Going Loca for The LoKal
Written by Samantha Fuentes on December 23, 2015
136 Neil Road, Singapore 088865
Mon: 08:00 – 18:00
Tues-Fri: 08:00 – 22:30
Sat: 09:00 – 22:30
Sun: 09:00 – 16:00
It must have been a miracle from the food gods because we were given the chance to taste a little piece of heaven at The LoKal, located at 136 Neil Road.
As we walked into The LoKal, we were greeted by pleasant, simple decor and good service. The general atmosphere was great!
Eaten by the relatively average Singaporean, many are familiar with this set’s combination. The LoKal’s take on this local Kaya Toast set features their very own homemade Kaya and Butter with pain de mie bread and a slow cooked egg on the side. Lather the bread generously with kaya, add an equally lavish spread of butter and dip it into the slow cooked egg before experiencing heaven in your mouth.
Although it was a simple appetiser, we feel that the homemade components and the simple addition of green onions has helped to elevate the dish. The kaya and butter both don’t disappoint. The butter leaves a little bitter aftertaste, but it’s not unpleasant. After which, expect another aftertaste – milk. But honestly, really everything is better dipped in runny eggs – so if you’re not so into the aftertastes, you can try masking them with the runny eggs.
The Roast Pumpkin Salad is what The LoKal touts as its signature dish. At Radio Heatwave, we summarise it with this: the taste, lovely, and the portion, HUGE. With it taking on many different flavours, each mouthful is guaranteed to be unique. Together with large chunks of pumpkin, the alfalfa-based salad was mixed together with pickled beetroot, red cabbage, green beans, quinoa, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries, and lightly drizzled with whey dressing.
We tucked into the salad and it definitely did not fail to impress, being the perfect combination of sweet and sour, bitter, crunchy, chewy and creamy! A myriad of flavours and textures with the most notable crunch from the roasted pumpkin seeds, cream from the pumpkin and sweetness from the pickled beetroot makes it a definite must-try!
The Roast Chicken Ciabatta is not your average roast chicken sandwich. Avocado, Romaine Lettuce, Tomato, Bacon and Aioli make up the main bulk of this interesting dish.
While it wasn’t a personal favourite of ours, we still enjoyed it. The bacon was crispy and the avocado gave it a pleasant creamy texture together with the roasted chicken. Creamy avocado and aioli oozed out of the sandwich as we took our first bite – and the first bite was all it took to make us fall in love with it! Everything went so well together and sourdough was an excellent choice of bread for this dish.
The LoKal Lobster Roll is a definite MUST HAVE when you are down at The Lokal. Served on a lightly toasted hotdog bun are slipper lobster tails, gherkin, coleslaw and lemon mayonnaise. The lobster tails were ABSOLUTELY delicious combined with the fresh coleslaw, pickled cucumber, fluffy bread and mayonnaise with that distinct lemony tinge. It was a very refreshing dish.
The hot dog bun held a coleslaw of red cabbage and gherkin, and as the name was suggesting, a mountain of fresh slipper lobster tail pieces as well. But what really tied the dish together was the sweet and creamy lemon mayonnaise that helped to accentuate the seafood flavour! We were also served a cup of fermented ketchup and sirracha for the curly fries on the side, and I kid you not, they really pack a punch – they were so flavourful and unique, essentially being a levelled-up version of your ordinary dipping sauces – we highly recommend it.
The dessert turned out better than we were expecting! The team have already been filled by the preceding dishes. Despite that, as the Japanese saying goes: there’ll always be room in our second stomach! The Toasted Banana Bread with homemade vanilla yoghurt on the side and roasted macadamia nuts thoroughly exceeded my expectations.
The Banana Bread was moist yet not soggy and was served warm, the macadamia nuts added a particular crunch and flavor, providing a substantial base amidst the melting goodness of the homemade yoghurt and the banana bread in your mouth. The homemade yoghurt had a slight pleasant sour-ish kick to it and blended remarkably well with the bread. A dessert fit for the end of a satisfying meal.
A great big thanks to the folks at The LoKal, especially Darren Farr, the head chef, for the amazing food and hospitality!
Jonathan Lee contributed to this article. Featured photo courtesy of The LoKal.