Let’s head Downstairs 楼下 for a meal!”
With this premise, famous Bak Kut Teh brand Song Fa Bak Kut Teh has launched Downstairs 楼下 offering local favourites with a twist – think Nasi Lemak with Salted Egg Chicken.
The local café is literally located “downstairs” now, at the basement of Suntec City (at the Fountain Court). Good news for me as it is at a more convenient location. It was previously piloted at Changi Business Park.
One thing that may strike you is their interior design, inspired with the feel of a HDB block void deck.
The centre round table is like the chess table; and there are also decorations of old-school items such as an orange coin phone, tear-off calendar, Good Morning towels, and a row of letter-box (check out the numbers when you are there).
Brings back fond memories of the good-old days.
In line with the spirit of heading downstairs for a quick comforting meal, what you can find are familiar favourites at different times of the day.
For early-risers or those heading to office, start with a plate of Downstairs Bee Hoon, Kaya Butter Toast Bun or Chicken Chop Hor Fun available from 8:30am (9am during weekends); then move on to heartier choices of Chicken Cutlet Nasi Lemak, Hainanese Pork Cutlet Rice to Char Siew Rice with Lava Egg and more.
Here are 12 signature items you can find Downstairs 楼下:
Lu Rou Fan or Mian ($6.00, available 10am onwards)
The Lu Rou Fan is one of the top-sellers and definitely my favourite. It now also comes with a noodle option.
Slow braised for many hours, the pork belly with alternating meat and fat is towards the saucier side, and achieves the right tenderness that make it fork-tender.
The sweetish-savoury taste reminded me slight of the fillings of a Nonya dumpling.
Interesting, the bowl also comes with generous portion of salted pickled vegetables on the side, and a lava egg to mix with the rice.
You don’t often find kiam chye in Lu Rou Fan, and slightly vinegary taste helps balance out any greasiness from the braised meats.
Salted Egg Chicken Nasi Lemak ($8.90, available 10am onwards)
There are three different toppings for the Nasi Lemak found here – with salted egg chicken, prawn paste chicken wings, and chicken cutlet.
The salted egg chicken is the most well-received, with crispy chicken pieces coated in a house-specialty creamy salted egg sauce and curry leaves.
The sauce is not the rich and grainy type, but tends to be smooth and buttery-milk. I wished there was more sauce though.
As for the rice, it was light and fluffy, and carried that distinctive fragrance from the infusion of coconut milk.
My favourite element was the sambal chilli sauce, with the right level of spice and smokiness coming from the ikan billis.
Har Cheong Gai Nasi Lemak ($7.90, available 10am onwards)
Another variant is the Nasi Lemak with Har Cheong Gai, a Singaporean fried chicken dish made with battered-then-fried chicken mid wings with fermented shrimp paste (har cheong) and other seasonings.
Mid-joint wings are used in consideration that this is a favourite among office workers, and having smaller parts allow for easier consumption and less mess.
So much so that you can eat the dish without using hands.
Char Siew Rice ($6.00, available 10am onwards)
If you are still craving for pork, try their Honey Glazed BBQ Pork served with rice then drizzled with sweet char siew sauce.
The sweet, sticky, saucy glaze of the pork inevitably blends with the rice for that added flavour.
The meat is delightfully tender and has that wonderful smoky flavour. Served with accompanying pickled veggies and the delicious ooze from a halved, runny lava egg.
Curry Pork or Chicken Cutlet Rice ($7.00 / $6.50, available 10am onwards)
Downstairs’ very contains crunchy chicken or pork cutlet served with sunny side egg over rice and smothered in a creamy curry sauce.
The curry sauce was only mildly sweet and thick, reminding me of a cross between Hainanese and Japanese style curries.
Hainanese Pork Cutlet Rice ($7.60, available 10am onwards)
The East meets West dish of crispy breaded pork cutlet and fries, accompanied with tangy-sweet tomato gravy.
I wished that there were the crumbs were cream cracker for more authenticity, though the pork cutlet was of a sizable slab and quite tender.
Downstairs Wanton Mee ($6.50)
To be fair, I thought that the Wanton Mee here is not bad, and the springiness of the noodles made it different from the typical styles.
You get a serving of egg noodles tossed with dark sauce, topped with tender slices of barbecued pork glazed with honey, and pieces of wanton dumplings in a bowl of accompanying soup on the side.
Instead of the usual thinly sliced char siew, you do get substantial slices of the roast pork, with a beautiful char on the outside.
Chicken Chop Hor Fun ($6.80)
A hawker dish almost synonymous with Changi Village Food Centre, you can have this right here with succulent deep-fried chicken chop on a bed of Ipoh-style horfun.
I enjoy that savoury brown braised sauce that was mixed with the slippery-smooth rice noodles.
Macaroni or Mee Tai Mak Soup ($5.00)
If you would prefer something lighter, warm yourself up with a comforting bowl of Macaroni or Mee Tai Mak soup. Ah, that belly-warming bowl of silver needle noodles aka loh see fun.
Prepared with a home-made chicken-based recipe broth and predominantly seasoned with peppers, the broth adds a zing to your taste buds and some smoky notes.
Downstairs Bee Hoon ($4.00, available during breakfast hours)
A fuss-free plate of Bee Hoon included with a slice of luncheon meat, omelette and fishcake.
Luncheon Meat & Egg Toast Bun Set ($3 ala carte, $3.90 for set, available during breakfast hours)
Rather than the toasty crisp type, the Toast Buns here are served burger-style, available with kaya butter ($2.40), peanut butter ($2.40) or luncheon meat and an egg ($3).
Pair them with a tea or coffee, affordably priced at $3.90 for a set. The first two set comes with two soft boiled eggs.
Suntec City #B1-132, 3 Temasek Blvd, Singapore 038983
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 9pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 9pm (Sat, Sun, PH)
* Due to current Covid-19 situation, operating hours may vary. Please check Downstairs 楼下’s social media for latest operating hours.
* This post is brought to you in partnership with Downstairs 楼下.