Inspired by Goethe Institut, which shares the same building, Lokal is German for an eating premise where people gather. Owned by Australian bosses, food by Australian Chef Darren Farr, service by locals, the joint is decorated as a 60s American burger joint meets industrial chic. Very lovely decor by Alan Barr of greyMatters, who also designed Tippling Club. I like the internationality of it all.
The food is done inhouse: salmon and mackerel smoked inhouse over cherry woodchips; nitrate-free pancetta cured inhouse; butter, yogurt, and ricotta made from scratch.
The specialty is veal schnitzel burger ($28): sandwiching a slice of pineapple, grilled very hot, were two thin pieces of breaded deep fried veal, which in turn, were sandwiched by red slaw on top and fresh lettuce at the bottom, and finally bun-dled up. Buns were a bit tough, but the combination worked well enough. Accomplished but $28 was costly for a burger. Special mention to the flat, broad, chunky chips, really addictive.
Although not spicy as described, the roasted pumpkin salad ($16), with quinoa, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds, tossed in spicy vinagarette, was refreshing and sweet. Coffee (flat white $5.50, long black $5) were smooth, mild, mineral, not bad but lacked depth.
At first bite, plum and peach crumble ($9) was bitter and then sourish. Strange, but we didn’t mind it. It came with vanilla ice cream, but we switched it for hokey pokey ice cream, chef’s wacky creation. That day, it was vanilla ice cream with honeycomb–very rich and fat, sweet and complemented the bitter, sour crumble.
The food was excellent; the service, attentive and friendly, our water always filled; price was ok; decor had character, awesome music. One of the better cafes we have been, and possibly the best this year. We spent $64 for two persons. I’ll let Huccalily have the last word: “Some cafes are made for locals, some for angmohs. You can tell this is the latter from the clientele.” You’re welcome, SPGs.
The Lokal Cafe
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.