I tend to avoid “hip” places because I learn from experience that these places serve instagrammable but shit food. People these days only care about how their food appear, not how they taste; I care for the opposite, I’m old fashioned. But Paddy Hill at Buena Vista is an outlier to my theory. The cafe is chic, and serves decent, Asian-inspired food on pretty plates
We were overwhelmed by how much there is to choose from the menu. Everyone on IG orders the berry ricotta hotcake, but I’m not paying $19 for pretty flour. We eschewed the usual brunch items and tackled the more “serious” lunch dishes, different from other cafes. The kimchi fried rice ($20) had wok hei, piquant and smokey–beautiful–except for the tough steak.
The uni tagliatelle ($26) was al dente, and the pasta, from its rough shape, seemed to be housemade. Not too bad, but where was the uni (sea urchin)? The waitress informed me it was mixed into the pasta, but I couldn’t taste that pungent sea taste; The sauce was mostly cream. For the price, at least put a dollop of uni on top.
Purple balls ($18) was another expensive dish, a dessert that failed to live up to its promise. The taro balls were tough, and the supporting actors, coconut milk and mango puree, didn’t enhance the balls at all.
Including a good coffee and a good juice, we paid $78 for two persons. Even without GST and service charge, the meal was pretty expensive for such an ulu location. We wondered how the students, who are the main makeup of the crowd, could afford it. And did they take the bus all the way to this isolated place? Perhaps the decent, Asian-inspired food, pretty plating, and industrial-meets-chic decor compensate for the students’ time lost to traveling.
38 South Buona Vista Road, Singapore 118164
T: +65 6479 0800
Weekdays 10.30am – 10pm, Weekend 9am – 10pm
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.