Hub & Spoke Cafe: Covert cafe with S$5.50 Mee Rebus Java near Changi Airport

Hub & Spoke

My first news of Hub & Spoke Cafe was when I was aimlessly perusing Instagram, and viewed the insta-stories of another fellow foodie. According to his account, it was barely open a week and it was a conscious effort to locate the place, but there posed a personal challenge.

Although the address of Hub & Spoke Cafe is ‘Changi Airport Terminal 2‘, it’s actually located outside the main terminal. Also, as of this writing, said terminal is currently closed. The best way to get there is of course by private transport, and you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for the makeshift neon sign that reads ‘T2 Pick-up Drop-off’ at the first U-turn along Airport Boulevard.

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Also, if you’re familiar with South Carpark, that helps a lot because this glass cafe is situated directly opposite that. Getting out of the area once you’ve had your fill also requires a bit of navigation, with Jewel Changi Aiport a solid 20- to 25-minute walk away.

Now that I’ve pre-empted you and you’re more mentally prepared to go forth on this journey, let’s move on to the food.

What I tried

The food here is generally inexpensive, and that’s strategically so given the main clientele of this cafe. Most visitors here are staff working at the airport, so it only makes sense to offer fuss-free, easy meals on a modest budget.

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With that said, don’t be quick to dismiss cheap food for being unsavoury, because their Mee Rebus Java (S$5.50) is a divine creation. The recipe is lovingly adopted from Terminal 1’s coffeeshop—I’m unsure which one—according to the chef, and he has put his own spin on it by adding dried ebi prawns, along with tweaking the recipe.

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As I twirl the yellow noodles around my fork, the nutty aroma is one that I immediately know will be hard to forget. Even as I’m trying to recall this dish, my tummy craves it.

There is an umami slant that you don’t get with regular mee rebus. The pairing of the robustness of chilli and peanut gravy makes me not want to share this with my dining partner. I only wish the portion was slightly larger, but that would take away my appetite for sides.

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How many times have you had har cheong gai wings, and they barely taste of anything except fried greasy batter encasing dry, pale chicken? Well, for only S$7.50, Hub & Spoke Cafe’s Har Cheong Gai chicken wings were something my dining partner unwilling shared with me.

They arrive piping hot, which is impressive in itself. But what knocks our socks off, even more, is the batter-shell that breaks gratifyingly to reveal succulent chicken. The familiar savoury flavour of prawn paste is present and centre, so I don’t, for a second, forget that’s what I’m enjoying.

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I’m slightly saddened that the impressively priced Spaghetti al Cartoccio (S$13.50) will soon be retired from the menu, with only a slight chance that we’ll still see it on their weekend menu in the future. An assortment of fresh seafood—think mussels, prawns, squid, and salmon belly fillet—is cradled in parchment paper and turns out to be a lip-smacking meal.

The deep red sauce carries a nice balance of sweet and acid, with the brightness of tomatoes marrying beautifully with the natural sweetness of the seafood. It typically doesn’t come served with bread, but we were fortunate to be gifted with this trusty carb for sopping up the remains.

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I know people who go ga-ga over katsu sando, so I was curious to taste how a Steak Sando (S$11.90) would fare at Hub & Spoke Cafe. The bread of choice here is brioche—my favourite—so I was getting my hopes up.

I quickly realised I was ahead of myself because the only good thing about this sandwich was the brioche. I bite eagerly into a small square of Steak Sando and disappoint kicks in instantly, with the steak refusing to tear apart even after several heavy chomps.

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I proceed to move the meat to my plate, and instead, use a fork and knife to cut it into smaller pieces. The signature barbecue sauce doesn’t do much to save it, either; it quickly falls flat on my palate and I quickly grow bored of this semi-novel creation.

If I were to provide constructive feedback, it would have to be for them to use better quality meat for a steak sandwich that’s meant to be eaten with our hands, not utensils. But, of course, that would certainly mean a higher price point, which I’m unsure if many would find worthy in investing for a quick lunch.

Final thoughts

I think the big question everyone would ask is, ‘Is the food worth travelling for?’ I would still say ‘yes’, simply based on the successful review of their Mee Rebus Java. I overheard that their nasi lemak is also a killer, with the recipe taking a handful of days to prepare, so that is something I’m actually looking forward to trying.

Apart from that, the attractive aspect of it being pretty remote actually works, with the best time to visit is on a weekday afternoon, of course. It’s perhaps not a place you’d consider all the time, but for those times you want an escape from cafes within the city, this place is worth considering.

I also forgot to mention, they serve bubble tea—is that enough to sway you, now?

Expected Damage: S$4 – S$20 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Hub & Spoke Cafe

60 Airport Boulevard, Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, #01-T2S-02, Singapore 819643

Our Rating 4/5

Hub & Spoke Cafe

60 Airport Boulevard, Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, #01-T2S-02, Singapore 819643

Operating Hours: 7.30am - 8pm (Mon to Thu), 7.30am - 9.30pm (Fri to Sun)

Operating Hours: 7.30am - 8pm (Mon to Thu), 7.30am - 9.30pm (Fri to Sun)
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