Hog’s Breath Cafe, 11 Unity Street (now in Chijmes)
#01-14/15 Robertson Walk.
Call +65 6836 9110
Never one to shy away from a pig-out, I happily put my hand up to check out the new Hog’s Breath Cafe at Robertson Walk when the opportunity presents itself. My colleague Joseph doesn’t mind a graze either, so he agrees to come along.
First, a pre-dinner pint. There are plenty of options for liquid refreshment at Robertson Walk itself and along the nearby Quay; it’s clear that this little corner of Singapore is starting to buzz again after an understandably slowish 2009. We choose a place called Hannibal for our drinks – it’s got a nice barbaric ring to it (and good Happy Hour prices). There’s a Harry’s here, too.
Hog’s Breath Cafe occupies the southeast corner of Robertson Walk’s Mediterranean-style courtyard. It has the same casual and welcoming vibe as the outlets at Chijmes and Toa Payoh, and a casual and welcoming owner in Aussie Renee Warner. Renee is a recent arrival in Singapore, but not a newcomer to Hog’s Breath, having looked after the one in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
To a softie from the eastern seaboard of Australia like me, Kalgoorlie sounds like the kind of place where a restaurant might spontaneously erupt into a beer-soaked brawl. So I’m surprised to hear that the folks over there are no less finicky than elsewhere in the country.
“A person came in one day and demanded that we serve straight fries,” says Renee. (Hog’s Breath fries, in case you didn’t know, are curly – like a hog’s tail!)
Joseph and I clearly have no qualms about eating spiralled potatoes, because we clear a plate of them in record time. We also annihilate a finger food combo (hearty clumps of buffalo wings, salt and pepper calamari, chicken tenders and more; $19.95). The pace slows slightly with the appearance of our enormous prime rib steaks, but soon we’re making decent headway – thanks largely to the meat falling apart at the lightest touch of a knife.
And then we’re done. Joseph rolls off to watch Singapore get trounced 3-1 by Iran at the National Stadium (he should have stayed at Hog’s Breath and watched it on the plasma TV or “Pig Screen”). I roll off for more barbarity at Hannibal.
Like the other Hog’s Breath outlets, this new location offers some great weekly specials, including “$30 Thursday”, when diners can enjoy an entrée, a main (including a prime rib) and a drink for just $30 nett – great value on an island that loves a steeply priced steak.