New in town: House Downstairs, Ghim Moh — Crayfish Congee with a delightful umami broth

From the get-go, House Downstairs at Ghim Moh Road exudes homely vibes in the best way possible. For starters, I can see why its name would cause a whole lot of confusion, with many different parties getting lost as to whose house one another is referring to. That is, of course, unless we all live under the same roof, then it would be called our house (*cues communist music*), but I digress.

Store front of cafe House Downstairs

Located inside Ulu Pandan CC, the quaint cafe is a lot more accessible than it sounds. Just a 10 minutes’ walk from Buona Vista MRT, natural lighting and charming wooden furniture make up the bulk of the scene here. Its doors even open up to a sign that greets you reading, “下樓家”, which literally translates to “House Downstairs” when read right to left, just as traditional Chinese characters should be.

Interior of House Downstairs

From drinks and sandwiches to mains, you’ll find a wide variety of food options drawing inspiration from various cuisines. Their mains menu is split down in half; “东” or “East” which features Asian-inspired dishes such Laksa Goreng (S$16), Gochujang Chicken with Rice (S$16), and Korean Riceballs (S$9), while “西” or “West” boasts more western grub like the Jammed Sourdough (S$8), Spiced Baked Eggs (S$15), and Bircher Muesli (S$8).

Close up of Korean Riceballs

When put together, the menu encourages their diners to “Eat some 东西”, which translates to, “have something to eat”. So not only does the fare already sound tempting, here are some extra points for being punny as well.

Close up of Signature Craygee

Despite its infancy, it seems as though House Downstairs is already a hit, with a handful of diners handing out stellar reviews for their House Signature Craygee (S$22), which is a spin on the traditional pao fan with seafood broth, short-grained fried rice, onions, clams, thai prawns, and of course, crayfish. I can only describe the seafood broth as wonderfully briny and fragrant, though the rice could do with a tad more seasoning.

To pair, House Downstairs also has the standard drinks menu where you’ll find coffee, tea, juices, and blends. I’ve particularly got my eye on the Matcho Matcha (S$12) which is a blend of milk, banana, spinach, peanut butter, matcha powder, and vanilla whey protein.

Close up of croissant & earl grey pounder

Finally, if you’ve got some “extra space”, as their dessert menu is so aptly named, grab a Croissant (S$4) or Earl Grey Pounder (S$6) which sees a generous blend of lavender and earl grey tea condensed into a dense slice.

For more new-in-town cafe openings, Ballad of Anna May at Tanjong Pagar is a worthy shot.

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

House Downstairs

170 Ghim Moh Rd, #01-03 Ulu Pandan CC, Singapore 279621

Our Rating 4/5

House Downstairs

170 Ghim Moh Rd, #01-03 Ulu Pandan CC, Singapore 279621

Telephone: +65 6970 3996
Operating Hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon to Fri), 8am – 6pm (Sat & Sun)
Telephone: +65 6970 3996

Operating Hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon to Fri), 8am – 6pm (Sat & Sun)
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