Tuesday, 3 November 2015
Paddy Hills Cafe Bistro Singapore South Buona Vista JK1283
Paddy Hills Cafe is along South Buona Vista Road at the foot of Kent Ridge and is in the same shop lot that used to house the popular vintage Lim Seng Lee braised duck. I have eaten this braised duck many times during my pre-blogging days. It's good to be back at this old place, now completely re-invented.
Inside Paddy Hills, the interior is fully transformed from the location's kopitiam braised duck days, of course. I was looking for traces of the nostalgic past but couldn't find anything inside.
It's still a kopitiam but of a different kind.
Paddy Hills is very comfortable inside, bathed with energising natural light through large windows on one side and supplemented by warm yellow lights. Shades of earth, green and sky tones combine in contemporary rustic chic in an understated way.
You need to be alert and be in the know to spot the subtle extravagances here and there ;-D
For example, a steam puffing beast taking pride of place at the island coffee bar. It's the Slayer, the Rolls Royce of espresso machines - an eye catching, beautifully handcrafted coffee machine.
The Slayer is tamed and put to good use by talented Head Barista Valerie.
Paddy Hills serves two blends of Arabica.
One called 99-1 which is savoury with notes of chocolate and caramel in a smooth full body.
Then there is Topsy Turvy for those who prefer fruitiness and nuttiness in their cuppa.
Paddy Hills also serves single origin hand brewed coffee. Just ask Valerie about it at the brew bar :-D
Coffee is supplied by Tiong Hoe, one of Singapore's oldest and more innovative roasters, so quality is assured. ->> click to read about Tiong Hoe coffee roasters.
Pretty Berry Ricotta Hotcake (SGD23 nett).
When I saw the grin on the people's faces as they were having it at the table across the aisle, I suddenly felt very hungry :-D
Craving tamed when our own order arrived :-D
I just cannot resist the hot fluffy buttery spongy sweet cake topped with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pine nuts, melon seeds, flower petals, and yuzu gel vanilla yogurt in the centre. The pretty cake was drizzled with maple syrup and dusted with blueberry sugar.
Good thing that this hotcake is available anytime of the day at Paddy Hills.
Tonkotsu Risotto SGD25 nett.
The rice was cooked al dente, so the grains had a tender yet soft nutty texture. Love it.
The rice grains were enveloped by a heavy yellow coat of tonkotsu broth, raw quail eggs and a bit of aromatic cumin. Rich savoury sweet flavours.
The risotto was topped with thick tender slices of braised kurobuta pork belly which were torched just before serving.
The scratching added a crispy crunch and the nori, an aromatic briny savoury touch.
This dish is simply called Potato and Fish (SGD24 nett).
Potato and fish......, what a huge understatement.
It's hand made potato rosti grated long and thin almost like bee hoon (rice vermicelli). The mound of rosti is seared till the outside is browned and slightly charred at the edges. Inside, the potato rosti is still moist and juicy like boiled potatoes.
The rosti sat in a heavy body, creamy, savoury mildly sweet bagna cauda sauce. The rosti swept up the sauce like a wet mop (pardon the description but you know what I mean). Every mouthful of sauce saturated rosti was delightful with robust yet balanced savoury sweet flavours with crispy crunchy textures.
The rosti is eaten with two pan seared fresh sea bass fillet. The sea bass skin was seared to a crisp and the tender white meat was moist and juicy. Paddy Hills do their shopping at the wet market every day just like regular homemakers, so the fish and other produce are always fresh.
A cheerful looking fried egg and crackle complete the surprisingly delightful dish.
The Pink Panther SGD9 nett.
This playful looking drink reflects the enthusiastic, youthful crew at Paddy Hills.
Yuzu Effervescence SGD9, and in the background, the Half & Half SGD9.
I took a few sips of each drink. They were all interesting and refreshing.
Don't leave Paddy Hills without trying their signature dessert "Texture of Fruits" SGD25 nett.
No matter what or how much food and drinks you have had, you will have space for this delightful dessert.
Pieces of colourful dried fruits were set like jewellery on an airy pillowy cushion of vanilla yogurt. This dessert is a good blend of sweet and citrussy flavours with surprising textures.
I enjoyed the coffee and food so much that I got into pesky food blogger mode.
Chef Ben (previously from Fullerton Hotel) and owner Bryan graciously granted my request for a photo :-D
At first, I thought that the name Paddy Hills is just a fanciful mashup of Paddington and Notting Hill to give the cafe a fake English upper class type of "snob" appeal. But no, non of that at all. Bryan told me that Paddy Hills is an offspring of the family's catering business, and it had long been their philosophy that customers should be well fed - hence, Paddy Hills or rice hills.
At the end of our dinner, I came away from Paddy Hills feeling really good and very well fed indeed, with hearty, delicious, delightful dishes.
Great coffee and drinks too.
Rice hills or Paddy Hills, it's a real classy kind of down-to-earth.
I want to come back!
Love the coffee, food, people and ambiance here.
Disclosure: Bryan declined our payment for the food and drinks consumed.
Restaurant name: Paddy Hills
Address: 38 South Buona Vista Road, Singapore 118164
GPS: 1.281073, 103.786981
Hours: 10:30am – 11:00pm
Tel: 6479 0800
Date visited: 2 Nov 2015
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