Paper Crane cafe is located within the premises of Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) in Waterloo Street. The cafe is co-owned by an ex-magazine editor who also did freelance writing on food. Her partner is a Canadian chef, who was trained in Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Art and was a chef at Wild Honey. They both do the cooking in the recently opened Paper Crane. The menu is not fixed and what is available is written on chalkboards. Paper Crane generally offers casual Western food.
Paper Crane occupies an external wing of the building housing the SCWO. We could imagine it as the kitchen or servant’s quarters of a big old house. The cafe has a very small air-conditioned section where the display shelves and cashier counter are located. There is a counter by the window with a few bar stools. The main dining area is outside in the non air-conditioned corridor space. The furnishing is very basic. Paper cranes and chalkboards are the main decorative items.
Chickpea salad, beef stew with pasta, truffle aglio olio with shrimp, mutton burger, pan-fried sea bass and kimchi fries are some of the items available in Paper Crane. There is a $10 lunch deal where you get a selected main dish plus a glass of fresh juice.
The signature dish is Southern Style Fried Chicken ($15). We ordered the chicken as well as the Beer-battered Fish & Chips ($15). No GST or service charge was added to the bill.
You order and pay at the counter and the food will be served to your table. Iced water was served as of course.
The wait for the food was not long. It was noteworthy that elegant traditional English tableware was used.
The Fish & Chips did not look very exciting but tasted quite good. The batter was crisp and light and the sea bass had a fresh taste. We liked the bits small crispy batter served with the chips. They were crunchy and enjoyable.
The chicken was served with fries and coleslaw. The portion was generous. The house-made chilli, which could be bought in bottles, was provided. The Southern Style Fried Chicken, battered and deep-fried, had very crispy skin and flavourful tender meat. One of the best fried chicken we have had.
We would recommend ordering the Southern Style Fried Chicken at Paper Crane. It is finger-licking good. If you are ordering the chicken and need to wash your hands, there is a washing point – an outdoor austere basin. Did we say the place is unpretentious and the furnishing basic?
On the whole, eating at Paper Crane is quite like eating in the rustic home of a friend. There is no hip decor, no incomprehensible menu and no fancy plating. The place is cosy and comfortable. The food is of good quality and enjoyable; and a good range of beer is available. It is probably not a place to go on a first date but it is a very good place for an unpretentious hearty meal with family and friends.
Value : 4
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Paper Crane Cafe
96 Waterloo Street
Tel : +65 6837 0836
Opening Hours : 11am-10pm – Closed on Sunday
Nearby Stations : Bras Basah, Bugis