A few minutes’ walk from Kallang MRT, the floral-themed Knock Knock Cafe serves Asian-Western fusion eats. It takes its name from the Knock Knock gaming livestream app although the café is not affiliated with the app. The café has a room that allows livestreaming, spacious enough to allow a gamer or influencer to meet their fans physically.
Mexican tacos here are infused with Asian elements and they come in pairs. Each piece of chilli crab tacos ($15) holds half a soft-shell crab drizzled in Singapore’s chilli crab sauce. The crab is crispy but the sauce is diluted by the lettuce that it comes across weak; also the sauce is not balanced, on the spicy side.
The problem with lettuce overwhelming the tacos also occurs in the golden prawn tacos ($13), which is topped with tobiko and salted egg sauce. While I like vegetables, all I taste in their tacos is vegetables. I cook tacos often at home so I am fussy about it. Maybe switch the vegetables to salsa to at least respect part of the Mexican dish. Otherwise, there is really nothing fusion about it.
They use the same pasta (spaghetti) for both the hae bee hiam aglio olio ($17) and the lup cheong and bacon carbonara ($16). My eating companion suggested using angel hair pasta for the aglio olio, which makes a lot of sense to me.
The hae bee hiam aglio olio comes with three tiger prawns. It is okay but the fragrance of hae bee hiam doesn’t shine through. The carbonara is also okay but my eating companion said she didn’t taste lup cheong.
The café is very proud of their otak-otak burger ($17) because they make the patties themselves. The patty is made from batang fish marinated in spices such as lemongrass, ginger, chillies, turmeric, shallots and garlic. It is then coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried. No one at our table likes this burger. There is something off about it. Maybe it’s because it’s too spicy, maybe it comes across as dry, maybe the patty in the bun doesn’t work.
The mentaiko fish and chips ($16) is dory fish (I think, not sure) fillet coated with Kronenborg beer batter and deep-fried, with a later of mentaiko on it. Although it is fashionable to add mentaiko to fish now, I am not sure if mentaiko adds anything to fried fish. But the dish is competent.
What’s really additive are the skin-on fries that accompany the mains. They originate from a supplier but the quality is great that you can taste potatoes. It’s the type of fries that are crispy but inside, it feels like mash.
The desserts are agreeable too. The banana fritters ($8) is served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. When hot, it is crispy and lovely. The ondeh ondeh tiramisu ($12) is really not tiramisu; it doesn’t have rum, Marsala wine, or even caffeine. It has fingers of pandan and gula melaka, more like a cake, but the flavours are satisfying.
Every café needs a USP and theirs is latte ($6.50) comes with ice in the shape of bear or dog. It’s just gimmicky although the coffee is fine on its own.
On the whole, Knock Knock cafe provides a satisfactory experience and a new cafe for Easties to hang out.
You may be interested in…
–MadASS, Raffles Place: Sister Restaurant of Mad About Sucre Serves Bento for Lunch, Tapas at Night
–Pi Food, Dhoby Ghaut: Former Lei Garden (Hong Kong) Sous Chef Heads New Cha Chaan Teng
–Ice Edge Cafe, Kovan: A Good Alternative to Lola’s Cafe
–Gram, Waterway Point: Second Singapore Franchise of Osaka’s Famous Pancakes. They Serve Savoury Food Too.
This was a tasting. Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.