Streets of London, Bukit Merah Central

Never one to shirk my responsibilities, I passed up on the viewing of Louis Vuitton’s pop-up store for Yayoi Kusama, and skipped the Havaianas event subsequently.

This however, placed me into a situation that saw me, on the rather rare occasion nowadays, grab lunch alone. I’d usually feel alone, but as I was down with a bout of a cold, I was rather pleased at the arrangement. I’d hate to think what people’d think if they saw me like this – a pissing pale fumbling sack of germs that looks nothing like the luxuries that he represents. No,  I refuse to bear witness to forced curtsies. But a solo lunch attempt in Bukit Merah Central is perhaps only a tad less difficult than giving birth – for that one or so hour, it’s Darwinism put to practice; it’s third world instincts in first world infrastructure; xenophobia loses all meaning when everybody acts the same. Fortunately, I had the luxury of time. I waited till two, and I had my heart set on this place that my colleagues had spotted a day or two ago.

Maybe it’s because I watch BBC’s Lifestyle and Knowledge channels frequently, or maybe it’s because of all the spotlight we’ve been getting recently, you know, with Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, Pippa’s butt, and of course, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and the cringing notion that we might have to live through a rather short, embarrassing yet necessary rein of King Charles and Queen Camilla, to get to the rein of King William and Queen Catherine, but it certainly feels like this year belongs, not to Asia, not to America, not to Europe even, but London. It’s London calling, and in a time where every nook and cranny is filled with so much doubt and despair, it’s symbolic to find the symbol of the Old World is shining a new light into the future. Britain’s cool again, and it’s only a matter of time that people pay homage to that beam of hope, and that’s where Streets of London comes in. Situated just off the periphery of the commercial activity is Streets of London, a simple-looking, lightly decorated English-themed cafe. Perhaps I’m feeling a little fatigued from all the indie cafe which comes inclusive with all the unnecessary hipster attitudes, but I like how empty, how clean and bare bones it all is. It’s as if the cafe’s telling me, “You want to chill, go away. This place is all about the food,” and I love how functional it all is.

While the fish and chips has been noted as a great highlight, I wasn’t quite in the mood for it, sick and all. So, I went for the set lunch. Contrary to what you might think, it wasn’t about the price. The mains are about SGD 10 and above, with the cafe’s signature sitting at the bottom of that price range while the set is SGD 10 exactly, and comes with a soup and a drink, so there wasn’t much of a difference. There were four choices, and I decided to go for the fish. Let’s get this out-of-the-way first: the dish, is by no means, complex. It is, however, very homely indeed, and it was enjoyable for what it was. I mean, the fish are the ready-packed frozen dory fillets you get at your local supermarkets while the flavors are a fusion of caramelized onions and butter wrapped in foil to give the meat a tinge of earthy aroma when you bake food. The sides of vegetables were surprisingly varied and cooked nicely while the mash was soft and easy on the palette.

I’d love to come back again for more.

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