If you are looking for hearty Western classics coupled with the nostalgic taste of Tenderfresh crispy chicken, this relatively new concept at Our Tampines Hub has a huge variety waiting for you.
With surprising twists like Seafood Salted Egg Pot and Laksa Prawn Spaghetti, there is probably something for the whole family.
Tenderefresh Classic is also Halal certified.
This ‘Classic’ brand extension of Tenderfresh has opened in 2014 – three other outlets are at Punggol Waterway Point, 1KM Mall and Cheong Chin Nam Road.
However, like most restaurants, I feel that their classic dishes (true to their name) still performed better than their newer recipes.
One of the things that called out to me when I flipped open the menu was the Seafood Salted Egg Pot ($16.90). A simple scoop revealed salmon pieces, prawns, mussels and clams.
Alas, the hotpot was more watered down than it was creamy.
I was actually looking forward to dipping the huge pieces of garlic bread in the broth for a tasty bite, but was disappointed.
When the best part of the dish is the garlic bread (but seriously, the chunky bread was rather fragrant and sweet), the recipe could probably do with a little tweak.
Lay on the salted egg I would say; no one really counts their calories stepping into Tenderfresh.
I have a soft spot for anything Laksa (see The Food Anatomy review), and the Laksa Prawn Spaghetti ($9.90), thankfully, did not disappoint.
Suitably creamy with just the right amount of laksa leaves, the slurp-y pasta went well with the sizeale prawns.
$9.90 is also a family-friendly price for a satisfying pasta dish in a restaurant.
I was also confident that they would get their signature fried chicken right – and was fortunately proven correct.
Their Lucky Set (2 pieces of chicken, $7.50) was enhanced by the delicious sambal chilli that is available if you ask the staff for it.
It gave the already classic juicy chicken a kick that elevated the simple dish served with fries.
But not much could be said of another new dish on their menu – the Ayam Masak Merah Drumlettes ($6.50).
While the coating was quite tasty with a tang of sweetness, the drumlettes were marred by the overly thick batter that sometimes came off in chunks.
My companion also spotted some blood in one of his drumlettes.
As if their menu was not vast and varied enough, Tenderfresh Classic added some udon dishes into the mix too.
Granted, not many Muslim patrons get to try Japanese food that is Halal certified, so this Crispy Skin Chicken Chop Udon ($10.90) is a step in the right direction.
Again, I was impressed by how affordable they could keep their price-point for a filling portion, and the udon did come in the right texture, and the chicken accurately crispy-skinned.
That said, the sauce did come off a tad too sweet, and could be balanced out a bit better.
Other notable items on their seemingly ever-expanding menu include the Chili Crab Pasta ($10.90), Onion Blossom ($6.90) and Wagyu “Tiles” with Vegetables, Sweet Pepper and Pasta ($21.90).
It is smart to diversify, especially in the cutthroat competition of consumer’s fickle tastebuds.
But my two cents’ worth is to be daring to really give what’s promised in terms of the recipes like salted egg – if done right, they could just have another beloved classic under their belt.
Our Tampines Hub, #01-102, 25 Tampines Street 82, Singapore 528988 (Near Tampines MRT) Opening Hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm Daily