The folks behind Old Hen Coffee Bar had recently opened yet another concept, named Old Hen Kitchen.
Taking over the former space of Knockhouse Supply Co. at 127 Owen Road (which is now situated at Neil Road housed together with Botanist), Old Hen Kitchen is just a short distance away from Old Hen Coffee Bar which is often crowded especially on weekends. While Old Hen Coffee Bar is more focused on coffee and the food menu boasts of brunch-centric dishes, Old Hen Kitchen focuses more on the food menu; a total of four items were available during our visit on their very first day of operations for they were in soft launch phase, but do expect a larger menu with a wider spread of mains when they are officially launched. The decor is slightly more minimalistic than Old Hen Coffee Bar with more emphasis on cement and wood elements though it is more spacious and open than Old Hen Coffee Bar — it boasts of an open kitchen that comes with a chef’s table on the side so patrons can catch all the action from the kitchen while waiting for their food. Still carrying their signature cold beverages, they do offer their popular Cold Brews and Cold Chocolate here as well as a new addition of Cold Matcha Milk available at both locations, as well as espresso-based coffee and Japanese teas sourced from Ippodo Tea Co.
The Salmon Soba stood out to us the most amongst the four-item strong menu during their soft launch. Coming with Sous-Vide Salmon, Snow Pea, Edamame, Carrot, Red Chilli and Citrus Teriyaki, this was a pleasant dish for those who prefer a lighter brunch. It feels like a crossover in between a Japanese Soba with Yu Sheng elements served warm for the buckwheat noodles come tossed with familiar ingredients such as carrot and chilli while laced in a citrus teriyaki which gives the largely savoury dish a light hint of tanginess that could make it tastier if the flavours of the citrus teriyaki was to be more profound. Tobiko roe was also included in the dish to provide a burst of umami flavour in between. The sous-vide salmon was tender and flaky, with a layer of crispy skin and the bottom that gave the dish yet another dimension of savoury flavour.
Originally served with normal fries, we requested if they could serve us the Chili Crab Fries alongside with the Fish & Chips which they kindly obliged. The Halibut fillet was fried till golden brown; the batter was delightfully crisp while the fish inside was flaky and creamy, fresh without any odour. The fries that accompanied it were also crisp, whilst drenched in the Chili Crab sauce that although carried a good moderate level of spiciness hence delivering the kick, but overall seemed to lack hints of sweet, crustacean flavour. Still, considering how the Fish & Chips come with ordinary fries, this was actually a pretty well-executed dish to go for. On the side note, they do have intentions to serve the chilli crab/truffle fries together with the Fish & Chips at an additional cost.
One of the newest chilled bottle drinks available is the Cold Matcha Milk which was launched just a few days at Old Hen Coffee Bar before the soft launch of Old Hen Kitchen. Holding up its reputation for the Cold Brew and Cold Chocolate, the Cold Matcha Milk carried a rich hint of green tea aroma in a smooth and creamy concoction that was easy to drink without being sweet nor any aftertaste.
According to the bosses, the Genmaicha from Ippodo Tea Co. carries significantly lesser rice than the usual Genmaicha often found outside so as to allow the green tea flavours to shine alongside the roasted rice. The result was a more balanced ratio of the two; one could feel the tea aroma form on the very first sip before a light hint of roasted rice kicks in near its finish. A soothing cup of tea to have while people watching in the cafe on a rainy day.
Old Hen Coffee Bar is one of the places that we frequently visit, and we were definitely stoked upon hearing the news of the opening of Old Hen Kitchen just a short distance away. The twin brothers who co-founded Old Hen Coffee Bar had since seemed to be more experienced, matured and outspoken as compared to the opening of Old Hen Coffee Bar just two years ago in 2014; it is definitely amazing to see how far they have come. Old Hen Kitchen still keeps to the spirit that drives Old Hen Coffee Bar; an honest and humble space with love and passion on what they do, with a menu which is more fitting to the cafe-going crowd these days. Congratulations to the opening of Old Hen Kitchen, and we sincerely wish them all the best in the days to come!
Old Hen Kitchen
127 Owen Road
Facebook Page (Old Hen Coffee Bar): https://www.facebook.com/oldhencoffee/