White Rose Café: Treasured Flavours of Singapore (SG)

Calamansi Plum Juice S$5++

A classic local drink that is quintessential to our ever tropical island.

It got to pack the intense sour plum amongst the sweet and sour juice.

Crispy and airy light poppadum!

Complimentary poppadum served before the mains came on.

And now, let’s have a lowdown on White Rose Cafe’s background.

Well-known as the restaurant which has been presenting the successful and wildly popular Penang Hawkers’ Fare promotion for the past 27 years,York Hotel’s White Rose Café has launched a ‘Treasured Flavours of Singapore’ menu – featuring true blue Singaporean dishes; some of which are nostalgic gems, as part of its culinary initiative that aims to celebrate the culture and heritage of popular Singaporean cuisine.

Helming the development of this much-anticipated new menu is Executive Chef Charlie Tham, who first started his career in the seventies at Chin Wah Heng, which was later renamed Soon Heng Restaurant. Chef Charlie possesses a wealth of over 26 years of experience in cooking Asian cuisine and his extensive knowledge in Singapore cuisine is showcased in his cookbook titled ‘Curry Kingdom’. York Hotel has also brought onboard Chef Jordan Liang, formerly from Soon Heng Restaurant, to assist the kitchen team.

Deep fried curry chicken wings S$8++

The ultra crunchy curried batter on these wings were so good.

And it remained crunchy even after a long pause of sitting on the table (inside air-con interior).

The fat layers of the skin rendered out tcompletely, flesh underneath took on the spicy flavours too.

Fish Head Curry. Half Portion S$28; Whole Portion S$42.

The key dish here would be this Fish Head Curry, a tamarind (assam) based curry broth.

It was prepared according to a well-guarded recipe dating from the 1970s.

Remember, be quick and take away the cheek flesh of the fresh snapper once served *kiasu*.

It was so tender, sweet and infused with the subtle yet heady curry spices served together with a myriad of vegetables – lady fingers, tomatoes and red chillies.

Sambal King Prawn (per piece S$8)

The juicy king prawns were deveined and split, lightly fried prior to being smothered in the aromatic sambal sauce.

It was mild on heat but flavourful.

Fragrant fluffy rice and acar with the homely dishes.

Black Ink Sotong (Squid) S$12

This was available decades ago before the Italian nero pasta created a wave in Singapore.

Trust me, you will like this plate filled with fresh and soft squid coated in the briney squid ink – eaten with white rice NOT pasta. Nice one!

Crab Masala S$32

I learnt that it was chicken masala that cued for this crab masala from the regular diners.

However, we way prefer crab masala than chicken one.

The sweet fresh crab meat soaked up the tasty masala spices and turned into a really wonderful dish.

Ask for a finger bowl or two as I couldn’t imagine eating it without my fingers.

Tips: Use the poppadum to scoop out the leftover masala spices if you couldn’t get enough of it.

Chicken Masala S$12

Chicken masala contained chunky bits of different chicken parts.

Perfect for those who prefer non-messy affair eating the crab version.

Chap Chye (Teochew syle) S$8

This simple stir fry of vegetable medley blew me away.

It was of Teochew version – stir fried with fermented bean paste (instead of the Cantonese style of hoisin sauce).

The vegetables were not overcooked, still retained a little crunch, infused with the bean paste seamlessly.

Sambal Kang Kong S$8

I must commend on the right amount of salt used in the homemade sambal sauce here.

It was punchy without being too salty found commonly admist the cze char stalls.

Beef Rendang S$15 (from media set) – We did not try it out this time round, definitely next time.

The following desserts are perennial choices, and it is comforting to know that in the midst of fast-paced developments, we could still find some nostalgic taste from these retro desserts.

I really hope they will stay that way.

Creme Caramel ~S$6

When I saw this wobbly white dome approaching me, I thought out loud – so retro!

I was transported back to the childhood days spent at those old town Ipoh coffee shops for weekend breakfast.

The generous size of this velvety smooth creme caramel easily doubled the ones at a normal Western restaurant.

I loved the intense caramel taste on the sweet eggy custard, it has successfully brought this sumptuous meal to a delightful end.

I shall come back for this!

Cheng Teng

Favourite local desserts are available here and wide varied.

Our dining companion ordered this classic Cheng Teng, the soup was packed with ingredients cooked just right, not mushy nor hard.

As for the partner, he almost got chendol but we succumbed to the large slice of cheesecake calling out to us from the pastry case.

Cheesecake S$6

There is a resident pastry chef at the cafe churning out the bakes and sweets.

We thoroughly enjoyed this crumbly cheesecake coated with glazed rice crisps on the edge. Pretty strong lemony taste, if you like citrus that would be a plus point.

Everyday after 8pm, the deli counter offers buy 1 get 1 free, each is priced at S$6 only. The generous size and quality easily beat the ones found nearby Orchard shopping belt.

Take note: One of their popular signature items here is the Chicken Pie (yet to try myself, next trip for sure).

Overall, we enjoyed the classic Singaporean style dishes tagged at very reasonable pricing, moreover it is near Orchard area.

I have listed this restaurant as the very spot to bring my overseas visitors to (and without burning a hole in my pocket).

Address: York Hotel, 21 Mount Elizabeth (opposite Quincy Hotel)
Opening hours: 6am – 1am
Website

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