Spacious 9,000 Square Foot Dining Hall in Braddell Home to Brunch Cafe, Restaurant and Nam Heong Ipoh Pop-Up – Mothership.SG

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Three F&B brands have moved to the Braddell area to form a new “lifestyle hub”.

Located along the same stretch as Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), The Refectory overlooks the Bishan flyover along Braddell Road.

Photo via SG Refectory/Facebook

Three F&B concepts under one roof

The hub occupies over 9,000 square feet and is currently home to three brands:

  • Glean Cafewhich specializes in all-day brunch and house coffee.
  • BRDLoffering contemporary cuisine with Asian influences and a bar.
  • Dining room near the refectorya versatile event concept that hosts a Nam Heong Ipoh pop-up until the end of August 2022.

Nam Heong Ipoh specializes in dim sum, including egg tarts and chicken penny.

To avoid waste, most of the items served at our media tasting were in tasting portions/canapes, as opposed to regular size portions.

Sofa versions are also available for events held in the dining room.

1. Glean Cafe

The Glean Cafe offers indoor and outdoor dining.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Photo by Karen Lui.

To furnish the casual setting for daytime dining, the 60-seat cafe is decorated with faux plants and small trees.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Local bakery The Patissier is currently collaborating with Glean Cafe on a special menu featuring both sweet and savory items, until August 31, 2022.

Photo by Karen Lui.

There’s even a little seating area in the trees for customers waiting for their takeout orders.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The food

The Beer Breaded Fish and Chips (S$24++ for a normal size portion) is served with mint pea puree and homemade tartar sauce.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The dough is crispy but not greasy, while the meat has retained its moisture. Personally, I prefer curly fries to regular fries, so no complaints there.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Regular size portion of beer fish and chips. Photo by Karen Lui.

Part of the menu of The Patissier x GLEAN collaboration, the Open Toast ‘Otah-otah’ (S$24++ for a normal size portion) includes mackerel and prawn otah, brioche, pineapple and cucumber achar, and laksa sauce.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The toast adds a nice crunch to the otah which has a kick with chunks of shrimp. Although the foam improves the appearance, it does not seem to contribute significantly to the taste.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Normal size portion of ‘Otah-otah’ toast. Photo by Karen Lui.

Known as the “longtime signature” of the Pâtissier, the Passion fruit meringue (S$10++) which is made with Meringue biscuit, passion fruit mousse, fresh mangoes and strawberries comes with a relatively high price tag which may deter potential customers.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The meringue makes it light and adds a nice crunch and the fruit helps cut the cream so it didn’t feel too rich despite the amount of cream – something that initially worried me as someone who doesn’t am not a fan of cream.

Will I eat this again? Without a doubt, if it is a gift (that is, free). If not, I should probably persuade myself to part with the 10 Singapore dollars, which will probably happen if I’m feeling indulgent.

Also from the collaborative menu, the Ho Ho Horlicks! (S$10++) includes Horlicks creme brulee, chocolate sponge and Horlicks coated crumble served in a box, with a lid.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The sponge, cream and crumble add a variety of textures to every bite and lean towards the sweeter side, which is ideal for the sweet tooth.

What you can expect when you reach your spoon all the way to the bottom and pull out. Photo by Karen Lui.

2. BRDL Restaurant and Bar

For something a little more atasjust look across the lobby to the 75-seat restaurant next door, BRDL Bar & Restaurant.

Photo by Karen Lui.

In case you didn’t realize, BRDL comes from the word “Braddell”.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Besides the usual draft beer and wines, it offers soy wine, an alcoholic drink “sustainably extracted” from tofu.

The seats here are also more comfortable, if you want to melt into an armchair after a long day.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The restaurant also has its own entrance and exit which is separate from Glean Cafe.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The food

With every main course ordered from BRDL, diners receive a free financier with butter, with flavors changing seasonally.

The financial wakame was light and yuzu kosho butter enhanced the flavor with more flavor.

The texture of the wakame (seaweed) strands was palpable with every bite.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The crab cone (S$15++ for five pieces) is made with crab, wasabi and tobiko.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Although it looks adorable and very easy to eat in one bite, I would prefer the wasabi to be less prominent so the sweetness of the crab could shine through a bit more.

Photo by The Refectory.

The Tandoori Lamb Shank ($36++ for a normal-sized portion) comes with pickled grape couscous and green apple and cucumber raita (Indian yogurt sauce).

Photo by Karen Lui.

The lamb was very tender and it tasted like what I imagined.

Regular size portion of tandoori lamb shank. Photo by Karen Lui.

The Wagyu Play Rendang ($36++ for a regular size serving) is made with homemade rempah, spicy potato cake, and purple potato chips.

Photo by Karen Lui.

I actually hesitated before putting the cellophane-wrapped topper in my mouth, fearing it wasn’t edible.

I was quickly proven wrong as it was a crispy purple chip.

On the other hand, the wagyu was tender, with a slight kick of sauce.

Normal sized portion of the Wagyu Cheek Rendang. Photo by Karen Lui.

For dessert, the Black Forest ($18++ for a normal size serving) is made with a chocolate sponge, black cherry jam and sorbet, white chocolate with kirsch and whipped cream.

Photo by Karen Lui.

I love dark, rich chocolate, but sometimes find it too overwhelming, so the acidity of the fruit really helps balance out the richness and makes it a delicious treat for chocolate addicts.

Normal sized portion of Black Forest, served with ice cream. Photo by Karen Lui.

You can also check out their alcoholic beverages.

Simply Strawberries (S$22++) includes strawberry-infused Bombay Sapphire gin, Martini Bianco and Giffard lychee liqueur. Photo by Karen Lui.

BRDL (S$22++) is a blend of 12-year-old Aberfeldy whisky, applewood-smoked Martini Rosso and Campari. Photo by Karen Lui.

3. Dining room near the refectory

Finally, the refectory dining room is at the end of the very long space.

This is the closest entrance/exit to the toilets. Photo by Karen Lui.

Photo by Karen Lui.

This versatile event concept can be used for product launches, corporate meetings, workshops or weddings, and comes with a dedicated events team to oversee the project.

We were told that the colorful wallpaper that is still part of the decor was for a wedding recently held at the space. Photo by Karen Lui.

It is also open to takeovers by partner brands. The last pop-up is that of Nam Heong Ipoh which will last three months, from May to August 2022.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The food

The Nam Keong Ipoh x The Refectory collaboration dish, the XO Seafood Congee (S$7.80 for a normal size portion) was quite forgettable, perhaps overshadowed by the interesting dishes that were served earlier.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Nonetheless, it’s still a great bowl of porridge that’s smooth and flavorful.

Normal size portion of XO Seafood Porridge. Photo by Karen Lui.

The egg tarts (S$2.80 each) were crumbly and not so sweet which is dangerous as I could easily see myself eating one after the other.

Photo by Karen Lui.

For egg tart connoisseurs who want to scrutinize filling/dough ratio, texture, etc. Photo by Karen Lui.

The space also includes a fully functional cooking studio for cooking demonstrations and wine appreciation classes.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Verdict

One thing to note if you dine there: customers will not be able to “order” food from all three brands and have it served at their table.

If you want to try dishes from the different concepts, you will need to get a new table in its respective dining room.

Prices are higher, but the plating and ambience are a cut above more everyday restaurants in the area. If you work or live in the area, it’s worth checking out.

Special mention for the Passion Fruit Meringue and Yuzu Kosho’s Buttered Wakame Financier, as they take the cake to be the most memorable and enjoyable items on the menu for me.

The canteen

Address: 351 Braddell Rd, #01-01, Singapore 579713

Opening hours:

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Best pictures by Karen Lui and The Refectory.

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