When my trainer lamented about the lack of good-old Fish & Chips in Singapore after a trip to Australian (understandable), he asked me for recommendations.
A couple of names swam across my mind, though some seemed either pricey or too mass market.
And then, yes ”Lad & Dad!”.
The British pub-grub hawker stall first started at Serangoon Gardens Food Centre before moving to Maxwell Food Centre, and earned quite many fans, even expats who headed down despite the hot surroundings.
During these few years, we are starting to see young hawkerpreneurs reach out for their dreams by opening stand-along shops after striving for a few years in the food centres.
I have learnt that Lad & Dad has opened a modern British gastropub at 7 Tanjong Pagar Plaza.
Note that while the registered address is block 7, the bistro is technically directly under block 8. To look for it, the location is opposite Twins Restaurant at Craig Road.
A little background story about Keith (the “Lad” in this case): although he achieved First Class Honours, he decided to come back to Singapore to start a stall in a hawker instead of doing a Masters Degree or work in the United Kingdom.
Of course some of you may ask, ”Why?”
His dream started while he was starting in the University of London, tested out recipes in the droms, and earned the positive reviews of his fellow mates.
After which, he decided to go on with this goal, and further improved recipes by attending courses and working in a hotel restaurant and bar.
Any form of success does not come easy.
The new place at Tanjong Pagar continues to serve comfort food, curated Scotch whisky, gin, beers and ales. This is still a family and friends-run establishment, and service is warm and approachable.
Food you can expect include Beef Stew ($16), Fish & Chips ($16), Bangers & Mash ($12), Bacon & Chip Butty ($12), English Fry Up ($16), and English Crumpets ($16).
No frills, no GST, no service charge.
The must-have is the Fish & Chips ($16) included with beer-battered Atlantic haddock, mushy peas, straight cut chips and accompanied with tartar sauce.
The batter was the winning component for me, coming in that delectable golden-brown shade. When you cut across with the knife, there would be that light sound of tantalising crunch.
Fish was fresh and flaky, and almost all the components from the peas to tartar sauced worked together well.
If I need to nit-pick, I enjoyed this dish marginally better at Maxwell Food Centre. Somehow the fish came piping hot and the crispiness was more thorough.
The fries could be the weaker link – not that it was bad or anything, it was probably just above the average.
I also ordered the English Fry Up ($16, +2 for scrambled eggs) which is essentially the all-day breakfast with no frills.
Usually for such big breakfast places at other brunch places, I would be happy if two to three ingredients work.
Glad to say that there were several items which was on-point for me, from the creamy luscious scrambled eggs, the juicy sausage (not the cheap and starchy kind), crispy bacon, and fluffy buttered bread.
Hash brown and tomato beans were okay. But this is one breakfast plate I would glad have (and share) again.
The Bangers & Mash ($12) also uses fresh English pork sausages that are made out of finely minced meat instead of processed food – which is why you are getting more value for your buck.
Beneath is a bed of freshly boiled and mashed potatoes cooked with pure butter.
Note that for its existing stall at Maxwell Food Centre, a brand-new concept will be introduced there soon.
Lad & Dad
7 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #01-108 Singapore 081007 (Tanjong Pagar Station)
Tel: +65 92477385
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Tues – Sat), Closed Sun, Mon