Everyone knows Aussie-inspired café The Lokal does an awesome brunch, but did you know they do an equally awesome dinner, too?
One fine evening, we decided to pop by and order up a feast. Our starters of choice were the deep-fried ham hock croquettes, cauliflower three-ways, and the (almost obligatory) truffle fat chips. We loved how the savoury ham hock croquettes were fried to perfection and surprisingly light (they went extremely well with the refreshing side of celraic remoulade), and not to mention how the truffle parmesan fat chips just hit the spot, but what really impressed us was the cauliflower three-ways, with ricotta and almonds. It was a delight switching between the vegetable forms (fried, mashed, and pickled, the latter being the most interesting with its salty-acidic notes) – a party in our mouths, basically.
For our mains, the grilled pork chop was one of our favourite options. The boneless creation was tender, and we liked how the pork was served in slices, not as a large slab of meat. It was a little more on the fatty side, so those who don’t shy away from dishes that are a tad sinful would love this item. It also came with a generous amount of baked apple sauce – something we couldn’t stop slurping up, even after the meat was gone.
Grilled whole Japanese sea bream
Another noteworthy contender was the grilled whole Japanese sea bream. When we first laid eyes on this fish dish, we were surprised at how uncomplicated it looked – no sauces, no overly-fancy garnishes, nothing but a single lemon wedge. But when we tucked in, our taste buds were treated to super fresh fish meat laced with a hint of smokiness. For something seemingly simple, the flavours of this dish certainly packed a punch.
There was also the German-style pasta, käsespätzle. Topped with heaps of crispy onions and served with a side of green salad, this plate of cheesy goodness was a great comfort food choice, but might be a little too heavy for some. You might want to consider sharing this order with a few others.
Sticky date pudding
Then came the best part of the meal – dessert. The sticky date pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream was fabulous – the outside, dusted with an extra thin layer of sugar, gave the classic dessert a lot more texture. Definitely on our Top 5 list, we say.
Even though most of its featured ingredients are humble, The Lokal manages to elevate its offerings with technique and care, all while maintaining a casual, laid-back vibe. The dinner menu does change very often (it all depends on what’s available for the season), so you never really know when to expect when you drop by in the evening.
The Lokal, 136 Neil Road, Singapore 088865, p. 6423 9918.