Neither in Beverly Hills, California, nor on a paddy field, Paddy Hills had taken over the space that popular Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice once occupied along South Buona Vista Road.
Café food by day, Asian tapas by night, featuring Australian-Japanese international fusion food with specialty coffee, Paddy Hills had fulfilled a few criteria that proven itself to be a promising start up.
Criteria 1: Good fengshui checked, as observed in previous popular Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice business.
I am not kidding when it comes to having a good name. Paddy Hills signify abundance of rice, which represents ‘prosperity’, a good sign to any new start up.
Criteria 2: Name checked.
The interior was decorated using multiple elements, from the bricked walls that gave a rustic feel, to the bronze bar table that added a classy touch and to the wooden furnitures with an earthly finish.
Criteria 3: Ambience checked.
We were presented with a A3 sized menu that would probably take us more than 20 minutes to browse through. The Daytime Menu comprised of Breakfast (8.30am – 5.30pm) and Lunch (11.30am – 5.30pm) whereas the Night Menu would start after 5.30pm. Chef was formerly from The Clifford Pier.
Serving specialty coffee and hand-brewed coffee in the day, it’s a café in the day and tapas bar at night.
Criteria 4: Wide selection checked.
Coffee beans were roasted by Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee and the barista would prepare them with the Slayer we spotted here!
Criteria 5: Equipment checked.
Recommendation for the Breakfast menu includes Berry Ricotta Hotcakes ($19) and Orange Ricotta Pillows ($18) whereas for lunch menu, they are Squid Ink Tagliatelle ($23) and Golden Man Tou Sliders ($23).
The Squid Ink Tagliatelle ($23) was a Japanese- western fusion with mentaiko (Pollock and cod roe), ikura (salmon roe) and tobiko (flying fish roe). Available in limited quantity daily, only 30 would be prepared each day.
The squid ink was well infused within the pasta, which was al dente. Notice the white specks among the black pasta? These rice puff gave the springy pasta an added crunch. No worries, the black squid ink won’t stain your teeth.
The deep fried man tou (buns) for Golden Man Tou Sliders ($23) underwent a western twist. Now it’s used to ’kiap’ the Ang-moh beef patty instead of dipping into the Singapore Chilli Crab sauce.
The deep fried Man tou were nice to chew with the juicy patty. Even though it’s too big to be a slider, I’m not complaining because I would get to eat a bigger portion.
We ordered the Toasted Spicy Rice Cakes ($15) that underwent multiples plastic surgeries which was widely accepted in their country, and this time round, it was a successful operation.
No longer the familiar tteokbokki (Korean rice cakes) with a dense and chewy texture, they were now crispy and crunchy to munch on, a good snack while watching our Korean dramas.
We ordered the Kimchi Fried Rice ($20) because the previous plastic surgery proved to be a successful one. The Fried Rice had the right amount of Wok Hei taste found in our local zi-char stalls, and the kimchi has the right level of spiciness.
Both the fried rice and kimchi tasted decent on its own. However, we were disappointed with the marriage between the Korean Kimchi and Singapore Fried Rice due to the lack of cohesiveness. The couple will need put in more effort to make this marriage work though.
The Orange Ricotta Pillows ($18) was completely orange and we still remember the Red Velvet Pancakes from Pacamara which were completely red. And now we had the orange version!
Criteria 6: Instagram-worthy checked. Overall taste for the food… not checked yet.
The orange pancakes were really fluffy and had a citrusy taste, and my friends were screaming this quote from Despicable Me: “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!”
There was decent natural lighting for seats nearer to the window and the wall mural outside the café is a potential site to attract #OOTD Instagrammers (We already spot instagrammers shooting their #OOTD outside this wall, come quick).
Criteria 7: Instagram- worthy #OOTD Checked.
Good fengshui, good name, wide selection, good equipment… Multiple criteria fulfilled to be a promising new start up. Some dishes will require a bit of fine-tuning and cutting down on the longer waiting time will benefit them in the long run.
38 South Buona Vista Road, Singapore 118164 (10-15 min walk from Haw Par Villa MRT)
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 5pm, 6pm – 9:30pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 5pm, 6pm – 9:30pm (Sat-Sun)
* Written by Daniel’s Food Diary cafe correspondent Nicholas Tan. He can be found at instagram @stormscape