcoming.

Here’s a look at the brunch menu:

Wilder Cafe - Brunch Menu

Ignore my friend’s RIDICULOUS reflection

Wilder Cafe - Brunch Menu 2

Dranks and stuff

We ordered the Pulled Beef Fries (S$15), which was described in the menu as having 12-hour braised beef and 3 types of melted cheese over fries:

Pulled Beef Cheese Fries

Pulled Beef Fries ($15) – 6/10

So my friend and I were deciding between either these Pulled Beef Fries or the Old Fashioned Truffle Fries (S$11), and in the end the Pulled Beef Fries won out because it was more unique. Plus, we were curious about how the pulled beef would taste after having been braised for 12 hours.

Wilder Cafe - Pulled Beef Fries

Unffff – if only it tasted as good as it looked

Alas, these were a letdown. Off the bat I thought the presentation in this blue-grey bowl was not really appetizing (maybe try a platter?!), and I wish they’d used thicker-cut fries. These thin fries were frankly soggy and a little hard. I like my fries crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside. These were neither.

The pulled beef was also not the most tender, and fairly dry. I don’t know what happened in the preparation process, but I would have much preferred if the pulled beef were more saucy and tender, so that the fries could have soaked up the gravy and the flavour that comes with it. I feel like it’s a great concept, but maybe the execution/preparation was not the best. I hope they can improve on this! In the meantime, 6/10 unfortunately.

For my mains I got the Eggs and Salted Egg Crab (S$17), consisting of two poached eggs, and crabmeat with salted egg sauce on a croissant:

Wilder Cafe - Eggs & Salted Egg Creb

Eggs and Salted Egg Crab (S$17) – 9/10

Wilder Cafe - Salted Egg Crab Eggs Benedict

UGHHH look at that frothy creamy goodness and them CURRY LEAVES UGH YUM

OK so let’s start with the negatives – check out the sad few rocket leaves on the tomato (which thankfully was pretty yummy). It couldn’t hurt to add a handful more leaves to make up a decent side salad. Secondly the poached egg was not very presentable, and could’ve been slightly runnier. Thankfully, the salted egg sauce made up for this so that each bite was juicy and not dry.

On to the plusses – i liked the croissant. It lent a slight sweetness and also some crunch to the dish. I can imagine it would also save time for the kitchen staff who wouldn’t have to bother themselves with fresh toast or muffins.The crabmeat portion was generous, and went well with the salted egg taste! A pretty solid dish, although for S$17 I really would expect at least a little more salad, or better looking poached eggs. 9/10

My friend (who guest-starred in the menu reflection) got the Baked Spinach and Cheese (S$8) and topped up S$3.50 for some smoked salmon:

Wilder Cafe - Baked Spinach and Cheese Smoked Salmon

Baked Spinach and Cheese with added smoked salmon (S$11.50) – 7.5/10

Wilder Cafe - Baked Spinach and Cheese with Smoked Salmon

MMMM CHEEESYYYYYYYY

I liked this dish – it was really creamy and cheesy, and annoyingly had more rocket leaves than my croissant LOL. There was an adequate amount of spinach in it, and the smoked salmon added extra texture. It was quite comforting. I only have 2 gripes about this – the cheese/cream base was a little too liquidy, almost like chunky soup. Maybe they could have done something to make it a little more solid, like add some ingredient to bind the cream and cheese together. My second bone to pick was that they made the cream base a little too spicy. We found bits of chilli padi in it. Go easy on the chilli, and I think we’d be 9/10. For now though, 7.5/10!

We didn’t get any dessert since we were pressed for time, but all in all we had a pretty good time at Wilder. I think it’ll be a nice place to go for coffee or just a casual hang with some friends. It was fairly quiet when I was there, and like I said, the decor felt really welcoming.

It’s worth noting this place does not charge GST or service charge, since you order and pay at the counter. Cutleries and water are available at the self-service station. It’s very no-frills. Oh they also sell random paraphernalia like this Salted Egg Fries Tote Bag for S$28:

Wilder Cafe - Salted Egg Fries Tote Bag

Pretty cute eh? If only I carried tote bags more. I have 4 right now at home I hardly use.

Wilder Cafe - Openig Hours

Lol I took a photo of this so I could put up the Opening Hours info here.

Wilder Cafe
749 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198717
Online reservations (only for 4 pax and above): Click here
Online Menu: Click here

Opening Hours
Tue-Sat: 1230pm to 10pm
Sun: 1230pm to 9pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 7.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$22
Recommended dishes: Eggs and Salted Egg Crab Croissant (S$17)

Golden Ladle at Sembawang Rd

Golden Ladle
33 Sembawang Road
Sembawang Eating House Stall #2
Singapore 779084
Tel: +65 8102 9065
Notes: Cash-only, accepts reservations

Opening Hours
Tue-Sun: 12pm to 10pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$5+ 
Recommended dishes: Sticky Chicken Wings (S$8)

Hey guys! So in my previous post, I talked about my friends and I trying the food from Reminis at Sembawang Eating House? I also mentioned us trying food from a neighbouring stall and that was Golden Ladle!

Golden Ladle is right next to Reminis and serves mostly Western/Italian food, although “chaat masala salted egg sauce” also features on the menu (look it up under Sharing):

Golden Ladle - Menu

Man that Crabby Patty sounds good right now (it’s 1230am as I’m typing this)

The first thing that attracted me on the menu was the signature Sticky Chicken Wings (S$8):

Golden Ladle - Sticky Chicken Wings 1

Sticky Chicken Wings (SS8) – 10/10

Golden Ladle - Sticky Chicken Wings

I mean LOOK AT THESE WINGSSSSSSS 😀

Oh boy, I love chicken wings and these were superb!! The skin is crisp, and made super flavourful thanks to the coat of sweet/spicy/tangy sauce with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. These bad boys are literally finger-licking good! Hurrah for yet another place that gets wings right. 10/10

We also ordered a plate of calamari rings called the Squid-o-Rings (S$8):

Golden Ladle - Calamari
Squid-o-Ring (S$8) – 7/10

I will level with you guys and say that this was pretty average. The flour coating was crispy for sure, but the batter tasted a little bland – not ideal considering regular squid isn’t naturally the most flavourful seafood unless it’s really fresh. I think it could stand to be little more savoury – maybe some curry powder or more salt and pepper in the mix. Thankfully I love squid in all forms so we still cleaned this up! 6.5/10

I think if the delicious chicken wings are anything to go by, Golden Ladle has a lot of promise! The next time I’m back I will definitely try either the Crabby Patty with Avocado Pesto and Spiced Salsa (S$10) or the Soft-Shell Crab with Chaat Masala Salted Egg Sauce (S$14). Let’s be real though, I will probably get both haha. I’ll definitely keep you guys posted!

Golden Ladle
33 Sembawang Road
Sembawang Eating House Stall #2
Singapore 779084
Tel: +65 8102 9065
Notes: Cash-only, accepts reservations

Opening Hours
Tue-Sun: 12pm to 10pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$5+ 
Recommended dishes: Sticky Chicken Wings (S$8)

Watsub at East Village

WATSUB SG
#01-12 East Village
430 Upper Changi Road
Singapore (487048)
Tel: +65 8130 2323

Opening Hours
Mon : Closed
Tue – Thu : 10:00am – 9:00pm
Fri : 3:00pm – 10:00pm
Sat – Sun : 10:00am – 9:00pm

Halalicious Rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$10
Recommended dish: Pulled Beef Sandwich!

Hello everyone! Are you guys on Netflix yet? IT IS AMAZING. I’ve wasted probably half my life on Making A Murderer. It’s a gripping reality/documentary show about this guy Steven Avery who was exonerated after serving 18 years in prison for a wrongful rape conviction, only to be accused of murder while he was trying to sue the county for said wrongful conviction. Isn’t that crazy? It’s major. Please get on the monthly $11-17 plans STAT.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you guys about Watsub, this amazing halal sandwich shop I went to last weekend! I happened to be at the Simpang Bedok area with my friends (ok full disclosure, we were doing afternoon karaoke!! Oh the shame! 😦 ) so we we were trying to pick out a dinner spot from the myriad options at East Village, and we ended up at Watsub!

Watsub Logo

Watsub Sandwich Pictures

YASSSS CIABATTA FOR DAYSSSS

It’s a pretty cosy joint that can fit maybe 15 people, but they also have outdoor seating so never fear!

Watsub Interior

Watsub Opening Hours

Closed on Mondays, open 3pm on Fridays to accommodate Friday prayers yay, and 10am opening on all other days 🙂

Based on their Facebook page, it seems they’ve been open since about April 2015. Gosh that’s a full 9 months ago, and I’m only finding out about them now! This is the life of a Westsider folks. Anyway here’s a look at the menu:

Watsub Menu

Watsub Menu 2

Not only regular sandwiches, but sliders and quesadillas! YUM.

So first Step 1 they make you choose your bread type (unless you’re getting the non-sandwich options like the sliders, chilli dog, or quesadilla):

Watsub Bread

The selection that Saturday comprised sesame, multigrain, ciabatta, or focaccia

Then Step 2 you tell them what you want from the menu, and they’ll pick the meat/fillings from there:

Watsub Meat

Watsub Counter

You can see them preparing some ciabatta with turkey ham and slices of cheese. CHEEEEESSSSSE YUMMMMM

And Step 3 you choose your sauce:

Watsub Sauces

Why would you even choose anything other than smoked chipotle, GOSH (ok fine I think the trio mustard would taste pretty damn awesome with the roast beef sammich)

Watsub Prep

A closer look

And finally Step 4 you choose the vegetables to ruin accompany your meat fillings:

Watsub Veggie

EEEEE onions please step to the left.

You can also choose to top up S$2.50 for a Combo Meal which includes a soft drinks, and a choice of (a) Mushroom Soup, (b) Roasted Potatoes and (c) Tortilla Chips with Salsa.

Watsub Combo Meal

Watsub self service drinks

Gotta work for that self-service drank

After an eternity of deliberating I went for the Pulled Beef Sandwich (S$8.50) on ciabatta bread, with smoked Chipotle sauce and some colourful bell peppers as my veggie. I also ponied up the additional S$2.50 for a combo meal, opting for the mushroom soup and a can of Heaven & Earth mango tea.

Watsub Mushroom Soup

YUMMMMMM this soup is like the anti-Campbell soup. 10/10

Watsub Meal

That’s my pulled beef sandwich right there on the left.

Watsub Pulled Beef

Tadah! Looks like a leathery hide, but trust me it was delish.

So this masterpiece was an absolute delight. According to the Watsub website, the Pulled Beef is their signature sandwich, using meat that has been cooked for over 8 hours and left to steep in its own juices for. Just, tremendous.

I bit into it ravenously and found the shredded beef meat exceptionally tender, juicy, and flavourful, particularly when complimented with the heaty, smokey Chipotle sauce. (I had to Google this – Chipotle sauce is made from chipotle chillies, mayo, cumin, cilantro, salt, Greek yoghurt) YUM. I cannot get the juiciness of the tender meat out of my mind – even describing it here alone makes me SO HUNGRY for it. 10/10

One of my friends went for the Meatball Sliders (S$8.50), which consisted of 3 mini beefball burgers:

Watsub Sliders

She chose onion and tomatoes (UGH)

Watsub Beef Slider

A cross-section. Look how juicy the meatball is!!

So I had to artfully bite around the onion so as to avoid it, and YES I loved what I tasted. The meatball was really very tender, and flavourful on its own. I loved that. The buns were soft and basically it was a very juicy bite for me. My issue with regular meatball subs is that the meatballs tend to run around in the sandwich so you get pockets of empty bread, but with these carefully apportioned sliders, you really get the perfect bread/meat ratio. 10/10

Our other friend opted for the Chilli Dog (S$5.90) which consists of a chicken sausage hotdog with chilli con carne (which just means chilli with meat in Spanish) and cheese!

Watsub Chilli Dog

My friend added the jalapeños, yum!

I liked this too you guys! The chilli con carne taste was quite strong, which meant it was very delicious and savoury. The sauce is also slightly heaty for a mini kick. I thought the bun was a little too soft – perhaps another bun with slightly less give and a little more chewiness? But hey for S$5.90 I sure like what I’m getting 🙂 9/10

My friend got the roasted potatoes as her Combo Meal side:

Watsub Roasted Potatoes

Mm I thought these were ok – pretty standard roasted rosemary potatoes (I love all potatoes) but I reckon the mushroom soup is tastier if you don’t need the extra potato carbs to fill you up. 8/10

So that’s it for the food. I love this place and will DEF try to come back more often! I will leave you guys with photos of the decor:

Watsub Decor 1

Watsub Coke 2

Novelty Coca-Cola cans with “Encik” and “Abang”! SO CUTE.

Watsub Coke 1

Novelty cans with “Atuk” and “Nenek” (grandpa and grandmawww)

WATSUB SG
#01-12 East Village
430 Upper Changi Road
Singapore (487048)
Tel: +65 8130 2323

Opening Hours
Mon : Closed
Tue – Thu : 10:00am – 9:00pm
Fri : 3:00pm – 10:00pm
Sat – Sun : 10:00am – 9:00pm

The Lab SG on Jalan Pisang II

The Lab SG
1 Jalan Pisang #01-01
Singapore 199069

Reservations (only for 6-15 pax): + 65 6299 5681
Remarks: Cash or NETS only please!

Opening Hours
Mon-Sat: 1230pm to 10pm
Sundays: 1pm to 930pm

Have you guys watched Spectre, the last of Daniel Craig’s interpretation of James Bond? No spoilers, but while I enjoyed the first half, the second half was a little disappointing. Which was the second time that weekend I felt let down. The first was about 3 hours before the movie, when I walked in to the new brunch place on Purvis St called Clinton St Baking Company, and was told the wait was going to be 1 hour 40 minutes. WHAT!!! How ’bout NO! So my friend and I detoured to The Lab SG at Jalan Pisang, which was about 5 minutes from opening at 1pm. That’s right, my friend and I were the first to get to the Lab, which really never happens!

image

Me shyly having a drank at the totally empty cafe.

The last time I came I was so excited about the lemon-infused water that I ignored the home-made brews they have on display above the order counter, but this time I was determined to get something:

image

Water My Lime, Mint Earl Grey Lime, Chrys The Wolfberry. I wanted to order the last one purely for the mystery, but I went with the watermelon/lime tea instead.

image

Bad photo, but I love the pink hue, and it tasted really refreshing!

For starters I ordered the Ayam Karat, which is the grilled chicken in a honey and dates marinade, accompanied by a cup of spicy black sambal! I totally forgot how much it costs and I didn’t take a photo of the menu this time, but I will check and update!

image

That sauce right there? Is some good ish.

image

You guys, the black sauce is SO DELICIOUS!! It tastes like the sambal kicap for Mee Soto, but sweeter. There are plenty of chilli seeds in the sauce, so there’s some bite to it. I’m not sold on the honey date marinade, because I thought it needed to be a bit more savoury instead of bittersweet, but luckily the chicken was very tender. Also is it just me or should there have been more marinade on the chicken? It looked and tasted a little dry on the outside for me, but the amazing black sauce saved the day. 8/10

For my mains I decided on the vegetarian De La Huerta (S$13), which is Spanish for “from the garden/orchard”. It consists of one giant baked bell pepper stuffed with a wild mushroom gratin and cheese stuffing, topped with long strips of crispy fried onion, and served on a bed of salad and capers.

image

image

OMG YUMMMM CHEEEEESE

Guys let’s be real here. I am always the last person who will ever go for the vegetarian option, but I think it was Providence asking me to order it that day. The De La Huerta was surprisingly very yummy! It made me feel virtuous eating the baked pepper, and not in a self-deprivatory way. The red pepper was fresh and juicy, so that with every crunch there was a burst of flavour. The cheese was chewy and delicious, with bits of wild mushroom in it for extra texture. I also thought the crispy onion strips tasted satisfyingly savoury, while the capers revolutionized every bite with some extra saltiness/sourness. Overall the flavours of each component mixed together very well, making for a very robust main dish. 9/10

My friend ordered the La Carte Le Fish (S$17), which is the pan-fried, oven-grilled barramundi drizzled with a prawn cocktail creme:

image

That’s the yam latte (S$5.50), that my Friend said tasted too much like flavouring, and was “not worth it”. Also, barramundi in Malay is ikan siakap.

My friend let me have a couple of bites and boy, was the fish SO GOOD! Very tender and fresh, not at all overcooked or dry, which is terribly easy to do with a delicate protein like fish. The crème was rich and umami, pairing very well with the fish. The prawns were quite sweet, but tasted like regular frozen prawns. Overall still pretty decent! 9/10

We rounded off the meal with a slice of the Salted Caramel Cake (S$8.90):

image

So the story was, I wanted my friend to get the molten lava cake, but because of some miscommunication he ordered this cake instead. I was all ready to be all “ugh I hate this cake, you should have ordered the lava cake!” but then this cake turned out to be actually pretty good. It wasn’t spongey, but denser and more fudgey, you know? Nice and sweet, but the salted caramel provided some balance to the palette. I didn’t really care for the chocolate bits at the top (they got stuck in my teeth), but otherwise a decent cake. 8/10

At the end of it all I had a great meal at The Lab, and the vibe of the place is really cosy and laid back, so you never feel rushed and every conversation you have feels private. I’ll definitely go more often. I also like that they keep experimenting with the menu, so that sometimes you get things taken off/added to the menu – the Hungarian Goulash, notably, is missing from the latest menu. The cakes are also mostly out of this world. Once I came here just for dessert, and that was also super enjoyable! The Nutella Smores Tart is PHENOMS guys. Get on it!

The Lab SG
1 Jalan Pisang #01-01
Singapore 199069

Reservations (only for 6-15 pax): + 65 6299 5681
Remarks: Cash or NETS only please!

Opening Hours
Mon-Sat: 1230pm to 10pm
Sundays: 1pm to 930pm