Serangoon Gardens is another of those exclusive spots for good food and weekend getaways that is starkly different from the busy shopping centres found along Orchard Road. While popularly known for the spread of hawker food, Serangoon Gardens estate has seen more and more unique restaurants and cafes opening up, especially with the presence of myVillage mall adding to the latest collection. Chillax Cafe, situated along Maju Avenue, is one of those delectable finds. From an exceptionally delicious Portobello Fries to a dazzling Rosti stuffed with Wagyu and topped with a poached egg, this is one place that makes my list to chill the night away.
The Organized Chaos layout of Chillax Cafe
27 year old Darren Wee, Radio DJ at 987FM, is the owner of Chillax Cafe. You might have caught him on the radio every Sunday as he hosts The Sunday Brunch from 11am to 2pm, sharing good food around Singapore. Knowing that, I am now hungry to taste what Chillax Cafe has set for their guests.
I started off drinks with a serving of Baby Cino ($3.50). Frothed milk with selected toppings such as marshmallow, and finished by vacuuming off the drink, this is a delight for both kids and adults alike. If you enjoy warm milk foam with lots of sweets to accompany, this is a sweet delish to start.
For something a little cooler to wash the heat away, there is the Honey Yuzu Ice Blended ($7). This sweet, slightly tangy refreshing slushy with bright yuzu citrus sparkle cleanses the palate, preparing for the dishes to come.
Begin the meal with a serving of Truffle Fries ($11). This portion of shoestring fries in colours of crisp golden brown is tossed with truffle salt, drizzled with truffle oil and topped with grated black truffle all for that earthy goodness. The portion is good enough to share and definitely a snacker to order alongside drinks.
Alternatively, the Arancine ($15) of breaded risotto rice balls with parma ham, onions, carrots and cheese is all in the mouth explosion of flavours. Served with a cool salsa dip to dress up flavours of umami and sweetness, while complementing the crisp skin, this dish is a good starter. Although if I wanted something with more impact, I would still go for the truffle fries.
This dish left me going Wow. The Wagyu Beef Rosti ($22) is an entire meal on its own, coupled with layers of delight hidden all over. Start off with a nibble of pan-fried grated russet potatoes, and then discover the creamy melted cheese within. Go further and realise that your wagyu is sliced and hidden between layers of potato and cheese.
Slice through the white topping and be surprised with the golden yolk from the poached egg slowly flowing down. The presence of egg yolk and sour cream lends an excellent contrast to the heavy and rich potatoes, livening the flavours, creating a satisfaction to end the day with. I look forward to ordering this dish the next time I’m back!
For those who want to bite through some meat, there is the Steak Towkay ($28). A whole 200g of free-range Aussie mixed Wagyu sirloin is served with garden greens and sauteed vegetables. The steak was served done with each slice tender and flavourful on its own. To dress things up further, dip the slice of meat in the thickened brown mushroom sauce by the side. Although the flavours by then was a little salty, the sides of roast vegetables easily calmed things down.
I am also very impressed by the Portobello Fries ($15). My first time having this dish, these are chunky slices of the mushroom deep fried to a beautiful colour and served with a rich homemade mustard sauce. Exceptionally crispy with an earthy scent, these side snackers are great to share and definitely worthy of a re-order. And the plating? Simple yet elegant in a lattice layer.
Chillax Cafe is apparently known in the area for serving up some of the best Carbonara ($16) around. I am not a crazy fan of cream based pastas, but I found this serving of Carbonara to be light yet tasty, nicely salted with the pieces of back bacon. Smash through the yolk and mix everything up to brighten the dish a notch further. A huge portion that would leave one quickly sated.
As an accompaniment to the meal, try out the wines of Sileni Pinot Noir ($14 glass/ $63 bottle) or/and the Sileni Sauvignon Blanc ($14 glass/ $63 bottle). These New Zealand wines are very light and easy on the palate with fruity sweet notes gently pronounced in both servings. I recommend the Sauvignon Blanc with the Truffle fries!
Desserts are given a personal naming touch at Chillax Cafe. This dessert of sinful chocolate ecstasy, Leon’s Riot ($9.90), is a serving of warm brownie with a scoop of ice cream. Named after friends (some of their daily desserts are named after regulars), these desserts is a decent way to end the meal.
I particularly enjoyed the Merylicious ($9.90) of warm apple crumble with ice cream. Sweet and crisp apple pieces are stuffed generously between thin layers of crust, and served warm. Nice.
Niche beers and ciders for the picking
Another option to end the meal or even just enjoy as part of afternoon tea is to order a serving of Teaforte’s Honey Yuzu Tea ($7.90) with a side of Macarons ($2.50 ea). I didn’t try the Macarons as I was too full by then but they sure look elegant. The Honey Yuzu Tea is certainly fine with the crisp refreshing scent of yuzu gently enveloping the tastebuds after each sip. I preferred this over the Ginger Lemongrass Tea ($7.90) as it was too bland with a sudden contrast of spiciness at the end.
Darren and Me
All in all, Chillax Cafe is an exciting new discovery for me. With a recently expanded menu introduced early December, the cafe is set to engage with more options for both regulars and new guests alike. I highly recommend the Rosti and Portobello fries, and perhaps with a Honey Yuzu Ice blend for the perfect meal to share. With a chic and organized chaotic environment, Chillax Cafe is casual at its very best. Definitely something to share as we all lean back, chat and indulge!
Thank you Darren for the invitation
28 Maju Avenue
Serangoon Gardens Estate
Tel : 62445529
Sun – Thu/ Public Holiday (11am to Midnight)
Fri – Sat / Eve of Public Holiday (11am to 2am)