HotChic², Turf Club: “It holds the potential for so much more.”

“That is so unlike you since you hate cafe reviews”, was something I was recently accused of by my Editor-in-Chief. I clarified that I don’t necessarily hate cafe reviews, but so many of them result in a fluffy, superficial reflection that bores me to tears. So, with that, I aim to make this article as informative and entertaining as my creativity allows. And today it flows through the spacious, brightly lit dining room of HotChic², a cafe that opened just a handful of weeks before dining out restrictions were put in place.

But now that we’re in Phase 3 (Heightened Alert), this review comes at a time when not only are we more discretionary about where to dine, but also, whom to dine with. Your dining partner has to be chosen to provide companionship as much as substantial idle talk, especially since we’re only allowed to dine in pairs.

So, to Turf Club you shall go, with your partner in hand, and you’ll land yourself in a dog-friendly cafe that is screaming to be a part of the cool kids’ club, with their neon sign-adorned walls and DIY Potion Master drinks.

What I tried

HotChic Ceviche

Aiming to please, the HotChic Ceviche (S$12) is stylistically plated with fresh Norwegian salmon with secret marination, sambal mayo, lychee boba and tobiko. While I applaud the effort in providing an appetiser that’s meant to entrap my appetite, its effort fell short—no thanks to the meagre presence of acid to balance out the fatty fish.

Potted Salad at HotChic²

While I love a kooky dish every now and then, the concept of HotChic²’s Potted Salad (S$10) escaped me completely. Not only did I struggle to figure out what exactly my salad held, but it was a chore to fork through a tiny cup, afraid of the mess I’d create. So, I did the rational task of asking for a spare plate and poured out all the ingredients, which allowed this confusing presentation to blossom into a robustly seasoned salad brimming with brightness, savoury notes—with kale, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, edamame, and yam braised rice—and plenty of reason for me to recommend it.

In this case, daintiness wasn’t its strong suit and it would’ve received better first impressions if it stuck to its true roots of being a straightforward, wholesome salad.

Hotchic2 7

Candidly named When-Chef-Tries-To-Be-Atas (S$68), it starts with an inclusive starter of bacon foie gras pâté on spiced furikake sourdough, followed by a main of pan-roasted Shichimi-rubbed pigeon atop bacon soil, with braised quail eggs. Both courses were well-executed, especially with how moist the bird’s flesh proved itself to be. While it was a satisfactory dish, I wasn’t blown away by its novelty.

Perhaps I was in a finicky mood, awaiting a groundbreaking creation to do my head in.

Turkish coffee custard

The multi-course meal concludes with our secret dessert—this time, a Turkish coffee custard drizzled with coffee chocolate syrup, topped with mixed nuts and fruits. Note that this menu requires reservation one day in advance, and to honest, this dessert might be worth the pre-order. Sticky and satisfyingly saccharine, the honeycomb-coffee custard combo served as the peak of my afternoon.

It’s plainness done right, with only a few elements allowed to make a splash.

Oppa Su Dong Po at HotChic²

Although dessert had come and gone, we couldn’t leave without being a lil’ naughty and ordering the Oppa Su Dong Po (S$27)—a slow-braised pork belly, with fresh lettuce and tangy kimchi. Out of all the meats already devoured, the slow-braised pork belly satisfied the most. With its luxurious fatty layers and succulent, savoury meat sandwiched in between, it’s a show-stopper for anyone still considering a visit to HotChic².

Furnish every bite with a baby mound of housemade kimchi and I bet you won’t want to share this with anyone.

Final thoughts

HotChic² can fix anyone’s hunger in a snap, but if you’re coming here to be impressed, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. It holds the potential for so much more—like in the promise of an outstanding Oppa Su Dong Po—but the kitchen needs to tighten its skills if they want the cafe to be known for more than just its pretty looks.

It has been some time since its doors opened, so perhaps my experience doesn’t reflect how much they’ve grown since then, but if you live around Bukit Timah and are insistent on trying out new cafes, then it’s worth a shot.

Expected damage: S$30 – S$70 per pax

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Price: $ $

Our Rating: 3 / 5


200 Turf Club, Grandstand, #01-14, Singapore 287994

Our Rating 3/5


200 Turf Club, Grandstand, #01-14, Singapore 287994

Telephone: +65 9478 0347
Operating Hours: 12pm - 10pm (Mon, Wed to Fri), 9.30am - 10pm (Sat), 9.30am - 7pm (Sun), Closed on Tue
Telephone: +65 9478 0347

Operating Hours: 12pm - 10pm (Mon, Wed to Fri), 9.30am - 10pm (Sat), 9.30am - 7pm (Sun), Closed on Tue
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