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Holy Grill, Old Airport Road Food Centre: “Utterly seductive Western hawker fare.”

Last Updated: January 20, 2021

Written by Basil

First, an admission; I have a soft spot for Western food stalls like Holy Grill, residing in coffee shops and hawker centres—a breed unique to our local grounds, born from a mix of Hainanese cooking and British fare.

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There’s something utterly seductive about slabs of meat sprawled over plates of french fries, baked beans, and the occasional buttered bun. Because who needs fancy white table cloths and forty dollar entrees when hefty pork chops come clumsily slathered in brown sauce, feeding the hungry quicker than most charities. Of course, it’s much easier on the wallet as well.

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But I digress. Today’s agenda is that of Holy Grill at Old Airport Road Food Centre—an establishment which demands all divine intervention. They are closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays—a fact I learnt the hard way, many wasted bus fares later. I eventually returned on a Friday, but dedicating three days to patronising an eatery isn’t exactly something I look forward to, as entranced as I am by the stall’s self-proclaimed sanctification. Either way, my eventual visit comes fuelled by a pent-up lust for Western food that by now needs serious expediting.

What I tried

It would be sacrilegious not to order a plate of chicken chop, so naturally, I go for the Simply Grilled Chicken (S$7.00). They do right by it, serving up a gargantuan slab of meat that arrives crisp-skinned and lovingly seasoned.

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Wholly satisfying is what it is, especially when the side dishes come into play. I unashamedly opt for a fierce carb-on-carb pairing of mashed potatoes and tasty rice, and that is a decision I firmly stand by. I desperately want this plate on hand when I sit back on my couch, eyes peeled to an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It’s a thoroughly joyous affair, and one I’d gladly return to Holy Grill for.

There’s much to praise for a serving of Grilled Fish With Cajun Spices (S$7.00), offering pan-fried dory fish in all its soft, flaky goodness. I’m violently shocked by the portions here because this plate presents not one, but two fillets of fish—an economical decision that I’m sure sent mild shockwaves across all other Western food stalls across the island.

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You’ll be hard-pressed to find this level of generosity elsewhere. Quantity is not all that it’s got going for it either, as the fish comes spiked with flavour. I’d wish for a heavier kick of spice from the cajun seasoning, but it’s an otherwise faultless dish that satiates even the most voracious of appetites.

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After waiting out days on end with their unpredictable schedule, perhaps something a little fancy is just reward. Hence the Australian Prime Ribeye (S$16.50) demands an order. Forking out sixteen dollars at Old Airport Road seems almost too out of place, though my discomfort is only worsened by this tough cut of beef that presents a rigorous workout for the jaw. It’s a shame, given that the cook on the meat is a perfect medium-rare.

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A side dish of baked potato does liven the mood up a little. Adorned with crispy bacon bits and a knob of salted butter, this foil-wrapped delight is easily the best thing on the plate. I make a mental note to skip the steak on my next visit to Holy Grill, but a small part of me does want to return to it, hoping that better meat is used in the future.

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The playfully named France Pork Chop (S$8.00) catches my eye, or maybe I simply feel a duty to complete the meat quartet of chicken, fish, beef, and pork. As you would already expect by now, the portions are colossal.

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Grilled slabs of pork are served bone-in, boasting a smoky fragrance that gently sweeps me off my feet—or it could be this breezy weather we’ve been blessed with in January, but I digress yet again. There’s a layer of fat that runs around the edges—a melt-in-your-mouth surprise that transforms it from predictable to over the top. Step aside, Korean barbeque, because this sets the gold standard for all aspiring grilled pork dishes.

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Final thoughts

Hearty, fuss-free, and blatant satisfaction. That’s the impression which Holy Grill has left on me. There’s something for everyone, so I reckon you’ll be mightily content with the barrage of side dishes and meat options that prove to be a great bang for your buck. At its heart, the food manages to comfort the soul and generously fill the tummy. Was it worth my three-day traipse down to the road of Old Airport? Without a shadow of a doubt.

Expected Damage: S$7 – S$16 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Holy Grill

51 Old Airport Road, Old Airport Road Food Centre, #01-27, Singapore 390051

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Holy Grill

51 Old Airport Road, Old Airport Road Food Centre, #01-27, Singapore 390051

Telephone: +65 9009 7762
Operating Hours: 11.30am - 2pm & 4.30pm - 8.30pm (Fri to Tue), Closed on Wed & Thu
Telephone: +65 9009 7762

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 2pm & 4.30pm - 8.30pm (Fri to Tue), Closed on Wed & Thu

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