Yet another new café! The Lokal, was only a few days old when we visited, but this sister outlet of Sarnies seemed to have gotten the winning formula executed well right from the start. Good coffee, sincere food, stylish décor, friendly service and incredible vibes! This hipster joint nestled at the corner ground unit of Goethe Institute Singapore at Neil Road (opposite The Pinnacle) certainly looked set to draw in the crowds. My friend displayed an instant liking to Lokal. "Very Aussie-feel", he said.
In Australia (and in Germany), "lokal" or "local" represents the closest and most convenient place near home, where locals gather often for food, drinks and company.
Helming the kitchen is Chef Darren Farr, who hails from Sydney and is one of the founding chefs of Tetsuya's in Sydney. His food is all about wholesome hearty fare using ingredients made from scratch. Salmon and mackerel are hot smoked in the premises over cherry woodchips, pancetta is cured in-house and is nitrite free. Even the butter, yogurt and ricotta are made on site, defining what I called "sincere" food (instead of simply using generic ingredients).
The lunch menu is limited to a few items of soup, salads and sandwiches, including a very substantial looking Veal Schnitzel Burger ($28) with red slaw, grilled pineapple, Emmenthal cheese, lettuce, anchovy mayo on a sesame seed bun, served with chunky chips.
Our order of Roasted Beef on Rye ($17) was absolutely a choice well-made! The combination of roasted beef slices, caramelised onions, watercress and grain mustard crème fraiche sandwiched between artisan rye bread by Nick Vina was delightful. Portion was manageable, and I especially love the sweet and savory notes of caramelised onions which always worked very well in satisfying my tastebuds.
On my wishlist: Hope some desserts will be introduced soon.
Lokal's coffee uses beans from Sarnie and comes out of a custom V3 Slayer espresso machine. Nothing to complain about the Latte ($5.50) which was smooth and well-balanced to my taste. The iced version (additional $1) was refreshing in this weather, and even come topped with latte art!
All in all, The Lokal is a lovely addition to the local café scene. We are spoilt with numerous choices nowadays, but The Lokal is one of the few with substance, and deserves a return visit anytime.
Address: 136 Neil Road, Singapore 088865 (opposite The Pinnacle)
Contact: +65 64239918
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm (kitchen closes 3.30pm) / Sat-Sun 9am-4pm (All Day Brunch)