Alan suggested The Lokal for our Sunday brunch.
The Lokal, founded in 2014 by local Aussie chef Darren Farr, who’s resume included a stint at the famed Tetsuya in Sydney, is a casual Aussie-style cafe that uses homemade ingredients – the yoghurt, sauces and pickles all made on site.
While I’ve heard good things about this joint, I’m getting very skeptical of such hipster cafes that are mushrooming across Singapore, often over-hyped and inevitably serving mediocre meals at exorbitant prices.
The cafe is set up in lovely old shophouse – a pre-requisite for any hipster café – at the corner of Bukit Pasoh and Neil road in an area that’s littered with rows of beautifully restored pre-war buildings.
The narrow interior is simply decorated and packed with tiny tables. You have to do a bit of juggling to fit the dishes.
The place was buzzing when we arrived; our brunch had became a late lunch as my morning golf ran later than I had planned.
The Kaya Toast is my favourite item here: the bread was fluffy and nicely toasted; the kaya flavourful and not too sweet; and the wobbly eggs were perfectly cooked.
The poached eggs on the other hand were overcooked for my liking as I like them runny, although the sourdough toast was good.
The Spinach, Cheese & Mushroom Toastie was very tasty with the molten cheese and the vegtables coming nicely together, albeit a wee bit on the oily side.
We also ordered the Roast Beef on Wholemeal bread with pickled cabbage, watercress and grain mustard which was tastily put together. The breads here are indeed fresh .
The generous Organic Chicken was well roasted, with juicy meat ensconced in a crispy skin accompanied by a flavourful sauce.
The Latte was good – there was a sign that proclaimed that the coffee was supplied by Common Man. Alan liked the Masala Chai but I thought it was too sweet and herbal.
The pastry looks good too, although we were too full to try.
The specials of the day are posted on a blackboard above the open-kitchen counter.
Overall, The Lokal is a nice café – nothing pretentious; just good food at reasonable prices in a lovely locale – to drop by and chill after wandering through the quaint surrounds of conserved shophouses and quiet tree-shrouded back alleys. I’m glad that The Lokal lives us to the hype.
136 Neil Road
Phone: +65 64239918