Hong Kong’s Honolulu Café has opened in Singapore at Orchard Centrepoint. Centrepoint? The location must have good feng shui, also brought in by the same team behind Mak’s Noodle in Singapore – which unfortunately has differing standards from Hong Kong’s.
Incidentally, many Hong Kong F&B outlets seem to have spread their wings in Singapore, from Mak’s Noodle, Jenny Bakery, The Coffee Academics to Tai Cheong Bakery which incidentally has a pop-up stall at nearby Takashimaya.
Actually, there used to be another Hong Kong café at Centrepoint (Causeway Bay if I can recall, which didn’t last), and we are hopeful for another affordable eatery at this stretch of Orchard other than HANS.
Honolulu Café’s menu is relatively straightforward, divided into
– Baked Goods – Honolulu Egg Tart ($1.70), Pineapple Bun with Butter ($2), Deep Fried Egg Puff ($2) and BBQ Pork Pastry ($1.70)
– Toast – French Toast ($3.00)
– Sandwiches ($3.00 – $7.00)
– Instant Noodle ($5)
– Beef Brisket Noodle in soup or with noodles ($6.00) and
– Main courses – Baked Pork Chop Spaghetti or Rice ($7.80), Baked Fish Fillet Cream Sauce Spaghetti or Rice ($7.80)
The signature Honolulu Egg Tart ($1.70) is known for its 192 layers of flaky pastry, crumbly, with wobbly eggy fillings.
Frankly, the Egg Tart was not too bad – we liked the crumbly crust which reminded us of cereal.
However, during another anonymous visit, it was unfortunate that the tarts were served chipped and dry. Hopefully, some QC would be in-place.
It is SO TOUGH to find good authentic Hong Kong style Curry Fish Balls ($3.00) in Singapore. Honolulu’s gah lei yu dan met the mark, being bouncy Q with an addictive sauce.
The unassuming Swiss Sauce Chicken Wings ($6.00 for 4 pieces) were also a delightful starter, being well-marinated in sweetish sesame oil and tender.
On the other hand, we didn’t quite like the Polo Bun with Butter ($2), somehow not as impressive as the ones in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong version had a complete upper crust with more bite.
The Stir-Fried Flat Rice Noodle with Beef ($7.00) was also disappointing though we initially had high hopes when the dish came out from the kitchen.
The rice noodles were not evenly tossed, and lacked the quintessential wok hei. Blah.
We know that the Milk Tea ($3.00 hot, $3.20 cold) is brewed by an award-winning milk tea master, and heard about the secret blend tea which is made from three different kinds of loose-leaf tea.
The Hong Kong style Honolulu Coffee ($3.00 hot, $3.20 cold) is also made from a house blend of three different types of beans, and added with rum, shredded coconut and egg shells for a more silky texture. BUT…
Perhaps it was opening night jitters, all the drinks somehow didn’t work out well. We also checked with neighbouring tables. Same reaction.
The Milk Tea was SOUR (suspect could be the milk), and weirdly the hot drinks tasted more DILUTED contrasted to the cold ones.
While most of the other dishes were really quite average-tasting and service not fantastic, fans of the flakey egg tarts can make their way to Honolulu Café at Centrepoint, but we suspect that response may be short-lived and not as overwhelming. We shall see.
Honolulu Café Singapore
#01-33F/G The Centrepoint 176 Orchard Road, Singapore 238843 (Somerset MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Thurs, Sun), 11am – 10pm (Fri – Sat)
Honolulu Café Hong Kong 檀島咖啡餅
G/F & Mezz Floor, 176-178 Hennessy Rd., Wan Chai (Wan Chai MTR Exit A4) 灣仔軒尼詩道176-17
Tel: +852 2575 1823
Opening Hours: 6:00am – 12:00am