The Lokal @ 136 Neil Road

The building with The Lokal.

The building with The Lokal.

The Lokal is one of the newer cafes that have opened up in Singapore. The cafe is situated in the same building as the Goethe-Institut. along Neil Road. The place was opened by Chef/Owner Darren Farr, one of the founding chefs of Tetsuya in Sydney. The Lokal’s main focus is about using the best raw ingredients for their food, some of which are even made from scratch.

Entrance of The Lokal.

Entrance of The Lokal.

Inside the cafe.

Inside the cafe.

More seating inside the cafe.

More seating inside the cafe.

Aesthetic
The whole cafe has a very “Aussie” vibe; both the decor & music played in the cafe has an essence of the Land Down Under. The cafe benefits from having high ceilings, large windows and a pretty big space for seats. The Lokal keeps things homely & comfortable, with a mixture of light blue tiles & white bricked walls. It just feels like a gigantic living room, where customers can enjoy their food with ease.

A large & long counter resides near the entrance of the cafe, with daily specials & desserts written in chalk on the long boards behind. This is where all the coffee brewing happens. There are further seats towards the back of the cafe, where the kitchen is. At times you can spot Chef owner Darren himself pushing orders out.

Sidenote
Word has definitely gotten out about The Lokal. I visited the cafe on a weekend for brunch, thinking the place would be scarce with customers. Boy, was I wrong. Even before I reached the entrance of the place, there were already customers sitting on benches outside waiting for a table. The cafe has gained a huge boom in popularity & it can get really crowded during lunch/brunch hours now. (I actually found out about the place through Instagram.)

Daily specials & desserts written on long boards behind the counter.

Daily specials & desserts written on long boards behind the counter.

The food & drinks menu of The Lokal.

The food & drinks menu of The Lokal.

Food
The Lokal offers brunch items made from wholesome & fresh ingredients. Their butter, yogurt & ricotta are even made from scratch by themselves!  Their dishes also seem to be inspired from Australian cuisine, ranging from burgers to sandwiches to paninis. Aside from their food offerings, The Lokal is also known for their coffee, which uses the same coffee beans as Sarnies. (A cafe at Telok Ayer)

Prices for The Lokal are more towards the higher average, with mains costing around 16 to 28 bucks. You are paying for fresh & home-made ingredients though, so bear that in mind. Though they also don’t charge service fees, there is still GST.

Hot Chocolate ($6) Yet again, I went for the hot chocolate rather than trying their coffee. This was quite nice, lovely chocolatey taste, though one of the more pricier hot chocolates I've come across.

Hot Chocolate ($6)
Yet again, I went for the hot chocolate rather than trying their coffee.
This was quite nice, lovely chocolatey taste, though one of the more pricier hot chocolates I’ve come across.

Pink Grapefruit Juice ($6) My friend ordered this as it was a hot day. It turned out more sour than he expected.

Pink Grapefruit Juice ($6)
My friend ordered this as it was a hot day. It turned out more sour than he expected.

Toasted Banana Bread ($12) Home-made Vanilla Yogurt, Toasted Macadamias, Caramelised Bananas This was one of The Lokal's dishes that I saw on their Facebook and knew I had to order it. It was extremely delicious. Both my friend & I agreed that it was the best banana bread we've ever had. Whenever I heard the word "Bread", I get weary that it would turn out dry but this wasn't the case. The banana bread was REALLY moist & soft inside, with a slightly crisp exterior. Tasted really good with the home-made yogurt. The whole dish was really rich. Recommended.

Toasted Banana Bread ($12)
Home-made Vanilla Yogurt, Toasted Macadamias, Caramelised Bananas
This was one of The Lokal’s dishes that I saw on their Facebook and knew I had to order it.
It was extremely delicious. Both my friend & I agreed that it was the best banana bread we’ve ever had. Whenever I heard the word “Bread”, I get weary that it would turn out dry but this wasn’t the case. The banana bread was REALLY moist & soft inside, with a slightly crisp exterior. Tasted really good with the home-made yogurt. The whole dish was really rich. Recommended.

Veal Schnitzel Burger ($28) Red Slaw, Grilled Pineapple, Emmenthal Cheese, Lettuce, Anchovy Mayo, Sesame Seed Bun, Chunky Chips The price for this definitely made my heart ache a little. The burger was good nonetheless. Nice & tender veal. The pineapple & cheese went great with the burger. I loved the chunky fries as well, think they were sprinkled with sea salt. Unfortunately, both my friend & I tasted the dish below first, which totally blew this burger out of the water.

Veal Schnitzel Burger ($28)
Red Slaw, Grilled Pineapple, Emmenthal Cheese, Lettuce, Anchovy Mayo, Sesame Seed Bun, Chunky Chips
The price for this definitely made my heart ache a little. The burger was good nonetheless. Nice & tender veal. The pineapple & cheese went great with the burger. I loved the chunky fries as well, think they were sprinkled with sea salt.
Unfortunately, both my friend & I tasted the dish below first, which totally blew this burger out of the water.

Special of the Day Wagyu Beef Goulash with Spaetzle ($28) I was actually hoping to try one of their popular dishes, which was the Sourdough topped with Avocado, Pomelo, Ricotta & Toasted Almonds. However, they were sold out of that during my visit & I couldn't figure out what else to order... until I spotted this special on their board. This was simply divine, I was so glad that I spotted it & decided to order it. It tasted heavenly, really delicious & rich. If you have no idea what Spaetzle is, it's basically a type of egg noodle with a soft texture. I found it to be something similar to pasta.

Special of the Day
Wagyu Beef Goulash with Spaetzle ($28)
I was actually hoping to try one of their popular dishes, which was the Sourdough topped with Avocado, Pomelo, Ricotta & Toasted Almonds. However, they were sold out of that during my visit & I couldn’t figure out what else to order… until I spotted this special on their board.
This was simply divine, I was so glad that I spotted it & decided to order it. It tasted heavenly, really delicious & rich.
If you have no idea what Spaetzle is, it’s basically a type of egg noodle with a soft texture. I found it to be something similar to pasta.

Sticky Date Pudding ($12) With Vanilla Ice-cream To be dreadfully honest, I'm usually not a big fan of Sticky Date Pudding but The Lokal's version of the dish blew me away. It was pretty much similar to their Banana Bread, only instead of being banana flavored, it was caramel instead. Really good, really rich. Great pairing with the vanilla ice-cream. I would think you should try either this OR the Banana Bread as both are very similar to each other.

Sticky Date Pudding ($12)
With Vanilla Ice-cream
To be dreadfully honest, I’m usually not a big fan of Sticky Date Pudding but The Lokal’s version of the dish blew me away.
It was pretty much similar to their Banana Bread, only instead of being banana flavored, it was caramel instead. Really good, really rich. Great pairing with the vanilla ice-cream. I would think you should try either this OR the Banana Bread as both are very similar to each other.

An interesting art decal on their wall.

An interesting Aussie art decal on their wall.

Worth A Visit/Revisit?
The Lokal is definitely one of the new current trending cafes here in Singapore. The crazy weekend crowds don’t lie. The cafe has great food & a great atmosphere with a sort of a nice Aussie laidback vibe. If you haven’t visited The Lokal, I do recommend you to do so, perhaps to try their fantastic weekend brunch. Of course, do head there early as word has gotten out about the place & sometimes the crowds are just… nuts!

RATING

Food
8.5/10
Aesthetic
7.5/10
Price
6.5/10
Service
8/10

THE LOKAL

136 Neil Road, Singapore 088865
(Nearest train station: Outram Park)
Contact: 6423 9918
Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm (Kitchen closes 3:30 pm)
Sat – Sun: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
http://www.thelokalsingapore.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thelokalsingapore

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