Rookery – one of the dictionary meanings of the word is a breeding ground or communal living area of certain species of gregarious birds or mammals, such as penguins or seals; another meaning is a crowded tenement house. The owners of Rookery Singapore chose the name because they wanted the place to be about a “gathering of awesome individuals indulging in wonderfully good times over simple good food“. At lunch time, the cafe bar did feel like a noisy crowded house. Crowding aside, Rookery is a nice atmospheric communal space for drinks or casual bites.
Rookery is in Hong Leong Building just across the road from Lau Pa Sat. The decor is sleek industrial themed, with the use of wood, cement flooring, exposed ceiling painted black and orange brick walls. A long bar counter dominates the interior. It separates the food preparation area from the dining hall and serves as an extra long dining table. There is a mix of furniture – long sofa bench, metal chairs and high bar stools. Small individual lamps hanging from the ceiling creates intimate pools of light.
I was there before 12 noon and only a few tables were occupied. I liked the warm cosy atmosphere of the modern casual cafe. As is fashionable now, utensils are placed in a metal tin on the table. There are large menu boards both inside and outside the cafe so that you can decide what you want without having to wait for the menu to be brought over. I liked the place even more when they served me iced-water as soon as I was seated.
The branch menu is fairly limited – essentially eggs, sandwiches and pastas. I ordered the Spanish Chorizo Hash ($15) and an iced latte ($6) for my brunch. I did not have to wait long for the food and coffee to be served. The Spanish Chorizo Hash was nicely presented in a cast iron pan with bread on the side. The eggs were perfectly cooked, just a little runny, and went very well with the spicy chorizo. The sautéed potatoes and onions provided great texture and substance to the delicious dish. I enjoyed particularly the smoked pork sausages. The latte had a strong, creamy and pleasant feel with a slight aroma of fresh nuts.
It was a good enjoyable brunch. The staff was friendly, attentive and efficient. As the place began to fill up with more people, they were still moving around with smiles on their faces and were accommodating of various requests made of them. Be warned that once past the magic hour of 12 noon Rookery gets very crowded.
Rookery has a separate menu for the evening. In addition to bar snacks, they offer mains like BBQ ribs, fish, steaks and sous vide pan-fried chicken; and tempting desserts too. Describing itself as Coffee.Kitchen.Bar, Rookery naturally has an extensive drinks menu. Draft beers, craft beers, sake, wine and spirits are all available. There are also interesting cocktails like Elderflower Mojito and Tokyo Martini. Rookery can indeed be a good gathering place for drinks and simple food. It is a good spot in downtown Singapore for coffee and a casual meal – just try to avoid the typical Singapore office lunch crowd armed with their tissue packs.
16 Raffles Quay, #01-02A
Hong Leong Building
Mondays – Saturdays :10am – 10pm
Closed on Sundays
Tel: +65 62210532
Nearby Stations: Raffles Place, Downtown