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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.
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.
To furnish the casual setting for daytime dining, the 60-seat cafe is decorated with faux plants and small trees.
Local bakery The Patissier is currently collaborating with Glean Cafe on a special menu featuring both sweet and savory items, until August 31, 2022.
There’s even a little seating area in the trees for customers waiting for their takeout orders.
The Beer Breaded Fish and Chips (S$24++ for a normal size portion) is served with mint pea puree and homemade tartar sauce.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In case you didn’t realize, BRDL comes from the word “Braddell”.
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.
The restaurant also has its own entrance and exit which is separate from Glean Cafe.
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.
The crab cone (S$15++ for five pieces) is made with crab, wasabi and tobiko.
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.
The Tandoori Lamb Shank ($36++ for a normal-sized portion) comes with pickled grape couscous and green apple and cucumber raita (Indian yogurt sauce).
The lamb was very tender and it tasted like what I imagined.
The Wagyu Play Rendang ($36++ for a regular size serving) is made with homemade rempah, spicy potato cake, and purple potato chips.
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.
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.
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.
You can also check out their alcoholic beverages.
3. Dining room near the refectory
Finally, the refectory dining room is at the end of the very long space.
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.
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.
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.
Nonetheless, it’s still a great bowl of porridge that’s smooth and flavorful.
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.
The space also includes a fully functional cooking studio for cooking demonstrations and wine appreciation classes.
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.
Address: 351 Braddell Rd, #01-01, Singapore 579713
Best pictures by Karen Lui and The Refectory.