July 22, 2013

Rice & Fries @ Changi Road ~ A Vibrant Family-Friendly Resto-Café in the East

Nestled among the row of shophouses along Changi Road (off Frankel Avenue), Rice & Fries is much more accessible than it sounds. Alight at Kembangan mrt station, cross the road, walk along the canal, you'd find yourself at the family-friendly café after 5 minutes. It's not difficult to find your way over, unless you're as directional challenged as me. Well, I do not travel to the East often, but I would say this was quite worth the trip for some unpretentious, hearty fare.

Rice & Fries is exactly the kind of place which you wanna go to for a simple family dinner or gathering among friends, especially if you live in the neighbourhood. Vibes are casual, cheerful and totally relaxing. The chalk-wall with their colorful drawings will certainly capture your attention and make you go "wah... so cute" (meet the crew!) and "awww.. so sweeeet" (look at the one with the umbrella ♥)

We quickly settled ourselves down for some Homemade Ice Lemon Tea ($3.80) and Forest Mushroom Cappuccino ($4.80) prepared by Chef-Owner Ken Chia who honed his culinary skills at Ritz Carlton, Fullerton and Crowne Plaza Hotel, before setting up his own establishment. While I thought that the mushroom soup would be nicer if it's a tad creamier, my delight is kindled in the Soft-Shell Crab ($7.80) which had me wiping each crispy piece I can get my fork on with curry mayonnaise off the plate. Yummy!

Being a kid friendly, family-inspired resto-café, Rice & Fries not only caters to children with Kiddy Set options (Main + Drink + Ice Cream @ $8.80), but also non-meat eaters with vegetarian choices in their menu too. The R&F Salad (V/$5.80) with garden greens in vinaigrette dressing, tomato confit, olives and egg is a simple and appetizing starter, add another main of Trio Mushroom Pasta (V/$9.80) will work brilliantly to fill up whatever tummy space you have left. The tomato base sauce with earthy flavors of the mushroom pleases, but I would prefer the pasta to have a more al-dente bite.

Chicken and Mushroom Fricassee ($11.80) is an entrée which will suit the palate of most people, transcending all ages. Smothered in a creamy yet not-too-heavy sauce, the pieces of deboned chicken is extremely tender and easy to eat. It paired very well with the medley of mushrooms, peas, carrots and fragrant butter rice on the side. There is a somewhat homely feel to it which makes the dish a comfort one and all the more appealing.

R&F Pork Chop ($13.80) and Lamb Shank ($24.80) are both signature dishes of Rice & Fries. While the pork chop is well executed with delectable garlic barbecue sauce over nicely done meat, the star award went to the lamb shank which won us over with its tenderness, tasty mushroom ragout, creamy mash and a romantic love story.

The way to a man's heart is the stomach and so is the lady's. That's how Chef Ken wooed his wife, who was a waitress in the same restaurant back then. He was in charge of cooking meals for the staff and while the rest gets fried rice or noodles, the wife got his specialty lamb shank. Everyday. See the difference? The difference is love.

Other than what's on the standard menu, Rice & Fries do serve up some specials too! Keep your eyes on what's written on the chalk-wall and be sure you don't missed it out. Our special that evening was the Fillet Mignon ($42.80), and though it may seem pricey compared to the other dishes, we got to indulge in prime cut New Zealand beef together with foie gras and bone marrow risotto. A very delectable plate of luxurious treat, completed with hearty portions and robust flavors!

The desserts selection offers up familar favorites like Creme Brulee ($8.80) and Waffles with Ice Cream & Maple Syrup ($5.80), though not breathtaking, but were both competently executed. The creme brulee satisfied with its smooth custard, but can do with a bit more caramelizing for the sugar top. I would prefer the waffle to have a fluffier texture, but it does have its fan among our table too. Best thing is try whatever you wanna try and verdict it yourself.

The food at Rice & Fries may not be spectacular, it's nevertheless wholesome and very enjoyable. Knowing that there is no service and GST charge gave it another plus point. With the recently launched all-new brunch menu serving up local style Nasi Lemak, Double-Boiled Chicken Congee and Dim Sum items on top of the usual eggs and French toasts, it may just be the perfect reason for you to roll out of bed and into brunch.

Thanks to Jerome and XinHui for this tasting invitation.

Address: 484 Changi Road (off Frankel Avenue), Singapore 419896
Contact: +65 97386648
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rice.Fries.Steak
Opening Hours: 11am - 11pm Daily

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