Established since 1940s in Hong Kong, Honolulu Cafe is now at Centrepoint Singapore! They are famous for the egg tarts ($1.70) and after eating it, their fame is deserving, or in Chinese, ten fingers name return 实至名归.
They freeze the pastry dough overnight and fold it 192 times!!! As a result, the crust is super crispy, the egg custard is almost molten and not too sweet, giving an amazing mouthfeel and contrast of textures. Fantastic! There is no praise high enough for them.
Curry Fishball ($3)
The other two dishes we recommend: the curry fishball ($3) and chicken wings in Swiss sauce ($6, above). Curry fishball is Hong Kong street food and they import the curry ingredients from Hong Kong. The balls have a nice bouncy texture and its surface is stained with curry; addictive. The Swiss chicken wings, though having a stale smell of refrigeration, are marinated superbly in a sweet sesame oil sauce. Tender and tasty.
Bo luo bao ($1.50 each)
The other items, however, need some work. The bo luo bao ($1.50) is so so; if it isn’t so dense, it would be better. The flat noodles with beef ($7, above) is bland. The pork chop bun ($5, below) tastes strangely like McDonald’s—might be the lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo combination—which isn’t a bad thing, but the too-thick bun flattens the taste of the pork; we couldn’t taste the pork.
People around me complained that the sweet and sour pork ($7.80, above) is too astringent, but since I like sour food, it is ok for me. Encrusted with sugar, the deep fried egg puff ($2) has a smelly oil taste. Time to change the oil.
What disappoints me most is, very unfortunately, the Hong Kong milk tea, a staple in chaa chan tng. Honolulu Cafe has invited Mr Luo Tak, winner of 2010 金茶王 (Gold Tea King), to curate the milk tea, but it isn’t thick enough, as Hong Kong milk tea should be. Furthermore, some cups—we tried 8 cups—taste sourish. Is it the milk?
Deep-fried egg puff ($2)
I know I am picky and complain too much, but to be honest, the three must-orders, egg tart, chicken wings, and curry fishballs, put me in a good mood. And I suspect there are better items on the menu that we didn’t try, items such as baked pork chop in tomato sauce ($7.80), beef brisket in chu hou sauce ($7.80), and curry rice ($8.50). Furthermore, the prices are super reasonable. None of the items is above $9! Will definitely make this a regular place to go, given the affordable prices.
Honolulu Cafe Singapore
176 Orchard Road, Centrepoint #01-33 Singapore 238843
T: +65 6734 6609
Overall rating: 3.75/5
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.