Hong Kong-style cafes or cha chaan teng appears to be rather popular in Singapore for its casual atmosphere, affordable prices, and fusion of Cantonese and Western cuisine.

However, reviews for many in Singapore have been pretty mixed so far.

Friends Cafe HK 朋友冰室 at Springside Walk which is opened by a young couple, has done well enough to open a fuller-fledge café-restaurant at Neil Road.

Yes, Neil Road which is of walking distance from Maxwell MRT station has enjoyed quite a revival of late with many F&B openings.

Branded as Friends Kitchen HK 朋友小厨, this is designed with nostalgic decor serving Hong Kong café style food and dishes.

The cafe’s interior is designed to resemble an old Hong Kong tea house, with antique furniture, vintage posters, and retro signage adorning the walls.

There is also a sitting area upstairs.

With the Cantonese songs playing in the background, there is that *feel* that may just transport you back to Hong Kong.

Chef’s recommendations include the Australian Beef Brisket Beef Ball Horfun ($13.60), Braised E-Fu Noodles ($13.60), Fried Prawns with Tomato Sauce ($14.00), Egg Plant with Salted Fish Pot ($18.80), Char Siew Egg with White Rice ($9) and many more.

I am just talking a small section here, and the menu is indeed extensive.

Here’s the thing: with a big menu, I would reckon not the items would be a sure-win with customers.

As there was a ‘thumbs up’ on this dish, I ordered the Baked Pork Chop Rice ($14), looking forward to something comforting and hearty.

The Hong Kong-style Baked Pork Chop Rice consisted of bed of steamed rice in a tomato-based sauce, topped with a savoury pork chop and layer of melted cheese, then baked until golden brown.

Unfortunately, the tomato sauce taste (which was pretty much flat-tasting) overwhelmed the other components of the rice.

After waiting for a long time, I did wish the dish bubbly and hot, which it wasn’t. A richer cheese taste and some tweaks to the sauce would have helped.

As a fan of satay beef served in cha chaan teng, I was inclined to order the Satay Beef with Scrambled Egg Sandwich ($7.60) as this is seldom seen in Singapore.

The dish consists of marinated strips of beef in satay sauce, sandwiched into crispy, buttery toast along with scrambled eggs.

Presentation aside (it did look like a mess of…), the eggs were thankfully soft and fluffy, though a couple of beef slices were tough and made it hard to chew.

Friends Kitchen HK also offers a range of classic Hong Kong café style dishes, such as French Toast ($6), Bolo Bun ($4.60), Curry Fish Balls ($5.60), Ham Macaroni ($10) and Spiced Pork Cube Gong Zai Noodles ($10).

This would probably be the safer choices, since they had experience with the older place at Springside Walk.

Have suggested to the team to go with a leaner menu for a start; and at least label or number their dishes so that both staff and customers would be less confused in dealing with such as wide menu.

Friends Kitchen HK
78 Neil Road, Singapore 088841
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues

Friends Cafe HK 朋友冰室
60 Springside Walk, The Brooks I #01-18 Singapore 786020
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 8:30pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues

Other Related Entries
12 Best Hong Kong Cafes In Singapore
So Good Char Chan Tang (Tanjong Pagar)
JuJu 津津 (Wheelock Place)
Legendary Hong Kong at Rochester Commons
Pi Food (Penang Road)

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