A hilarious incident happened when we were at Telok Ayer Arts Club along McCallum Street which took over the place of the previous SPR MRKT. (Still the same owners, just different concepts.)
We were seated beside a window. A pregnant woman was patrolling the premise and when she was at my table, she gave an exaggerated look like she was peering down into a well. Then an annoyed look crossed her face. She frowned furiously.
Later, the server came to me and said, “Sir, can you take your wallet off the windowsill? The golden cube [beside the wallet] is a work of art.”
Oops, I thought it was a paperweight or just a decoration. It’s really just a golden cube!
Thinking about it, the exaggerated expression of the pregnant woman is hilarious. Why didn’t she just tell me instead of telling a server to tell me?
Anyway, the lunch menu. A cursory glance tells us that the food is Singapore-inspired cuisine. 2 courses at $24 and 3 at $32, including coffee.
The first course is the vegetable of the moment, the cauliflower. It’s a super popular vegetable now because of the vegan movement and because of it substituting rice as “cauliflower rice.”
On the menu, the roasted cauliflower receives a “chef’s recommendation” sign. They mix it with spring onion remoulade (mayonnaise-based sauce), provolone cheese, pomegranate, pine nuts, curry oil.
Tastewise, it is flat. Needs salt. The cauliflower could do with more charring. Texture-wise, it needs something soft to contrast it. Maybe some quinoa.
For the mains, there is a choice between truffle mee (a vegetarian version of bak chor mee), roti john, fish and chips, roasted spatchcock (chef’s recommendation), and chicken rice bowl.
I opted for the chicken rice bowl because it is actually nasi lemak stained blue with butterfly pea flower. Although the indigo colour is tasteless, purely for aesthetics reasons, I’ve always liked it.
Like the roasted cauliflower, the flavours here are flat except for the achar, which is crunchy and adequately piquant.
But the rice doesn’t hold enough coconut milk and the twice-cooked chicken, while large in portion, requires salt.
It’s nice pairing the chocolate pudding with salted gula melaka, coconut crumble, and vanilla ice cream.
But the chocolate pudding isn’t a pudding. It tastes more those microwaved chocolate cake with many holes in them.
Overall, I’d say the food is bland and requires some work. But if you don’t mind food that is light in flavours, the portions here are generous, the place is quiet during lunch for a nice chat, and the service is generally good.
Telok Ayer Arts Club
2 McCallum Street Singapore 064043
t: +65 6221 0712
M-Sat 11am – 11pm
Price / value: 7/10
You may be interested in…
–Naga Imo, Club Street: Omakase on the First Storey, Izakaya on the Second
–The Garden Club, OUE Downtown Gallery: The Place to Cultivate a Plant-Forward Diet
–Empress @ ACM: One of the Best Meals This Year, the Siew Yok and Fried Rice!
–Chico Loco, Amoy St: #dirtyhealthy Mexican Casual Food
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.