What’s it like? Located amongst motorcycle workshops and a short walk away from the Alexandra Village Hawker Centre, Queensway Shopping Centre and Ikea on the industrial stretch of Bukit Merah, this privately-run kopitiam is one of the most international hawker centres in town.
Set up by shipping executive Chua Kiat Tat and his father, the concept here deviates from the elder’s other successful kopitiams on Tan Quee Lan and in Sengkang. Chua calls it his pilot project, hoping to modernise the food offerings in this area – known for its traditional bakeries, barbecued seafood and claypot laksa – and give diners a reason to make the journey out to the street outside of its busy hours.
Tables here charmingly sport blue and white chequered vinyl tablecloths and woven café-like chairs take the place of the standard plastic chairs in the outdoor seating areas. The crowd is decidedly corporate and blue-collar during the week, and more family-friendly when the weekend rolls around.
What to eat? The kopitiam looks like it has a full house of tenants under its roof, but there are just five stalls serving Swiss, Korean and American cuisine in operation at the moment.
Anchor tenant De Burg is well-known and loved (see our Best Burgers story) for its variety of burgers, generous serving sizes and discounts for a wide list of people from groups such as Singapore Airlines (‘We are very proud of your achievements’, it says on its Facebook Page), non-governmental organisations and even NSFs. Claiming to serve patties without binders, herbs or spices, there’s a huge list of adventurous flavour combinations and add-ins like Iberico ham, Nutella and peanut butter. Like you would at other acclaimed hawker stalls elsewhere in the city, be prepared to wait in line. We recommend coming by a little before its opening hours – a queue tends to form incredibly quickly as soon as it opens for business around 11am.
On the opposite end of the small centre, Stew Küche, run by the Chuas, offers up Swiss-German and Italian food made by an ex-hotel sous chef. The meats used in the dishes are sourced from Huber’s Butcher, and sausages, cheese and spices from gourmet distributor Indoguna. If you come in a group, try the well-executed 700g pork knuckle ($39), chicken stroganoff ($9.80) and have a serving of their chunky mushroom soup ($2.50) to start. However, we don’t recommend other dishes like the processed sausages (starting from a pricey $15 for three) and soggy rösti ($4.50).
The space further distinguishes itself from the regular kopitiam with its drinks stall serving a variety of craft brews like the Quöllfrisch, Moa and Kopparberg ciders – placed here at the suggestion of Chua’s son. In the next stall, Brown Sugar serves Taiwanese fruit tea mixes and ‘Yakult-charged’ drinks by local chain Eskimo, as well as brewed java from a commercial espresso machine.
|Venue name:||Bukit Merah Lane 1|
119 Bukit Merah Lane 1
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sun 11am-3pm, 5-10pm|
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