Replacing Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice, Paddy Hills opened to much hype bringing cafehoppers in the west yet another option to dine at.
Cafe by day and restaurant bar at night, Paddy Hills serves brunch fare as well as a variety of mains in the afternoon, whereas the kitchen would churn out sharing plates and tapas-style offerings at night. Taking inspiration from Australian cafés, the interior takes the industrial approach, but at the same time also pretty homely and relaxing and food items are also plated in a way that’s rarely seen in the local cafe scene.
For a side, we decided to go for the Cauliflower Fritters; air-fried Cauliflower florets sprinkled with paprika salt and masala yogurt at the side. A dish that sounds relatively similar to the Aburi Broccoli Salad served at Sin Lee Foods, this is yet another dish that is bound to convert veggie haters to veggie lovers. Fried cauliflower was crisp and well-seasoned in paprika salt for the right amount of saltiness. Dip each floret into the masala yogurt and it gives a sweet tang to the vegetable. Really addictive because I was having it non-stop, while one of my dining partners instantly got converted to a cauliflower fan being one who does not touch cauliflower at all.
I went with two other dining partners, and two of us decided to share a serving of Hash Hash; a baked egg dish served with chorizo, sautéed mushrooms, baby potatoes, beef shank, polenta chips and shaved fennel with two slices of toast at the side. While it looked pretty manageable at first look, we realized there was so many ingredients loaded in it that we eventually found it overwhelming and ditched a few pieces of beef because we could not finish it. Think of it as beef stew, with tender beef that comes with beef which is not too gamey, loaded with an egg yolk to burst, sautéed halved baby potatoes with mushrooms and tiny cubes of chorizo. It gets overwhelming because of the dip gets more savoury over time, but the whole dish feels really well put together with a bit of everything; earthy flavours of mushrooms, the excitement of burst eggs and savouriness from chorizo and beef coming as one. Perhaps mixing the Hash Hash would help as the different condiments felt as though they were on their own respective side of the dish. Toast was also pretty impressive; crusty with enough tension to pull, speckled with walnuts for a crunch.
(Squid Ink Tagliatelle)
My dining partner ordered the Squid Ink Tagliatelle. While the Squid Ink was really thick and creamy; strong in its savoury flavour, it feels a tad heavy after a while and he had difficulty trying to finish the remaining half off. Seared Scallops were fresh, while the Ikura helped in keeping the dish refreshing by injecting a umami flavour with each bite when it bursts.
(Berry Ricotta Hotcake)
While we were hanging around the comfortable seats after our meal, one of our friend coincidentally came by to try out the Berry Ricotta Hotcake. Served with blueberry sugar, mascarpone, pine nuts and a myriad of berries, the presentation sort of reminded us of a similar dish served at Stranger’s Reunion and Top Paddock in Australia. It was pretty luxurious; the hotcake was supposedly more cake-like, fluffy in between but surprisingly crisp on the outside; pretty interesting. The batter is also pre-mixed with maple syrup as it seems, so it has its own tinge of sweetness without having to drown it in any syrup. Mascarpone added a dimension of tartness and small hint of saltiness to it, which matched the sweetness well. Again though it gets overwhelming halfway through; perhaps the sweetness was a bit overkill, and the berries were somewhat warmed up by the hotcake so it gave the dish a weird temperature contrast.
Paddy Hills uses coffee blends that are specially roasted for them from Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee; a 99-1 blend which has chocolate and caramel notes and Spark which has berry-like notes. I ordered a 2oz White which I had initially expected to be really strong but despite its fruity body, did not turn out acidic nor leave an aftertaste.
Paddy Hills had did a great job in terms of creating the Australian vibes on local ground, going all the way out even in terms of food presentation rather than just superficially with the decor. Quality is also pretty worth the price paid and portions are also on a bit of the huge side. We wished that the food could probably roll out faster and in sequence though; the Cauliflower Fritters were last to arrive despite being a side, while the two mains took a little over more than half an hour I suppose? Also the Berry Ricotta Hotcake arrived with several apologies after two delays, though kudos to the service staff who actually came by without any prompting to apologize and gave another estimate of the waiting time. Overall, Paddy Hills has everything that most cafés do not have in Singapore, and saying that it has potential is probably even an underwhelming statement. In all honesty, this is the spot to head to for brunch, and possibly one that you have to visit in 2015. Definitely be back some day to try the other dishes soon!
38 South Buona Vista Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/paddyhills.sg