Somewhat at a loss for an appropriate dinner venue, we ended up at Good Ol’ Cafe with A’s parents on Sunday night. Good Ol’ Cafe is the sister restaurant of HooHa/The West End, which we only recently discovered. They opened Good Ol’ Cafe quite recently, and while they serve pretty similar fare, Good Ol’ Cafe supposedly focuses a bit more on French preparations and presentation/plating.
It’s located at YESS Centre, right next to Korean Charcoal BBQ joint Ju Shin Jung. Unfortunately, the disparity in the customer volume is that much more apparent as a result. Ju Shin Jung is bursting at the seams on weekends and still has a fairly steady clientele on weekdays. On the other hand, I’ve never seen Good Ol’ Cafe with more than 4 tables occupied on any given day.
They have something like a tasting menu – for $48, you get a selection of their starters, followed by either a laksa or an aglio olio spaghetti, then downsized versions of 2 main courses, followed by dessert. Enough for 2 people to share if you’re not hungry; if you’re atetoomuch, you top that up with an additional order of rack of lamb.
For the starter sampler, we had a mushroom soup, escargots on toast, smoked duck salad, salmon tartare, a crab cake and a fried prawn wonton/ravioli. The soup was pretty decent – thick and quite mushroomy, and the tartare and duck salad were ok as well. There was only one escargot on the toast but the creamy sauce wasn’t bad. The fried items were so-so.
The laksa, again a cute little tasting portion, was surprisingly good. We had just had the “Katong” laksa at Holland V recently, and the one here was definitely comparable. The seafood was quite fresh, and the gravy was rich yet not too thick and heavy; still very much a drinkable broth.
The downsized mains were still very decently-sized portions. 4 meaty ribs for the BBQ ribs, and a palm-sized tenderloin for the steak. The ribs were nice and tender; the tenderloin was better at The West End. In fact, a 200g a la carte order of tenderloin here costs exactly the same as the steak at Pepper Steakhouse, and quality and taste-wise the one at Pepper is far superior.
The rack of lamb was good, but somehow it lacked the oomph of the one we had at The West End as well.
Desserts were a mini sampler of tiramisu, lemon cheesecake and oreo cheesecake.
Again, service isn’t as fine-tuned as The West End. Waiters are a bit slow on the uptake, although they definitely do try hard.
If I were craving similar food I’d rather head to The West End. I think I’ll probably only go to Good Ol’ Cafe if we were there for Ju Shin Jung and couldn’t get a table.
Service was poor at first but rapidly improved. The taster menu was an interesting introduction but food-wise, it’s just a little bit fancier than HooHa/West End. Honestly, I think I prefer the original though.
Good Ol’ Cafe
27 West Coast Highway
YESS Centre, #01-16/17
Open daily: 12 noon – 2.30 pm; 6 pm – 11 pm