Mr Youtiao (formerly known as Breadbar Café) in Novena looks like a simple kiosk selling coffee and local snacks. It is, however, quite an interesting little cafe. It sells youtiao, or fried dough fritters, but with a couple of twists. First, other than traditional youtiao, it also has youtiao in various flavours – almond, sunflower seed, green tea, onion and sesame. Secondly, it offers curry with youtiao.
Located in Square 2, the newer annex of the mall right above the Novena MRT Station, Mr Youtiao is a place you can go to for breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner or even supper. It looks like a counter for takeaway but there is a small indoor dining area as well as an al fresco area which should be pleasant in the evening. The decor and furnishing are basic and functional.
Other than youtiao in different flavours, bean curd and soya bean milk, Mr Youtiao also offers eggs, a variety of porridge and noodles and even bak kut teh. Thus, you can have breakfast, snacks or quite a good meal there.
We were there for lunch and ordered a set comprising Assam Chicken, Youtiao, Rice and a drink for $6.20; and a second set of Curry Noodles with Youtiao and a drink for $5.40. It is a self-service shop. You pay at the counter and collect the food to take to your table.
The Curry Noodles was a simple bowl of noodles in curry sauce. The curry was rich and aromatic. Deep fried youtiao, crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside, dipped in the curry sauce was delicious. The Assam Curry was served in a bowl and the rice came with achar and an egg. The spicy gravy, with the sourness and natural sweetness of assam (or tamarind), went well with the plain steamed rice. As a dip for the youtioa, we thought the assam gravy was not so suitable. However, we could help ourselves to unlimited curry sauce for the youtiao.
To round off our meal, we had a bowl of bean curd ($2) and a piece of fried tapioca cake ($1.80).
For about $7 each (no GST and no service charge), we had a satisfying meal complete with drinks and desserts at Mr Youtiao. It was a comfortable air-conditioned place and the food was better than we had expected. It was not gourmet food but simple enjoyable fare. Like sleeping in on a rainy day or hearing the right song at the right moment, life sometimes offers us pleasures without fuss or extravagance. Having an affordable satisfying meal in a little place like Mr Youtiao is one of those little things that can bring simple pleasures.
Service : NA
Value : 4
Atmosphere : 2
Overall Rating : 3 TOPs
Square 2, #02-08/09
10 Sinaran Drive
Tel : +65 6397 6076
Mon-Sat: 7:30 am-9:30 pm
Sun: 9:00 am-9:30 pm
Nearby Station : Novena
#Street Fact – Sinaran means radiance in Malay.