I arrived on time at The Larder Cafe that's located in Singapore's heartbeat, Toa Payoh, and my friend texted me that she's already at the carpark. 20 minutes later and i had yet to see her; turned out she couldn't find the cafe!
Now, take a look at the above picture. Remember it as i doubt you would find a similar facade (a creative half glass, half metal grille) on the ground floor of any public housing in Singapore. If you require a map, you will find them towards the end of this post.
Since i am not really into cafe-hopping, i didn't know much about The Larder Cafe even though i did like the name; firstly, larder is a place where you keep tons of food and secondly, it has the word lard which i totally enjoy in its deep fried form!
With cement screed flooring, industrial metal chairs, wooden tables and soft lighting that didn't look out of place despite the strong, natural lighting, it's actually quite a nice environment for friends to chill out. You wouldn't believe it but i spent like 3.5 hours with my friends at this place!
Aside from main course, you have your choice of starters, desserts like cakes, not-your-common ice cream, buttermilk waffles, and beverages to spend the afternoon slowly, as we did.
Pssst - want to save on beverages? Go for the free flow lemon ice water that's placed on the IKEA kitchen trolley. Sidetrack a bit - the trolley is actually must have for every household; even i have one that's used for my clothes pegs!
Time to order from the menu!
Sweet Potato Fries - well, no complaint about it as this kind of fries is always so addictive so long they are served piping hot!
Hawaiian Latte - available only in iced, this was such a pretty thing with colours of the sand, the clouds and the sky. Guess the day was cloudy as there wasn't much of a blue there.
It's the same drink by the way, when mixed. The green mixture tasted rather refreshing as it definitely didn't taste like any of the conventional lattes i have been accustomed to.
Arrabbiata Linguine - cooked in 'fiery tomato sauce', my nostrils picked up the enticing aroma and was really looking forward to it although i had like two large pieces of French toast just a couple of hours ago at home.
Although flavourful, it was on the salty side and a bit too spicy for me. Nevertheless, i managed to clean up the plate after sweating like nobody's business!
Fish & Chips - unlike the one in the news recently, the fish and chips at The Larder Cafe was decent, normal-sized and taste wise; met the standards of our fish-and-chips guru, Alex Chiu. This was actually recommended and i love the freshness and chunkiness of the breaded fish.
Crispy Hot Wings - among the many things we ordered, this was the most disappointing in my honest opinion as it tasted just like CP fried chicken with a dash of pepper. As my uncle works in CP, i often have the frozen winglets and drumlets for free!
The Dowager's Fingers - this starter couldn't be found anywhere else and is a signature for the cafe. However, i am resistant to ordering it as it cost a hefty S$10 for something that draws its inspiration from nail guards used by empresses and consorts of imperial China.
After taking a bite, my verdict would be: "Please order this if you are ever at The Larder Cafe"! It's like having fried wanton in an elongated format and the prawns wrapped in a thin pastry thin were so tasty! Dip in the accompanied bowl of honey-sesame-mayo dressing for that extra oomph!
Buttermilk Waffle with Classic Flavours Ice Cream - a nice conclusion to the meal and a conscious-order since we had already sat there for close to three hours! Classic ice cream flavours chosen were Mexican Vanilla and Latte Coffee.
As expected, i didn't like the latte coffee as i have never liked coffee-stuff in things other than a beverage and the mexican vanilla didn't taste any different from a good scoop of vanilla ice cream with vanilla seeds. The waffle was rather nice and i associated it as a thicker and more aromatic version of wafer that i could enjoy without any ice cream. Be warned - the harder texture would not appeal to those who prefer a fluffy-soft waffle.
I had mentioned earlier that we spent 3.5 hours in the cafe and there was absolutely no unhappiness from the staff who remained as cheerful and as friendly towards us; even helping us to top up the lemon water! p.s. i noticed a lot of families with kids dining there and if you have dietary restrictions, notify the staff at the point of ordering and the chef would do his/her best to accommodate!
Block 177, Toa Payoh Central,
#01-124, Singapore 310177
(near Toa Payoh MRT station)
Tuesdays to Sundays - 11am to 10pm
Closed on Mondays
Sweet Potato Fries - S$7.00
Hawaiian Latte - S$5.80
Arrabbiata Linguine - S$14.00
Fish & Chips - S$15.00
Crispy Hot Wings - S$10.00
The Dowager's Fingers - S$10.00
Buttermilk Waffle with Classic Flavours Ice Cream - S$12.00
(NO GST and NO Service Charge)