Santap – Delectable Wholesome Halal Rice Bowls and Pizzas We Love
Santap means to eat luxuriously in Malay, and is often used to describe the eating habits of Kings and Queens. This Halal cafe is actually the in-house restaurant for a small boutique hotel, The Daulat, which is a short walk away from Rochor MRT or Little India MRT. It is owned by The Black Hole Group which also has well-known cafes (Working Title) Burger Bar, Afterwit Mexican Taqueria and The Mad Sailors British Kitchen under their belt.
Their new cosy cafe is managed by the friendly manager Naz, who told us that Santap’s rice bowls are their signature item. What’s special about them is that the base of their rice bowls isn’t actually rice. Santap has replaced traditional white rice with wholegrain brown rice and cauliflower florets. Yup, that means that you’re getting a healthy low-carb meal without a compromise on taste. In fact, we nearly didn’t notice that we were eating cauliflower florets!
Another unique point about Santap is that they bring in Japanese flavours as well. They make their own Tonkatsu sauce with hickory, oyster sauce, spices and a dash of sugar. The Chef told us that they thought that Japanese Tonkatsu sauce, which is tangy and sour, would appeal to local palates more as compared to the usual BBQ sauce.
On top of their signature rice bowls, Santap also serves pizzas, sandwiches and classic brunch items such as Eggs Benedict.
We tried the Salmon Pizza ($15) which is topped with mild cheddar, red daikon and garlic butter sauce. Unlike sharp cheddar cheese which is usually aged for at least a year, mild cheddar cheese is aged for periods between 2-3 months. As a result, it has a less tangy taste. The garlic butter sauce was not too thick and cloying, and the salmon slices were evenly spread out throughout our pizza. However, we thought that the combination of cheese and garlic butter sauce was too heavy for our palates after awhile. Instead of a chewy crust, the pizza base here is soft and fluffy, It could have been slightly thicker in order to balance out the heaviness of the toppings. I would recommend sharing this dish.
The Beef Rice Bowl ($15) is highly recommended by Naz, and it did not disappoint. The base of the rice bowl is made with cauliflower florets and brown rice, and is topped with alfafa, amaranth and red daikon. Cherry tomatoes, corn, red onions and a wobbly poached egg are paired with the thin beef slices. Their housemade tonkatsu sauce is drizzled over the rice. The first thing that struck me was the amazing presentation. The colourful bowl is extremely instagram-worthy, no?
The beef slices were thin and cooked just right. The spiralized red onions have already been soaked in water before serving, which means it does not have flavours as sharp as white onions. We liked that they were clean tasting and refreshing.
This combination of ingredients also comes with Portobello ($15) as the main protein of the bowl. Other than that, bowls like the Shrimp Rice Bowl ($15) with garlic butter sauce and Lamb Rice Bowl ($15) with housemade mint chutney are available as well.
On a whole, we thought that Santa has a delightful ambience and affordably-priced food. Hidden away in Little India/Rochor area, it can be difficult to find, but it is definitely worth the little search. Note that they mostly have al fresco seating. As the interior is rather small, they only have one communal table placed inside.
Address: 16 Madras St, Singapore 208413
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm Open Daily.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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