What I Eat In My Hood: Long-Time Clementi Resident
STORY: Annette Tan
12 October 2021
From 13 Oct 2021, only fully vaccinated persons will be allowed to dine-in alone or as a pair at hawker centres, coffee shops, and F&B establishments.
The information in this article is correct at the time of publishing.
“The west side is the best side,” says Jeremy Tay half-jokingly. He probably means it since he’s lived in Clementi for the past 20 years and often mock-argues with his friends who live in the East Coast about which district has better food. Whatever the case, this bucolic estate is definitely home to some culinary gems, including these places suggested by Jeremy.
Location: 106 Clementi Street 12, #01-62
“We’re so lucky to have this gem of a café here. They make the kind of amazing food that you’d never find under a block of HDB flats. The dishes are elegant and rib-sticking, like wagyu bourguignon and lobster bisque pot pie. And don’t get me started on the French fried chicken. We love how incredibly tender and tasty the chicken is. Apparently, they brine it in buttermilk before frying. Also, the cheddar-chilli cornbread and duck fat fries. You get the picture, lah.”
Location: 105 Clementi Street 12, #01-06
“You often hear people say, ‘they don’t make ’em like they used to’. Well, they do here. Most people, even if they don’t live in Clementi, know of Balmoral Bakery. It is like one of the last bastions of old-school cakes and confections, including doughnuts topped with fake chocolate sprinkles and rum balls. If you didn’t grow up eating these things, you’d probably be disappointed when you try them. But if you did, then these are windows into your childhood. For me, it’s the chicken pies and custard puffs, which my mother used to buy for our teatime snacks.”
Hani Food Stall
Location: #01-178 West Coast Market Square, 726 Clementi West Str 2
“Everyone I know loves the mee rebus at this humble, long-time store. Every component of the dish is fantastic – the thick, rich gravy, toothsome noodles, and shower of green chilies and fried shallots on top of everything. So comforting and so cheap! The lontong is pretty legit too, even if it looks pale.”
Li Yuan Mee Pok
Location: 710 Clementi West Street 2
“Although no longer run by the Japanese chap who made headlines for selling mee pok, the food here is still good. It’s now run by a Singaporean guy — though I hear it is still owned by the Japanese man — and continues to offer the best of mee pok with Japanese touches. I like the Japanese Fusion Mee Pok Miso which comes with round slices of fatty chashu, meatballs, minced pork and sliced abalone. The miso gives it a lovely sweet-umami back note.”
Olla Specialty Coffee
Location: 109 Clementi Str 11, #01-03
“We’re so chuffed that we now have hipster coffee under the block. This petite café serves espresso-based drinks using beans roasted by Nylon Coffee Roasters and I like that the coffee is robust, rich and mellow. There are decent pastries and waffles too, which are best eaten when you can find a vacant table in the café. For me, this place offers a nice break when working from home. My favourite drink here is the 5oz white – velvety and creamy. On really hot days, I’ll come in for one of their cold brews.”