Lunch @ Nakhon Kitchen

October 8, 2014 in Thai

Our initial plan was to brunch, but we decided to have Thai instead. Especially after hearing Nakhon Kitchen, which is in my girlfriend’s hood, being pretty popular. We reached at 12pm on a Saturday. And while we knew there would be a queue, what we were not expecting was for the queue to be really long!

As it neared our turn to be allocated a table, the staff passed us the menu so that we could quickly order as soon as we were seated. And we waited for approximately 30 minutes before we were finally seated.

I would say Nakhon Kitchen is a place for a fuss-free meal. It’s a non-air conditioned eatery with tables placed within and outside of the shop unit. We were seated outside and were fortunate that the weather was cooling that day. =)

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) Homemade Thai prawn cake (4 pcs), $12 (above) – We liked how Nakhon Kitchen was generous with the ingredients. Breaded chunks of minced prawns and vegetables deep fried to perfection. Nice.

2) Stir-fried kang kong belachan, $6 (above)

3) Tom yam soup (clear base), $6 (above) – For this, one can choose between clear or thick base, and choice of prawn, seafood or chicken. And our clear soup was deceivingly spicy! Needless to say, we did not manage to finish the soup

4) Pineapple fried rice, $6 (above)

5) Phad Thai noodles, $5 (above)

6) Mango sticky rice served w/ coconut milk, $5 (above) – This was not too bad. I liked that the sticky rice was really chewy, although I would have preferred the mango to be sweeter.

7) Thai ice tea, $3 (above) – It could be due to the spicy tom yum soup or it could be the milk thai was really tasty that I finished my drink even before all dishes were served. Ha.

That said, Nakhon Kitchen is recommended for a quick (minus the queuing) and fuss-free meal. With its affordable prices, I say drop by for some Thai food if you are in Kovan. One can also follow up with some desserts (cakes and waffles) at Hatter Street which is just a few units away!

Blk 212 Hougang Street 21, #01-341, Singapore
6286 8785
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 6
Mon – Sun : 17:30 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Value: 6
Service: 6

Brunch @ Lola’s Cafe

September 5, 2014 in European (cafe)

The thing about meeting up with friends who have kids, the rest of us have to head to their area for their convenience. But I am not complaining since we (all) stay in the North. Yeah! And Kovan has a fair number of cafes to check out. Keke.

I arrived earlier than my friends on a Saturday afternoon to grab a table for us. And Lola’s queuing system is by an automated system. Yes! Get into the queue by keying in the number of people and one’s contact number at the entrance.

But I must say, the hot weather really made me impatient (while waiting). It’s difficult to wait around because there’s almost nowhere to hang out. The nearest shopping centre is Heartland Mall which is a 5 minutes walk under the scorching sun. If not, there’s a coffee shop at the end of the stretch of shop houses. But tables were fully occupied by their diners.

It was a 40 minutes wait before I received a call from Lola’s, informing that our table was ready. And as with most shop houses’ layouts, their space is long with row of tables placed on one side, and their counter on the other.

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) Nacho cheese fries, $8 (above) – Fries, cheese sauce, spices.

2) Sunny side stacked sandwich, $13 (above) – Wholemeal toast, sunny-side egg, pork bacons, honey baked ham, tomato, avocado, cheddar cheese, honey mayo, potato fries. It’s hard to not like such combination of ingredients. And I like that wholemeal bread was used. Allowed me to feel a little less guilty for indulging. Ha!

3) Mushroom melt, $10 (above) – Brioche bread, swiss white mushroom, mozzarella cheese, cream, garden salad, balsamic dressing. I must say, this was my favourite. Looked deceivingly simple, but was so good! Actually, anything with melted cheese goes for me. Ha And it was great that Lola’s was not stingy with the cheese. And the brioche toast couldn’t have tasted any better especially when it had soaked up the goodness of the toppings. A must try!

4) Avocado eggs benedict, $15 (above) – Brioche bread, avocado, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, garden salad, balsamic dressing.

5) Lola’s full monty breakfast, $15 (above) – Brioche bread, pork sausages, honey bacons, ham, scrambled eggs, garden salad, balsamic dressing. Scrambled egg was done very nicely, being fluffy!

6) Lemon meringue tart, $5 (above) – Fresh lemon curd, meringue, candied lemon zest. Definitely one of the better lemon meringue tarts I have tried so far.

7) Seasalt chocolate tart with coffee cream, $5 (above) – Dark chocolate ganache, bailey, espresso, sea salt. This was not too bad although I couldn’t make out of the coffee taste in the cream after eating the really thick and strong chocolate of the tart. Sharing this dessert is a better option since it fills one up easily.

8) Honey panna cotta, $7 (above) – Fresh milk, cream, honey, crunchy walnut crumble. This was the highlight for desserts! Another dish which looked deceivingly simple, but was so good! I liked how the panna cotta was smooth, light and sweet. A must try.

9) Caffe latte, $5 (above)

So yes! We enjoyed our time at Lola’s café. Good food at affordable prices, with friendly staff too! We managed to try 4 out of the 5 mains from the brunch menu that’s available from 10am to 3pm, so we can confidently say the food at Lola’s is good. In fact, another group of my friends live in Kovan. The couple always head to Lola’s when they are too lazy to cook. So yes, another testimonial to the quality of service and food at Lola’s.

Lola’s is very accessible as they are just a 5-minutes walk from Kovan MRT. The only con is that one must be prepared to wait during peak hours. And it’s hard not to expect a long waiting time since the café gives off a cosy vibe for friends to gather and catch up over food.

5 Simon Road, Singapore
6284 0349, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tues – Thur : 10:00 – 23:30
Ambience: 6
Fri – Sat : 10:00 – 00:00
Value: 6
Sun : 10:00 – 23:30
Service: 7
* Closed on Mon

Dinner @ Knuckles

September 3, 2014 in European (cafe)

It was an impromptu date to meet up for dinner at Kovan. My friends suggested meeting at Lola’s cafe, but I counter proposed Knuckles since I wanted to try somewhere new (whenever possible). Haha. And them being magnanimous, they were like “Anything”. Yeah!

We came on a weekday night at almost 9pm. Except for a few groups, the place was pretty quiet and chill with the dim lightings. And it’s a good thing that Knuckles only opens at night since they are non air-conditioned. Wouldn’t imagine how tough it will be to dine indoors with just the fans in Singapore’s really humid (and erratic) weather.

Knuckles is not exactly a café. They seem to lean towards being a pub. A café-inspired pub? The food offered seems it’s catered more to be accompanied with their really affordable drinks. Bottles of beers ranged from $6 to $13, while canned drinks (like coke) were priced at $2. Hot drinks (like latte, cappucino) were only $3!

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) Nuggets, $3 (above) – Hot from the kitchen, these 6 pieces were comfort food. Pretty good, although one may question how much skill one needs to deep fry these babies. Well, let’s just say I had pretty bad nuggets elsewhere. So good deep frying skill cannot be taken for granted.

2) Truffle fries, $6 (above) – Average.

3) Crispy wings, $5 (above) – Chicken wings served as drumsticks and wings, separately. Skin was indeed crispy, but tasteless although meat was tender and juicy.

4) German pork knuckles, $10 (above) – This was not too bad for $10. They managed to achieve the crispy exterior although meat was not fork tender as how a good pork knuckle should be. More work is needed on the gravy as it failed to bring out the flavour. And it’s a personal preference that I preferred the knuckle to be served with its bone.

5) Bangers & mash, $8 (above) -The mashed potato was bad. It was neither creamy nor smooth. In fact, I was questioning my friend as to why would she even order a plate of chicken sausages and mashed potato.

6) Grilled chicken chop, $8 (above) – This was good. Skin was crispy. Meat was juicy. However, it was really oily. As in the amount of oil that was left behind on the plate.

So yes, I wouldn’t recommend coming to Knuckles for their food. Although it’s reasonable for the mains to priced between $8 to $10, I say save the money and head to Blk 209 Market and Food Centre. But! If one really wants to conquer this stretch of eateries along Hougang Street 21, I recommend heading to Nakhon Kitchen for dinner, followed by Hatter Street for desserts and finally to Knuckles to wind down with some beer and finger foods.

And oh, last order is at 10pm and Knuckles only accepts cash for payment!

Blk 212, Hougang Street 21, #01-33 , Singapore
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Sun : 19:00 – 23:00
Ambience: 6
Value: 6
Service: 6