Next Stop Cafe – Authentic Western Cuisine Under 10 Bucks!
Western cuisine is perhaps one of the most popular cuisines amongst Singaporeans. It’s difficult to not enjoy it because there’s nothing much to not like. What makes Next Stop Cafe stand out from other neighbourhood cafes is their affordably-priced western dishes. From starters, to pizzas, to burgers, to waffles, it’s hard to not find something that will tickle your fancy.
Helmed by Chef Choo Liong Hau, Next Stop Cafe was launched three months ago, on 14th April. Tapping on his experience as a chef at Orchard hotel, and other American chain restaurants, Chef Choo is a veteran in western cuisine. He told me that he mans the kitchen himself, and uses only quality fresh ingredients. Owing to this fact, you might find that the food does take a little longer than usual to be prepared and served. With over 2 decades of experience under his belt, Chef Choo makes all the sauces by hand, using fresh ingredients, so its flavour and taste cannot be replicated elsewhere. He also shared that he has to come in about 3 hours before the cafe opens, to prepare everything.
One look at the menu and you’ll easily notice that most items are priced well below $10. If you’re a student (wear your uniform or show your student pass), you get an additional 15% discount off all dishes on weekdays from 1pm to 5pm! Although the prices are really affordable, Chef Choo isn’t stingy when it comes to the portions. One of his signature and best-selling dish is the mushroom aglio olio ($6.50, $5.50 for students). For its price, it really is difficult to beat. Using a deep wok to cook, Chef Choo tells me that his pasta has a slightly different flavour than other aglio olios. The portions are more than generous and well worth the $5.50. It’s a little spicy but nothing too overwhelming. The dish is well seasoned and the pasta is firm. It might not look impressive, but you can be assured that you won’t go home disappointed.
If you prefer a cream-based pasta, you can opt for the Carbonara ($7.90, $6.70 for students). The pasta is slightly more cooked through, as compared to the Aglio Olio. The creamy sauce has a rich and creamy consistency but we felt that it could do with a little more salt. The turkey bacon bits aren’t the usual crispy ones but had a meatier flavour to it, without the saltiness. Overall, for its price, it’s difficult to fault it. However, if I had to choose, I’d go for the Aglio Olio.
We also got the Sirloin Steak ($14.90, $8.10 for students) which is the priciest item on their menu, but it was impressive considering the price. In fact, this is the only item above 10 bucks here! It comes with a bed of fresh salad and a separate cup of crinkle cut fries so that they don’t get soggy. The steak was surprisingly succulent and chunky. Cooked till medium, there was a slight tinge of pink present in the meat. It wasn’t as bloody as my usual steaks, but I reckon you can request for your desired doneness. I’m sure friendly Chef Choo will gladly oblige. The homemade black pepper sauce has a robust peppery finish but the excess water from the salad did dilute it a little. While the fries weren’t as crispy as I expected, they were nonetheless still satisfyingly addictive. If you’re craving for steak, this is definitely a steal.
Last but not least, we tried the Crispy Chicken Baked Rice ($7.90, $6.70 for students). Most baked rice dishes come drenched in a cheesy cream sauce but this was a tad different. Chef Choo uses a homemade tomato-based sauce and tops the dish off with melted mozzarella cheese. The tomato sauce comes with soft tomato chunks. Remember to mix everything well before you jump into it! The chicken was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. My only reservation was that the rice underneath didn’t get the love from the tomato sauce. I prefer cream sauces because they seem to bring all the ingredients together more flawlessly. Nonetheless, this is prefect for those with bigger appetites.
What’s a meal without dessert? To complete our meal, we got the Apple Cobbler served with premium vanilla ice cream ($3.90, $3.30 for students). The dessert comes with a generous scoop of premium ice cream atop an interesting looking pastry. Bite into the soft pastry to reveal a fruity apple filling made from real apples. I thought that the pastry could do with a crispier edge but I liked that the overall dessert wasn’t overly sweet.
Like all cafes, you get free flow water so you needn’t worry about spending more to get a drink. Enjoy the free wifi and there’s even external power sockets so you can finish up your work or hold a project meeting here. Great food, attractive prices, what more can one ask for?
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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