It's hard to convince me to travel anywhere out of the way to a restaurant these days unless there's promise of good food. The stars aligned and I was in the far flung end of Singapore and thus I checked off the unique Aussie-Jap/Asian dishes at Paddy Hills off my list.
This highly instagrammable cafe is located on 38 South Buona Vista Road near the bendy roads leading to NUS. Inaccessible it is, you really need a ride over to this spot. No matter how long you take, you can still get your breakfast since that's served till 5.30pm. The hot IG dish is the Berry Ricotta Hotcake ($19) which is a giant flat cake (not quite pancake) with a splash of colors from the berries, mascarpone and pinenuts.
I was intrigued by the Asian Brick ($18), which sells itself as 'a thick decadent brulee brioche french toast with goreng pisang, butternut squash puree, purple sweet potato, yam ice cream, marcona almonds and a gula melaka sauce'. I was surprised and delighted by the alternative presentation of this dish. Instead of a huge piece of french toast, the brioche came in the form of fried doughnuts balls with a milky center. Oily it was (a little) and Paddy Hills could certainly provide more brown sugar sauce to go with it. The plate was a song of contrasting but complementary textures and flavors- salty sweet pumpkin puree, gingery herb, rich yam ice cream, lightly battered sweet banana, sticky yam and dense sweet potato. Asian it was certainly and like our Asian desserts, it was carb heavy and the oiliness kinda got to us halfway through.
The Golden Man Tou Sliders ($23) was also quite a popular one with 3 beef sliders with 3 cheeses sandwiched between fried chinese buns, served with sweet potato crisps, homemade bbq sauce, and pickled shallots and cherries. The cheesy patties were good without any added sauce but you could always add a dash of tangy and peppery sauce for taste. It's a first seeing the purple sweet potatoes presented as crisps instead of fries but this, together with the fried and dense buns, was again oily and overwhelming. A refreshing slaw would do this dish some good.
We were mildly impressed with the food but certainly won over by the coffee. The Slayer extracts the essence of the roasted beans by Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee, and the Hand brew bar gives the coffee connoisseur an alternative tasting of the beans.
2 house blends of espresso are available. 99-1 is a full bodied one with dark chocolate and caramel, while SPARK is a sweet blackcurrent one. Espresso based milk coffees are priced from $5.50 onwards. I decided on desserts and had the Affogato ($6.50). Medium acidity in this shot but it was balanced by the smooth vanilla bean ice cream. The seemingly boring dessert was enhanced with a hint of salt in the smokey caramel marcona almonds and that made all the difference.
Selected single origin beans from Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Brazil, and Indonesia are available using the V60 and aeropress method.
The Musasa Hand Brew ($6) from Rawanda tasted of citrus, with hints of raspberries and chocolate. The flavors really pop with the cleaner brew methods. Prices from $5 onwards and is based on market rates.
The cakes looked a bit too familiar to me, like those at Old Hen Brew Bar, Assembly Grounds and the likes and i know for sure to leave them alone (they are terribly dry and sweet). Someone ought to tell their supplier to tweak their recipe.
Paddy Hills is a good cafe in the sense that it provides cafe goers with an alternative to the usual brunch food. The flavors are spot on but they do need to cut down on the oil. Currently, it's just not great enough to warrant repeat visits due to the ulu location.
38 South Buona Vista Road
Daily: 8.30am - 10pm