It seems that Holland Drive is starting to get noticed in the F&B scene of the late since the addition of Lean Bento in the neighbourhood; Seoi Gor Cafe is a new Hong Kong Char Chan Teng that had recently opened its doors in the same neighbourhood.
Having installed flashy neon lights on the facade, Seoi Gor Cafe might be hidden deep within the neighbourhood it is in, but definitely hard to miss. It features full-length windows, while the interior is decked in green panel-like walls with murals of Hong Kong covering one side. The floor is covered in old-school tiles, while the space is furnished with marble-top tables with wooden furnishing. Perhaps “old meets new” would be the best way to describe the style that it is decorated in; there was certainly a sense of nostalgia amidst the newness. The menu features a rather detailed list of beverages, with a small selection of rice, noodle and thick toast dishes to choose from. Those who are into Chinese pastries would be glad to learn that they also do serve Salty/Sweet Green Bean Biscuits as well.
My dining partner decided to go for the Steamed Chicken Mushroom Rice. Rather affordable at $5.90, we thought that it could have been better if the rice were steamed together with the condiments atop to allow the rice to absorb the flavours of both chicken and mushroom; it overall felt as though the rice was a tad bland and lacked flavour especially after we had finished the condiments over the top. That being said, the chicken chunks came pretty sizeable, and the marination for both the chicken chunks and the mushrooms were flavourful being pretty savoury and appetising. Despite so, perhaps they could consider adding slices of Chinese sausages for more flavour and contrast overall.
Skimming through the list of thick toasts available, we settled for the Honey Butter Thick Toast. At $2.50, the thick toast was pretty decent; crusty along the sides and fluffy in the middle. It comes drizzled in a good amount of honey; adequately sweet while topped with a knob of butter which made it buttery and fragrant. Pretty satisfactory at the price paid.
Unfortunately, both the Yuan Yang and HK Traditional Milk Coffee were both pretty lacklustre. Sure enough, the milk used was pretty fragrant as it perfumes through the entire cup, but both the Yuan Yang and HK Traditional Milk Coffee were extremely milky and almost indistinguishable in flavour, lacking the coffee/tea aroma that they were supposed to carry.
Seoi Gor Cafe is probably a place that fits the heartlands where it is located at. The current selection on the menu feels rather limited especially for those who might be looking for something more substantial, and it also seemed to lack a few basic dishes that one may be looking for in a Hong Kong Char Chan Teng such as Pineapple Buns. That being said, the quality of the food somehow resonates the price; some things can definitely be improved upon, but those misses somehow does compensate for the slightly lower price offered at Seoi Gor Cafe as compared to other commercial joints serving similar fare, though other misses such as those in relation with the drinks could be the deal-breaker. It is also probably noted that the genre of food here would probably suit the older crowd as compared to hipsters; both the items and quality are more pedestrian and would speak less to the crowd looking for picture-worthy/instagrammable presentation of food as compared to those looking for a hearty, comforting meal at a reasonable price. While this may not be a place we would see ourselves in a hurry to return, it does seem to have the potential of being a worthy afternoon hang-out for residents around the neighbourhood especially with the kinks all sorted out.
Seoi Gor Cafe
Blk 45 Holland Drive