I know I’ve written about MyVillage and my experience ordering a Milo Tower before, but so much has changed in Serangoon Gardens and this was something I discovered after recently moving from my old ‘hood in the West to Northeastern Singapore.
If you’re searching for the perfect place for a bite this coming weekend, whether it’s brunch, dinner or supper, here are three really great options at Serangoon Gardens if you’re looking at a budget of about S$20 or less. I vouch for the food quality and consistency of these suggested restaurants and cafes!
Brunch at Arbite
Smoked Salmon Pancakes (S$16.05)
My favourite pancakes in Singapore (for now). Heh.
The menu at Arbite is clearly the most “atas” (high class) of the three places. Thankfully, even though plating is bloody on point and everything looks straight out of an Australian cafe, the prices on the menu aren’t unreasonable.
While I haven’t tried the adventurous (some may say a little too adventurous) dishes like the Ayam Buah Keluak Kueh Pie Ti and Asian Spiced Lamb Shank, I’ve found my favourite brunch plate in Arbite’s Smoked Salmon Pancakes. Frankly, the best and fluffiest pancakes ever with generous thick slices of smoked salmon, delicious basil cream cheese, gorgeously poached eggs (with just the right runniness), juicy watermelon cubes, and for crunch, almond flakes and toasted sesame. I am partial towards sprouts too, so that was a nice little plus.
The coffee served here is also pretty good. The coffee beans are freshly roasted from Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee and, while not as cheap as your neighbourhood kopi, is still really affordable. (E.g. An Iced Latte costs S$5.89.)
If you have just brunch items, you’ll fit it all into a budget of S$20 per person with extra cash to spare. Add on a beverage or coffee and it might be a little over S$20 depending on what you choose.
66A Serangoon Garden Way,
Open Mondays to Fridays from 11:30pm to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 10:30pm
Open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 10:30pm
Open on Sundays from 9:00am to 10:00pm
Open on Public Holidays from 11:00am to 10:00pm
Dinner at Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen
Premium Pork Loin (S$19.90)
I dare say, the best tonkatsu I’ve ever eaten!
When it comes to tonkatsu (Japanese deep fried pork cutlets), I’ve always found it a pricey indulgence. Once upon a time, my favourite tonkatsu places were Tonkatsu by Ma Maison and Saboten. The only problem? Eating at these restaurants can be a super expensive affair after taxes. What I love about Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen is the food here is super high quality and the prices already factor in gst!
The Premium Pork Loin from Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen is so darn awesome (get this over the regular pork loin, trust me). It’s deep-fried just right and never too hard (and I’ve eaten here a couple of times… it’s always so good), while being so satisfyingly tender and juicy. I’m not surprised it’s this good since the chef, Chef Tan-San, is marketed as Singapore’s FIRST tonkatsu chef. Credit also goes to the pork loin selection. Hajime spares no expense and the restaurant uses air-flown Japanese pork, chosen for its juiciness and tenderness.
It’s not just the tonkatsu that’s amazing; The tonjiru soup is superb too. (Sumpah!) Hajime has very cleverly simmered tonkatsu broth with Japanese pork and Yuzu for more than 12 hours to create a remarkably hearty soup thats enhanced by the zesty zing that cuts through the soup’s meaty flavour.
Like most tonkatsu restaurants, there’s free-flow shredded cabbage and all you can eat Japanese rice. The rice served by Hajime is Niigata rice grown in pristine waters from melting snow which is then milled locally to lock in freshness. (Such wow! Much effort!)
This is totally worth S$19.90. I don’t think you’ll find a tonkatsu restaurant in Singapore that offers quality at this price. The value is unbelievable. I can live without drinks for a meal to fit within my S$20 budget if it means I get to eat here.
Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen
myVillage @ Serangoon Gardens, #02-07/8/9,
1 Maju Avenue, Singapore 556679
Open Mondays to Fridays from 11:30am to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Open on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays from 11:30am to 3:00pm, 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Supper at iSteaks Diner
AU Ribeye 100 Days GF 200g (S$20)
This cow will not die in vain and I will have my steak “medium well”, never “well done”, at iSteaks (because I can and it still tastes absolutely amazing)
Last but not least, let me rave a little about iSteaks Diner. I’m no beef expert, but I know better than to order my steak “medium rare” at Astons or any other western food chain or risk disappointment.
iSteaks is the ONLY place I do that because I know for sure that my Australian Ribeye 100 Days Grain-fed 200g steak is gonna get served to my table, perfectly done just the way a steak ordered “medium rare” is supposed to.
I’ve eaten here countless times at the myVillage at Serangoon Gardens as well as the Holland Village branch and I’m really impressed by how they maintain the quality across both diners.
The steak always comes slightly charred on the outside, retains its juiciness, and is beautifully pink towards the centre. On top of that, I love that the ribeye comes with just enough fat that melts-in the mouth and is never overcooked to the point it becomes rubbery and impossible to chew. This may sounds like what steak should be like, but at coffee shops or small time “steakhouses” this can be a tall order, so I really appreciate the awesome price point and standard that iSteaks offers.
Each order comes with two sides and unlike most other western chains, they offer more than the usual coleslaw salads, garden veggies, onion rings, baked potato or fries. Expect cool veggie sides like creamy spinach (a personal favourite of mine), creamy broccolli, sauteed brussels, french beans, cauliflower cheese and I swear, there’s more. Just check out the menu! I would also like to say that they have the best mac and cheese side I’ve had from a “coffee shop” western chain.
Canned drinks are just $1.50 and if you’re really into eggs like I am, a sunny side-up is just a dollar extra too.
I can rave all day, but let’s just say, while expecting Morton’s level steak is a bit of a stretch, this is still by far the best steak you’ll have for just S$20!
iSteaks Diner @ MyVillage
myVillage @ Serangoon Gardens, #02-03/4/5/6,
1 Maju Avenue, Singapore 556679
Open Sundays to Thursdays and Public Holidays from 11:00am to 11:00pm
Open Fridays, Saturdays and Eve of Public Holidays from 11:00am to 12:00am