[SG] The Lokal | good food with great service

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

With raving reviews of Sarnies and having their head barista over at the still-pretty-new Lokal, we thought we had to give it a shot. Typically with disappointing food at cafes, this promised otherwise with one of their partners who was the founding chef of Tetsuya's in Sydney.

Despite being the new kid on the block, the people behind it have gotten themselves pretty popular with the snaking queues even as we reached at close to 2pm. I was personally impressed that despite the crowd, service hadn't been compromised and the dishes came up pretty quick.

 Granola with Fruit Salad (S$14)
goji berries, chia seeds, pumpkin & sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds 
with homemade vanilla yoghurt 

A cheery start to any breakfast, we chose the fruits salad over poached pear for the variety in it. We loved the toasted granola that came with a solid crunch, perfectly paired with light yoghurt drizzled over and the mix of fruits for that slightly sweet touch.

Chunky Chips ($8)
(photo at the background)
While I'm a super fries fan, this was quite a disappointing one for me. I found it a tad too bland, and the accompanying dip didn't quite go with it.

Toastie-of-the-day ($14)
Mushroom Parmesan Egg 

This was a simple one done right. Perfectly toasted sandwiches with a good combination of smooth scrambled egg and light parmesan, with distinct mushroom taste that didn't overpower. Each ingredient played a good complement, simple comfort food great to go with any meal!

Roast Beef on Rye (S$19)
with caramelized onions, watercress & grain mustard creme fraiche 

Well-marinated for a tender touch, it was a combination with caramelised onions for that pairing of savoury and sweet in one mouthful. The rye bread slice was a tad too dense that it got slightly messy trying to cut it up.

Roast Chicken on Sourdough ($15)
with crispy pancetta, tomato, avocado, cos & aioli

This was supposed to be served on panini but they'd ran out of it hence served on sourdough for ours. Refreshing with its lighter flavours and tender soft chicken shreds, a simple sandwich paired with the right crunchiness of the pancetta and sweet juicy tomatoes. We loved how it was simple looking, yet packed on textures and well-marinated. Great if you're looking for a light refreshing sandwich!   

Breakfast Burger (S$23)
with pork belly, broken omelette, spinach and chilli jam 

This was a winner with tender pork belly and evenly distributed omelette for that strong egg-y taste throughout. There was just a very subtle hint of chilli jam but overall taste was a hit with well-balanced flavours.

Plate of Smoked Mackerel & Salmon (S$22)
with pickles and pita bread

A pretty ordinary dish in my opinion, it was presented as what was described. Nothing spectacular but all nicely done, it was a simple dish for smoked fish lovers. 

Banana Cake with Hokey Pokey Ice Cream (S$12)

Desserts are the favourite course of our meal, and this was a promising one served with hokey pokey ice cream - vanilla ice cream with honeycomb toffee bits. I was expecting crunchy bits within for that added level of texture, though it turned out to be sticky bits. The ice cream was well-balanced in its sweetness, paired perfectly with the caramelized banana slices on top and a soft moist cake. It would have been even better if the cake was served slightly warmer for that contrast and softness.   

Sticky Date Pudding (S$12)

This was a clear winner and we almost couldn't get enough of it! Okay, this isn't meant for sharing. Light and fluffy warm pudding with generous sauce drizzled on top, it was sheer indulgence yet balanced in sweetness so that you don't feel jelat (or overwhelmed). Paired with the good old vanilla ice cream, this was classic at its very best!  

Flat White ($5.50)

Coffee has always been a subjective one and this was a hit with me. I like how it was smooth and velvety with a robust flavour. There's also a choice of beans while you place orders and my friend, a serious coffee drinker liked the medium roast that was slightly heavier.

You know how some cafes simply do self-service or are lacking severely in service given how packed and understaffed they are? I was impressed by how they were still a full service cafe given the crowd, without any part of it being compromised. We had our tables cleaned up prior to our desserts served, and having their staff checking in on us from time to time on how we found the food. It made us feel that they actually do care about their customers' feedback despite how busy/popular they were, and added a nice touch to a satisfying meal.

Overall Verdict: 8.0/10

The Lokal 
136 Neil Road 
Singapore 088865
Tel: (+65) 6423 9918
Website: http://www.thelokalsingapore.com/

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