Primarily serving colonial cuisine with British influence, Tanglin Cookhouse is now opened at Tanglin Mall. The mall is currently undergoing a major facelift but many of the F&B outlets are still open for business. Despite calling itself a ‘cookhouse’, the restaurant exudes a luxurious setting with its furnishings – deep green walls are paired with Peranakan-styled tiles and white terrazzo tables with modern rattan chairs.
Any anglophile will be delighted with the classic British dishes being offered, such Welsh Rarebit with Expresso Bacon Jam ($17.90), the quintessential English Fish and Chips ($24.90), Guinness Braised Beef Cheek Pot Pie ($29.90), Mini Yorkshire Pudding (19.90), and more.
Tanglin Scotch Egg ($16.90) is served in a bed of purple slaw and pickled mustard seeds. The boiled egg is wrapped with a layer of sausage meat deep-fried with bread crumbs. The slaw and mustard seeds cut the greasiness very well. The Shrimp & Chips ($18.90) comes in a large serving. I find the beer-battered prawns tasteless and the Cajun fries bland. The tartare dip on the side helps but I expected this appetiser to be more savoury.
Hainanese Pork Chop Rice is one of the most popular East-meets-West dishes in Singapore. Tanglin Cookhouse’s version, Crispy Hainanese Kurobuta Pork Chop ($24.90) carries the familiar taste of the old school favourite, however, the Kurobuta pork chop is a thick cut that does not serve its purpose well. Although the portion is generous, it is a bit dry and hard to chew. Even the wedges are huge but the potato is dry inside. Maybe it will be better if the restaurant gives an extra serving of the sweet and tangy tomato sauce.
The “Sunday” Roast ($32.90) is a treat. It comes with a piece of juicy roasted striploin, a mini Yorkshire pudding, garden peas, and roasted mini potatoes, carrots and broccoli. The onion gravy is fragrant and savoury. It goes well with everything on the big plate, so much so that they give a saucière of it to make sure that you have enough.
The Strawberries and Rhubarb Crumble ($16) is served in a cast iron pan that looks deceptively small. There is a thick layer of rhubarb jam beneath the crumble. I feel that there is way too much jam to go with the crumble and ice cream. They can half the portion of the jam and replace it with more crumble and ice cream. It would have been perfect. Eton Mess Trifle ($14) is a welcoming, lighter dessert – a pyramid of cream vanilla Chantilly, granola crumble, meringue and basil macerated strawberries.
I notice a repetition of toppings in different dishes, such as the dehydrated strawberries, purple cabbage slaw, sweet and sour tomato chutney, and onion gravy. No big issues but the dishes may lose their distinctiveness if some ingredients and sauces are used repeatedly.
I did not try their baked goods but I heard that they are baked fresh daily. This place will serve as a good brunch spot if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of town. It is also great to try some dishes that were invented during the colonial period of Singapore.
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This is an invitation. Written by Cheang Shwu Peng.