Shrove Tuesday, Sunday Folks, now we have Saturday House, a new café which has recently made its debut along Upper Paya Lebar Road in early November. Why Saturday? Because owner Adrian Koh (who also runs Changi Bistro) believes that Saturday is the best day of the week, there's no need to get to work nor face the impending Monday blues yet. And if you come to Saturday House, any day can be a happy day!
Saturday's food did make this PinkyPiggu happy! Though I must admit I wasn't expecting much initially from the usual suspects of soup, salads, starters, pizza and pasta, as well as charcoal grill mains (available from 6pm-10pm daily). Brunch items such as Saturday's Big Breakfast ($15.90), Smoked Salmon with Poached Eggs ($13.90) and Savory Pancakes ($13.90) are available on weekends 11am to 3pm. Erm..... so how is it different from the numerous run-of-mill café food which I'm really tired of having?
The answer to my initial thought was answered as I progressed into the meal. Saturday's strength lies not in any creative menu with "fusion until confused" dishes, but in the superior execution of familiar favorites. What they lacked in fancy plating or innovative variety, they made it up with quality ingredients and huge doses of sincerity.
Take for instance the Grilled Pork Collar ($18.90). Who would have thought that a small café will take efforts to specially import the pork from France instead of using readily available, lower-cost ones? The pork collar is said to be less porky in smell and yield a more tender bite, the way we polished off each perfectly-grilled, succulent slice is the best testament to how true that claim is.
Choice of dressing (black pepper, mushroom and hollandaise) for all charcoal grilled items such as Smoked Leg of Lamb ($18.90) and Ribeye Steak ($24.90), soup like Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup ($5.90), and beef & pork patties of their Mini Burgers ($15.90) are made in-house from scratch. By not taking the shortcut of supplied convenience, that's sincerity part 1 for you.
Sincerity part 2: Adrian understands that the seemingly straightforward dishes are often the hardest to execute, and place an importance of not overlooking the finer details of each preparation step, no matter how basic the recipe may be.
This belief is drilled well into the kitchen staff who gives the food they are cooking the same respect. The deceptively simple Spaghetti Aglio Olio ($11.90) with mushrooms, capsicum, garlic and chilli, as well as Carbonara ($13.90) with bacon, mushrooms and egg yolk which they served up, exceeded our expectations in terms of al-dente doneness and balanced flavors.
It's not to say that Saturday's menu is entirely boring though, as there were surprises such as the "strange-sounding pairing but worked well" Bacon & Oyster Pizza ($13.90) and Marmite Mid-Joint Wings ($8). Ooh those wings! Our whole table were enamoured with its moist tender flesh and distinctly savory-sweet marmite taste.
Desserts could be their weakest link as there isn't much offerings yet and the Chocolate Lava Cake ($6.90) we had was still a tad undercooked with a soft crust. With feedback comes improvement, I hope.
I like it that Saturday opens till late (11pm Sun-Mon, 12am Fri & Sat). Besides food, we can also enjoy coffee brewed with beans from a local supplier, a decent selection of white and red wine, as well as beer by Sapporo and Paulaner.
Despite the lack of social media presence (no website, minimum information on their Facebook page, this could possibly be the first blog review on them), Saturday does sees its constant stream of customers made up of the nearby residents and working crowd. It might not be the most suitable place for an impressive date, or might even be deemed a tad shabby for birthday celebrations, but Saturday certainly has its homey charm and delicious food to draw people in. Perhaps what it needs is a stronger identity to stand out as a café.
Address: 339 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Singapore 534953
Contact: +65 6280 0338
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 11.30am-11pm / Fri & Sat 11.30am-12am / Sun 11am-11pm