Old School Delights

An unassuming little joint in the Thomson area that serves up old school delights. When they said old school, we didn’t realize they meant back to school. With a concrete floor and light wooden chairs and tables and a large chalkboard sprawling across the main wall, the entire setup channels uniformed days of yesteryear. They even sell childhood games, such as pick-up sticks, Uno and magic squares (imitation Rubik’s cubes). We briskly found our seats and proceeded to study the menu. It’s a streamlined one, but that doesn’t mean any less stress. Barley water was an easy decision, but we soon found ourselves torn between their signature laksa and mee siam. In the end, we just had to order both. Our drink was pleasingly sweet and had a delicate pandan aftertaste. It was good enough to rival grandma’s homebrewed version, while the laksa with prawns and cockles was a little watery and lacked the richness we craved. Their mee siam was a clear winner. Accompanied by fresh and juicy tau pok, firm beancurd strips and half a hard-boiled egg, we happily slurped down the rice vermicelli and thick, full-bodied gravy. A little spicy, sour and sweet, we like ours with more lime juice, although it was easily one of the better mee siams we’ve had in a while. The nasi lemak besar had all the usual suspects, but the fragrant coconut rice really complemented the toasty peanuts, ikan bilis and fried chicken wing. Despite being almost uncomfortably full, the chendol begged for a taste. We’ll forgive the slightly mushy green jelly bits just because the aromatic gula melaka from Malacca made us so content. On the whole, it’s certainly got potential. Even if the novelty wears off, the food and service are good. And hopefully, things will only get better. We’re all too happy to give them a little more time to find their feet, before we go old school again.

Eat this: Mee siam. It’s one of I-S Magazine’s 50 things to eat in Singapore before you die (2012).