Ever since The Lokal opened sometime last year, we have read so many reviews, blogs and other propaganda about it. So much so that we had Lokal overdose even without ever stepping foot in it. The impression we got was that it was just another hipster cafe with the usual attractions of all day breakfast, artisanal coffee and expensive cakes. We finally had the chance to visit The Lokal to see what the hype was all about.
Almost everyone will know by now that The Lokal Singapore is located in a nicely restored shophouse at the junction of Neil Road and Bukit Pasoh Road. As such it has a deep and narrow space. The official signboard is hardly visible so a makeshift stand-alone one is there to direct pedestrian traffic into the restaurant. Not that it is necessary as there were streams of people who knew exactly where they wanted to go on a Sunday morning. By 11.30am, it was peak hour and there was a queue outside. We were fortunate to get a table by arriving slightly earlier.
So far, the look and feel of Lokal was no different from any other trendy cafe, simple decor with lots of good-looking people. Even the menu didn’t look any different. We only understood the hype when the food arrived.
The Sunday roast which was a roasted half-chicken ($25) was the most delicious roast chicken we had eaten in a long while. All of it was tender and moist with no hint of dryness in any part of it. The accompanying gravy was a meat sauce which enhanced the taste of the chicken.
The grilled sausages ($23) were grilled to perfection. They were succulent and had none of the artificial preserved meat taste of some sausages. They were beautifully presented on a wooden platter with a fried egg and potatoes.
A very common dish, French Toast ($15) never tasted better than here at Lokal. It was a combination of the various items that made the dish, But we suspect the main reason was the quality of the bacon used and the way it was cooked. The texture was just right – crispy but not hard and brittle and with a good earthy flavour.
We had read a lot about the Toasted Banana Bread ($12) and therefore had to try it. The short answer to your unasked question is yes – it is as good as what those people had raved about it. The banana bread was rich and moist. The home-made yogurt and toasted macadamia nuts helped to nail it. Yummy!
We also ordered some extra sides – “pimp my breakfast” is their menu description. By comparison with the main items they were not so outstanding. The poached eggs ($6) were quite good and the baked beans ($6) were so so. In case you are thinking of dining at The Lokal cafe, here is a page from their menu.
We also had some cappuccinos ($6) and they were beautifully decorated. They were so well done that the designs stay in shape even till the end of the drink (provided you don’t stir it of course).
And because it happened to be Mothers’ Day, all the ladies had a complimentary glass of champagne each. That was a nice, unexpected gesture that we appreciated but which I assure you was not taken into consideration in this rather glowing review of the place.
It is usual to read many good reviews about new restaurants and you usually take them with a pinch of salt. In the case of the Lokal, we can confirm that what they say are quite true. If we have to pick on something that needed improvement, it was that the service was a bit rushed and abrupt. The packed restaurant may have something to do with it but the food here was really good.
Overall Rating: 5 TOPs
136 Neil Road
Tel: +65 6423 9918
Nearby Station : Outram
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog