With the exit of Pablo Cheese Tart’s from the Singapore market, the spaces formerly occupied by the brand are now being progressively taken up by other F&B establishments.
Taking over the former premises of Pablo Cheese Tart at NEX, Tamago-EN is a new F&B establishment that is brought by the same folks behind En Sakaba and Aburi-EN; both brands having multiple outlets run under their respective names. Given how Tamago-EN sits in the middle of the shopping aisle, space seemed to have massively revamped since its days being Pablo Cheese Tart; the space had now included a hot kitchen being located at the right side of the space, while the dine-in area is being placed towards the left, both of which being slight changes to the original layout used by the former tenant. Using a bright colour scheme, the interior colours are certainly attractive and being pretty fitting of that of an egg-centric establishment; the use of wooden accent furniture with splashes of yellow and orange would most definitely draw the attention of kids, teens, young adults and families alike. Being an egg-centric establishment, the menu pretty much revolves around egg-based items from the various categories such as “All-day Breakfast”, “Ala-Carte”, “Salad & Sandwich”, “Donburi”, “Omu Rice” and “Dessert”, whilst offering various forms of beverages from non-alcoholic options such as tea and coffee, as well as milkshakes and Pearl Milk Tea, to alcoholic options such as House Pour Wine and High Balls to appeal to the more mature audience that may wish to go for a booze with their eggy affair. Patrons who are interested to purchase the eggs used in their dishes would also be able to pick up cartons of eggs from the front of the shop just opposite the queue line to Tamago-EN.
(Hashimaki with Cheese and Mentaiko)
It was a pity that the Japanese Omelettes were already sold out by the time we had made our way to Tamago-EN for dinner; we found ourselves going for the Hashimaki with Cheese and Mentaiko instead. The Hashimaki felt pretty much like a very well-made Okonomiyaki, served with savoury sauce and Mentaiko mayo whilst being topped off with a fried egg above it. Cutting through the Hashimaki, the Hashimaki is undoubtedly oozy from the melted cheese that is found within; stringy and melty whilst the flavours replicate that of the Okonomiyaki, though albeit less chewy and less the crunch of lettuce. Drizzled in the same savoury sauce that usually comes with Okonomiyaki, the item carried a sweet yet savoury flavour, while the Mentaiko mayo does provide some form of creaminess though was not particularly strong in terms of the umami note that it seemed to have suggested. Kudos to the chef for the fried egg however; the fried egg still came with an oozy, orange yolk that eagerly bursts when poked with a fork, and provided a silkier texture when mopped up with the Hashimaki.
(Ultimate Egg Rice, add: Chicken Tsukune)
Going for one of the recommended items on the menu, one of the dishes that Tamago-EN seems to place an emphasis on is the Ultimate Egg Rice. An item that allows patrons to add on their desired toppings, patrons can opt for their Ultimate Egg Rice to come with Negitoro (minced raw tuna), Marinated Salmon, Teriyaki Chicken, Chicken Tsukune or Avocado; patrons would also be able to also make their order a set at an additional cost of S$3.00 which would include salad, Japanese pickles & miso soup. Opting for the Chicken Tsukune option for our order as an ala-carte, the Ultimate Egg Rice comes with raw egg yolk, whipped egg white and some condiments; presumable Furikake and light soy sauce for flavour. Adding the condiments into the rice and mixing everything together, the Ultimate Egg Rice carried a moist and fluffy texture almost similar to that of a congee; it carried an umami flavour profile, especially from the Furikake and just a dash of soy sauce; the Chicken Tsukune already helping to add flavour considering how they were coated with a savoury sauce on its own. Whilst being rather flavourful at first, the item does feel heavy rather quickly; perhaps from the denseness of the short-grained rice that is made moist from the fluffy, cloud-like egg white as well as from the generic Chicken Tsukune which lacks texture apart from a bouncy bite. An item that is recommended to be shared across the table than to be had individually.
(Mentaiko Salmon Cream Rice with Omelette)
We also tried the Mentaiko Salmon Cream Rice with Omelette, which was an item off the “Omu Rice” section of the menu. Coming with slices of fried salmon, Mentaiko, cream sauce and spinach, this was an item that would work well for those who prefer more conventional items that seems “tried and tested”. Whilst offering no surprises, the cream sauce comes pretty comforting; adding the Mentaiko into the cream sauce, it helps to ante up the flavours of the cream sauce by providing an umami note, while the short-grained rice soaks up all that flavour when eaten together. The other elements such as the slices of salmon were nothing much to shout about, the spinach helps to add some chew to the entire dish. Overall, a pretty safe item to go for from Tamago-EN’s menu which is bound to satisfy the masses.
(Caramel Peach Souffle Pancake)
Having skimmed through their menu, it was difficult for us to not come to Tamago EN and not ordering one of the many souffle pancake options that they have to offer. Patrons should take note that the souffle pancakes do come with an estimated minimum waiting time of 25mins, with the waiting time varying with the number of orders received. Going for the Caramel Peach Souffle Pancake, the order also comes with a dollop of whipped cream on the side, as well as a small jug of maple syrup on the side for those who wish to add on more sweetness to the pancakes. Digging straight into the souffle pancake, the pancakes were warm and jiggly, whilst being light and fluffy, carrying a light hint of egginess without being too dense nor carrying any undesired hint of bitterness. The cloud-like texture of the pancakes meant that they went well with the whipped cream on the side, which provides a neutral flavour that helps to take away part of the tartness of the peaches that comes along with the dish; only retaining the sweetness whilst also giving the dish a refreshing and juicy bite. While a jug of maple syrup is included on the side, we felt that the caramel already provided enough sweetness to the dessert; a dish that we pretty much enjoyed having as-is. Considering the few establishments that we have tried which serves up Japanese souffle pancakes, the variant served at Tamago-EN was certainly one that we found was better executed amongst the ones we have had before.
(Original Tamago-EN Milk Shake)
We are not much of a fan of milkshakes, but we ended up going for the Original Tamago-EN Milk Shake which is said to contain fresh egg yolks. It is noted that the milkshake is not quite like the typical Western fast-food milkshake where it comes served all dense, cold and frothy. The Original Tamago-EN Milk Shake comes almost as liquid as any other drink, though still rich and carries a subtly eggy note; a beverage that would work well for those who are looking for something sweet to have together with their meal.
Given the items offered on Tamago-EN’s menu, Tamago-EN seems to have gotten their menu right to attract the crowds; featuring a crowd favourite ingredient, the possibility of the variety of dishes seem to be pretty much endless, given how they are able to provide patrons with a wide selection of items whilst focusing on the use of eggs. The items offered do seem to strike a balance between hipster (e.g. meant for the ‘gram) as well as being comforting, attracting a wide group of audience that may be attractive to different things that they are serving up. Whilst service is pretty decent considering how the place had just opened its doors just for a couple of days when we made our visit, we do feel that the experience could have been better if the food was delivered sequentially; our souffle pancake arrived at the table before the Ultimate Egg Rice. Having started on our souffle pancake which was a sweet item, the Ultimate Egg Rice felt like an item too contrasting and too heavy to finish, eventually leading to us being unable to enjoy it as it is considering how it felt too difficult to take a step backward to attempt to finish the Ultimate Egg Rice before moving on back to the souffle pancake. Otherwise, we do feel that Tamago-EN certainly has some room for improvement especially with their mains, though we are certain we would be back for the smaller items such as the Hashimaki with Cheese and Mentaiko and the souffle pancakes; the latter being one of the better renditions thus far. With such a central location, and such a strong branding, Tamago-EN would be a place to visit before the queues start to really form; a place that would certainly work for those who are looking for food worth the ‘gram, though not compromising too much on the taste factor.
23 Serangoon Central