Last Updated: June 27, 2017
With the recent demise of Gong Cha (*cries*) in Singapore, all eyes turned to its cheesy successor, LiHo. Bubble tea woes aside though, everybody should start talking about this cute cha chaan teng that’s operated by the same team behind LiHo.
Seoi Gor Cafe 水哥冰室 is hidden in Holland Drive, but once you find your way there, you won’t miss the vibrant green and red signage that actually seems slightly out of place in this quiet neighbourhood.
Nostalgic vibes will hit you from the moment you step in, and I really liked the interior decor, which was simple and old school and yet had a modern feel to it. I’d describe Seoi Gor Cafe as a small scale cha chaan teng (literally: ‘tea restaurant’), reminiscent of the ones that you’d find in Hong Kong.
Surprisingly, you don’t see many of these in Singapore, but I guess it’s because we have our own local coffee shop fare to appreciate.
As with any typical cha chaan teng, Seoi Gor Cafe serves up a variety of Hong Kong breakfast and brunch dishes at pretty affordable prices. Compared to the ones in Hong Kong though, the menu is slightly limited.
Still, you’ll find the staples which were more than enough to keep me happy.
Whenever I’m in Hong Kong, I struggle to resist buying one too many sticks of the curry fishballs that are sold on the streets. Seoi Gor Cafe’s Lucky Balls On Sticks (one for $1.80, three for $5) were great as a snack and I ordered some of the classics: Fishball, Cheese Tofu and Fried Tau Kee (Curry).
Eaten alone, the skewered foods tasted pretty average but were taken up a notch when dipped in the various accompanying sauces. The sweet chee cheong fun sauce was my favourite, especially when paired with the cheese tofu.
Oh, how I’ve missed the comforting bowls of macaroni soup in Hong Kong. I of course had to order the Macaroni Soup With Fried Egg ($4.80), which comes with a choice of either chicken ham or luncheon meat.
The portion size was really decent for something that costs less than $5, with loads of macaroni and a runny egg yolk to boot. The light broth was delightful to have for breakfast and I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a quick (but satisfying) brunch option.
I was really excited to try the Scrambled Eggs, Ham & Thick Toast ($4.50), another Hong Kong classic that I’ve hoped would come to Singapore. The dish was served with ample scrambled eggs, but the portion of the chicken ham (as you can see) was a slight letdown.
Looks can be deceiving though, and this toast more than exceeded expectations. The chicken ham didn’t do much for the dish, but the super buttery toast and fluffy, creamy eggs were the highlights.
I would happily come back just for this dish – that’s exactly how scrambled eggs should be done.
Seoi Gor Cafe also serves two rice dishes (I’m really hoping for more in future!) and I tried the Steam Mushroom Chicken Rice ($5.90).
It wasn’t anything spectacular but it was still salty goodness with quite a few chunks of chicken that made for a hearty dish. Order this and some sides and you’d be good to go.
It wouldn’t be a cha chaan teng without some traditional drinks and I ordered the signature Seoi Gor HK Milk Tea ($2.40, Cold) and the HK Traditional Milk Coffee ($1.90, Hot) to try. I definitely preferred the HK Milk Tea, which was a great complement to the dishes and balanced out all the flavours nicely.
Seoi Gor Cafe is no Australia Dairy Company, but it still offers some pretty good cha chaan teng dishes at very decent prices, making it well worth a visit. If you’re lucky enough to live nearby or work in the area, I highly recommend dropping by!
Expected damage: $8 – $12 per person