Indocafe - The White House Tasting Session

July 06, 2016 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Indocafe - The White House Tasting Session
35 Scotts Road

Opening Hours:
Daily: 12pm - 3pm (Lunch), 6pm - 10:30pm (Dinner)



http://thehouseofindocafe.com/

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, Chubby Botak Koala, Madame Chewy, Epicurious Caniggia, and Purple Taste.



Facade



Heritage Indo-Peranakan Cuisine, Colonial Setting

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 9
Value for Money: 7
Budget about SGD $39 per person.


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Opening its doors in January 2012, Indocafe - The White House is a stately, colonial style cultural centre and restaurant, serving fine-dining, heritage Straits-Peranakan (Indonesian, Malaysian) cuisine. With a culturally rich, opulent setting; professional service; and food that is contemporary in looks, yet features hand made spice pastes; the dining experience at Indocafe - The White House is both nostalgic and comforting. The cultural centre even hosts regularly scheduled Indonesian arts performances and coffee appreciation classes!

Indocafe - The White House Signage



Ambience at Indocafe - The White House is warm, charming, and elegant, steeped in history. Warm lighting plays across the plush cushioned, hardwood furniture, while rich Peranakan motifs and antiques lend a sense of opulence. The small dining space resembles a tranquil dining room in the home of a relative, setting the mood for a comfortable dining experience. The restored colonial facade may be admired for its dignified look, and overall, it feels like you've stepped back in time!

Indocafe - The White House Exterior


Indocafe - The White House Interior


Facade



Service at Indocafe - The White House is professional, courteous, and unobstrusive. In particular, I was impressed with how staff serve multiple dishes, without much disruption to conversations around the table. I note staff offer greetings and goodbyes, and quickly usher guests to available seats. When asked, they display good product knowledge on how dishes are created. They're also efficient at clearing away empty / dirty plates and tables. Truly fitting for fine-dining standards!

Seating


Seating



Food at Indocafe - The White House features a heavy Straits-Peranakan influence, with classic dishes from Penang, Malaysia, and Jakarta, Indonesia. They offer an ala-carte buffet for both lunch and dinner (on promotion only), which I find value for money at SGD $29 ++ per person during non-peak periods. Generally, I find dishes that incorporate spice pastes here to be more tasty and outstanding, due to the fresher, hand made, mortar-and-pestle method they practice. Levels of chili heat in dishes have been toned down though, tweaked to suit a broader range of palates. Still pretty good!

Menu Ala-Carte Buffet (SGD $29 ++ / $33 ++)


Sambal Belachan Jar


Meal



A glass of cold, refreshing Iced Lemongrass here hits the spot, especially on hot days! I like that the floral elegant taste of lemongrass is strong in this drink, nicely balanced in sweetness as well.

Iced Lemongrass



The Achar / Peranakan Spicy Pickled Salad, Salted Fish helps to open the appetite, with juicy crunchy, sour spicy pickled vegetables (cucumber, pineapple), and a contrast of salted fish chunks. The big, bold flavours are indicative of the meal here, unashamedly Peranakan!

Achar / Peranakan Spicy Pickled Salad, Salted Fish



The Or'Jian features a rather flat, pan-fried egg omelette, generously topped with chives, and juicy, plump, fresh ocean-farmed oysters. Served with a sharp spicy chili dipping sauce! I find this to be rather decent, though the other diners seemed to love it.

Or'Jian



The Belachan Kay features juicy, savoury chicken wings, coated in a light shrimp paste batter that is crisp, cracking off easily when bit. Served with a chili sauce on the side. I found this to be decent at best.

Belachan Kay



The house signature Otak Klasik features steamed, wobbly spiced egg custard, with a sweet eggy spicy flavour, made savoury with the addition of barramundi fish chunks. Fragrant and incredibly good. Highly recommended!

Otak Klasik



The Kueh Pie Tee has crisp pastry cups, filled with tender savoury sweet braised turnip shreds, crab meat, cuttlefish, and shrimp, topped with parsley and garlic chili. Love the juicy crunch of this 1-bite appetizer!

Kueh Pie Tee



The Jiu Hu Eng Chye features fresh crunchy kang kong / water spinach, bouncy strips of blanched cuttlefish, and a savoury sour sweet shrimp paste and peanut gravy. Classic street food, done well here.

Jiu Hu Eng Chye



The Char Koay Kar has nice soft cubes of pickled daikon radish and rice cakes, stir-fried with sweet dark soya sauce, eggs, bean sprouts, and chili. The result is a sweet savoury dish, big on flavour, closely resembling the Penang, Malaysia version, though less spicy overall.

Char Koay Kar



The Char Kway Teow here calls to mind the version found in Penang, Malaysia, with its flat rice noodles stir-fried with prawns, eggs, sliced chinese pork sausages (Lup Cheong), fish cake, and cockles upon request. Less sweet and more savoury than the Singapore version, you can taste the nice smoky wok hei / breath of the wok in this dish. Good!

Char Kway Teow



The Assam Laksa here is similar to the Penang, Malaysia version, with its deep, intense, savoury sour flavours. Thin round rice noodles, in a tangy spicy fish soup / broth, with shredded mackerel fish, cucumber, onions, red chillies, pineapple, lettuce, and mint leaves. Really good, the tastiest dish we had here, with the most bold flavours. Not as intense as the original version, but I find this much more palatable for most.

Assam Laksa



The Hokkien Hae Mee here bears much resemblance to the version in Penang, Malaysia, with thin rice vermicelli noodles and yellow round egg noodles, in a rich savoury sweet spicy soup / broth of intense pork rib and prawn stock. Garnished with crunchy bean sprouts, fresh kang kong / water spinach, sliced pork loin meat, deshelled prawns / shrimp, and hard boiled egg slices. Big on flavour, delicious, and comforting. Good!

Hokkien Hae Mee



The Sotong Panggang is very good! Fresh, bouncy, meaty sweet squid rings, marinated in a light soy sauce, which gives it a slightly salty flavour, then grilled till it takes on a smoky aroma, yet isn't dry. Served with homemade sambal belachan chili, which pairs so well. Love it!

Sotong Panggang



I like the Bubur Cha Cha, with its warm, milky soup / broth of coconut milk, filled with chunks of tender yam, sweet potato, banana, and tapioca. Hearty comfort dessert, very satisfiying, yet still light on the palate. Taste is nicely sweet and fruity, without being cloying. Highly recommended!

Bubur Cha Cha



The generous toppings in the Iced Chendol make this a worthwhile dessert to order. Crushed ice, sweetened with coconut milk and palm sugar / Gula Melaka, garnished with a generous amount of rice flour jelly strips and red beans. Taste is sweet, earthy, milky, and floral. Good!

Iced Chendol



Now Indocafe - The White House is having a GSS 2016 promotion! From now till 14th August 2016, make a booking through HungryDeals.sg, and enjoy the weekend ala-carte buffet at SGD $33 ++ per person!

Overall, I find the dining experience at Indocafe - The White House to be very good. The culture-rich, luxurious setting, excellent service, and tasty Straits-Peranakan food all combine seamlessly. Nothing really negative here, except the out-of-the-way location. It may be unassuming to most, but Indocafe - The White House remains among the few places in Singapore for a Peranakan fine dining experience!


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Reserve a table now @ Indocafe - The White House









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