Nested in the über-chic neighbourhood of Haji Lane was a little cafe called The Singapura Club. It featured updated versions of favourites from a murtabak stall.
Starting with a sharing portion of different tandoori – prawn, chicken, lamb, fish – served on a wooden board and a side of pickled carrots, cucumber and radish. “Mille Julle” means Mixed, the name was exactly what this dish was about, a mixture of tandoori all having the same flavour.
This was definitely not Satay Club, and the chicken satay did not make it.
The Okra Fries was a novelty. Sweet instead of savoury, the okra was dry and crispy.
The Truck Stop Fried Chicken was very good Indian style fried chicken, with bold spices and fried until all the moisture was squeezed out of the skin. But the meat was still juicy. So high heat on the second frying was what I reckoned.
Bazaar Grilled Squid was accompanied by a very refreshing mango salad. The stuffed squid had a sweet sauce, a bit like Kechup Manis. But the squid was grilled a bit too old.
The Roti John brought back good memories of my days in Singapore Poly and the fantastic Roti John in Canteen 4. Only wished it was drenched in cheap watered down ketchup/chilli sauce.
The other highlight of the evening was the Singapura Laksa. This was the dry version of the quintessential Laksa inspired by Dry Mee Siam. The thick bee hoon was infused perfectly with the laksa sauce. It was laksa with the guilt.
Let’s face it, a gourmand place this is not. The Singapura Club was meant to be a tapas place with a local twist. The decor was rustic with spinning fans and rusty metal grill gates and mosaic tiles at every corner. The service was attentive and would be a great happy hour get-together (or Mille Julle) place after work.
I wasn’t impressed with the food, which is trying hard to be innovative yet familiar albeit not too successful in the taste section. The portions were good from sharing, but they came served quite cold. Won’t come here specifically for food, only for the service and a place to chill.
Drinks a plenty, you can get every imaginable spice-infused Chai Latte here.
Haji Lane has somewhat undergone through a transformation from the sleepy Malay/Indian fabric and tailors with an odd Chinese shop that sold beads and trinkets for the sarong kebab, to an über-chic street with handicrafts, leather shops and pretentious eateries. Let’s hope it remained this way for a long, because with the area going through a revival, the rentals will go up and that would definitely bring an end to entrepreneurial shopkeeper and small businesses.
The Singapore Club
26 Haji Lane
Date visited: Oct 2017