It’s 1am and you’re wide awake in bed. The jet lag from your trip to London is keeping you tossing and turning, thinking about the shows on West End.
A second later, an audible growling sound echoes throughout the room as you let out a sigh reminiscing about chowing down on Sunday Roast in the heart of London’s bustling Borough Market.
You’d give anything to be back in London, but the logistics of a 14-hour flight seem especially daunting. What’s a lad to do?
Here, we’ll let you in on our little secret spots that have been keeping our sanity intact. These 5 eateries never fail to transport us back to the culinary epicentre of Britain.
1. The Queen and Mangosteen
The Queen and Mangosteen may perhaps be the foremost British dining establishment serving up the widest selection of pub grub in Singapore. Styling itself as a “gourmet British pub”, the Queen and Mangosteen has been occupying the VivoCity waterfront for over a decade now.
Although slightly on the pricier side, the pub grub at The Queen and Mangosteen means business. You’ll find all your classics here from Pork Bangers and Mash to Shepherd’s Pie. The Queen and Mangosteen also features the rarely seen Scotch Eggs which are boiled eggs wrapped in minced meat which are then deep-fried to perfection.
The dim lights and dark wooden furniture remind you of a typical pub in the UK but traverse in a little deeper and a bright light greets you at the end. Your view opens up to the Sentosa waterfront where tables will be filled up come sunset.
2. Lad & Dad
Lad & Dad isn’t your typical British restaurant; they aren’t a restaurant per se, or even British for that matter. With Keith being the Lad and his dad being, well, the Dad, this hawker stall whips up authentic British fare at an unmatchable price point.
Toiling away part-time in hotel restaurants whilst pursuing his business degree in London, Keith decided to bring his culinary talents home from his humble dorm room (where his idea for Lad & Dad was birthed) to a small stall in Maxwell Food Centre. For Keith, it was all about making British comfort food affordable and accessible to the masses in Singapore.
The menu isn’t extensive by any stretch but it covers all that you can possibly want for no-frills British nosh. I shall not waste time on anymore words, go straight for the Bacon and Chip Butty (SGD$5) which is an otherworldly adaptation of the English classic — bacon, sunny side-up eggs, and hashbrown all sandwiched between two fluffy toasted buns.
It’s oh so sinful, but oh so good — definitely worth your cheat days.
3. Oxwell & Co.
The people who created Oxwell & Co. are Brits who were longing for that nostalgic pub grub they simply could not get on this side of the Earth. And thank god they did something about it.
Because you can’t get any more British than Fish & Chips, we’re glad to recommend Oxwell & Co.’s iteration.
At SGD$26, it’s definitely on the higher end of the scale, but you’ll get your money’s worth. The restaurant opts for Sea Bass instead of the typical Dory which means you’ll get a firmer bite but still retain some flakiness that is signature of a Dory fish.
Along with a well-seasoned batter, it’s more than you can ask for in a Brit classic.
Image by oxwellco via Instagram.
Image by steventeoh0810 via Instagram.
4. The English House, by Marco Pierre White
Helmed by the legendary Chef-restaurateur Marco Pierre White, The English House is the newest British kid on the block. Don’t let it fool you though, when it comes to British nosh and hospitality, it’s no slouch.
Through an extensive restoration process, Marco Pierre White has turned two conservation shophouses along Mohamed Sultan Road into an antiquated space for classical British food and drink. Expect elevated versions of traditional fare like Shepherd’s Pie and Spit-Roast Chicken with Wild Mushrooms. The prices here are, however, exorbitant and that’s putting it lightly. Let’s just say their Fish and Chips go for a mind-numbing SGD$98.
But perhaps that is to be expected — being the youngest chef to be awarded 3 Michelin stars, along with training world-renowned chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Mario Batali, when Marco Pierre White makes a move, the culinary world shakes.
5. The Penny Black
You can’t talk about British cuisine without including pub grub, and The Penny Black is as close as you can get to the gritty and greasy pubs back in the UK.
A little birdie told me that the entire interior was actually designed and furnished in England, shipped out to Singapore and re-assembled by the same Englishmen who crafted it.
Its Pub Gastronomy menu has brought in more than its fair share of British expats, no doubt helped by the extended happy hours (11.30am – 8pm).
Their Beef and Guinness Pie is nothing short of a crowd-stunner. The puff pastry has a crisp but fluffy texture and breaking it open is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The beef stew that is simmering within is robust and infused with the rich and bitter signature Guinness flavour that results in a gravy that is unparalleled.
Coming to The Penny Black is more than just good eating, it’s a full English experience.