Forget about Dempsey Road and head straight to Keong Saik Road instead!
Okay, that was a rather out-of-topic comment but seriously, as hip as Dempsey Road is, its location is quite the pain in the skinny arse. And even if you drive, parking can be hell and that is why I prefer to skip that place until the hype dies down. Or when decent parking can be had. Or when the cost of taking taxis go down.
Having worked in the Bukit Pasoh conservation area, I can tell you proudly that the place is actually home to several interesting food places. It not only boasts the cheapest 菜饭 stall ($2.50 lunch, anyone?) but also a cosy little Japanese eatery (whose name I have forgotten), Whatever Cafe and 25 Degrees Celsius.
Now, the latter is what I want to talk about. It’s a bookstore selling cookbooks and cooking enthusiasts should head down there as soon as possible. As strange as it sounds, the rows and rows of shelves holding cookbooks of all genres of food were enough to get my heart rate up (and that’s before eating). I found myself clutching a few books to my chest during lunch with the colleagues one afternoon and thinking to myself, “Hmm, I think the Squirt would like this Japanese book. Ooh, Thai food! Oh look at these delicious-looking cookies! Sam Leong’s dishes pouncey. Oh my goodness, Italian food!” Although the books were really reasonably priced, I stopped myself in time and headed straight back to my seat for my meal.
The restaurant part of the store is really minimalistic – it’s dressed in white and seats about 20 persons or less. But it’s really cosy and the colleagues and I were more than happy to while the time away with our drinks.
And the the food arrives and hmm, it’s really interesting. They had the aglio olio pasta which was evenly tossed with a unique dressing that was slightly salty and spicy. I had the German sausages on toast and that took some getting used to. The slices of sausages were topped with a mayonnaise dressing that was both tangy and spicy. For the life of us, we couldn’t figure out what went into it but I was more than happy tucking into the dish without knowing anything. It was accompanied by a small rocket salad, which helped to “clean up” the palate, and some potato chips.
Their menu changes regularly (being a test kitchen and all) and their staff are really friendly and nice. They encourage browsing (as long as it’s not done at the dining tables) and it’s definitely a great place to sit down and while the afternoon away with a cup of tea. All Desperate Housewives and cooking nuts are encouraged to visit. Go! Now!
25 Degree Celsius Pte Ltd
25 Keong Saik Road #01-01 Singapore 089132
Tel: 6327 8389