casual cafe dining at the kitchen wunderstore along bukit timah. this is the newly-refreshed eatery of possibly my favorite place in singapore – I get lost in the aisles of amazeballs bake- and cook-ware and everything you might need (or not need). I say possibly because prices are still pretty high here – but the selection. dear lord, the selection.
so it’s just as well that after you do a not-so-quick perusal of the place – and end up hungry – there’s a place where you can rest your legs and fill your stomach. before the next round, of course. this place reminds me of the ikea canteen/cafe – they share the same informal atmosphere, the bustling of manic children, with rather similar food standards.
what I’m trying to say, really, is that it’s not the sort of place you drive a-heck-of-a-long-way for, and it’s great for a quick lunch, though not for lingering. but that’s okay – because that’s not what they set out to do here, and come on: you’re here for the shopping. the great thing is you get to park your man/children/other-uninterested-personnel here while you exchange your wallet contents for more cookware – and that’s a win in my books.
we sampled a range of their new items, and in general it’s not food that I eat very often – a lot of it is fried or heavy on the carbs, but they were surprisingly tasty. this oriental pizza was one of my favorites that day – a thin-but-not-too-thin crust well-browned and slathered with hoisin, and topped with duck and rather beautifully wilting bonito flakes, it was full of umami and quite delicious.
the chicken ramen came with fried chicken pieces in a rather salty broth (the latter being the reason I usually eschew ramen): this wasn’t great. the cooked noodles clumped together – and clearly hadn’t been properly separated while cooking, and the only component I really liked were the soy eggs, well-marinated and cradling a soft yolk.
the fried chicken has a tendency to get very soggy too, so if you do decide to go with this – perhaps ask them for the meat on a separate dish?
the fried fish fingers with wasabi mayo fared much better, firm pieces of breaded white fish cooked to a golden – a good portion and very easy to wolf down. the fries were a rather rustic crinkle-cut, a little anaemic but otherwise satisfying – between these two dishes it felt a little like I had returned to those yesteryears when I could be fobbed off with such finger food. good orders, especialy if you have children.
we finished the meal with a tempura-ed durian – it came with a fantastic golden batter and cold innards, a little like fried ice cream. it would have been great if the fritter had been drained properly – but as it was, it was a tad too oily and greasy, which exacerbated the richness of the durian.
the food is simple, and more than adequate for the accompainment-to-shopping role it’s meant to play. you’ll have a decent meal sticking with the simple things (which I think means the fried finger foods).
896 Dunearn Road
tel +65 6219 7077
$: about a tenner per dish
thanks to ToTT and OpenRice for the invite!