Last Updated: April 15, 2019
Board games often remind me of my childhood, when my cousins and I used to gather around and immerse ourselves in them for hours. As we grew older, somehow we stopped doing that.
King And The Pawn sparked my interest when I walked past Purvis Street where it is located. I know the concept of a board game cafe isn’t new, but it’s still interesting to see new ones sprouting up.
The cafe is pretty hidden, with just a wooden stand in front of the doorway and a tiny signboard above. Quite missable for those who are just strolling past. With a narrow plain-washed stairway leading up to the cafe, I did not have high expectations for the place.
However, when I walked in, I felt like I was swept into a different realm: the large windows with intricate patterns brought in a lot of natural light, the walls give off a rustic feel, drawing inspiration from the classic game of Snakes And Ladders.
The tables were large and spacious, ample space for sprawling out game boards. Obviously, much thought has been given to decorating and choosing the furniture for the place, which exuded a comfortable and homely vibe. Even down to the coasters, they were inspired by Scrabble tiles, which I personally thought was a cute touch.
After confirming our food orders, we went ahead to choose our games. We were spoilt for choice, with a variety of over 300 games from card games to classics, couple games for date night and multi-player for up to 10 players.
The games were also categorized into light, medium and heavy, which are dependent on the intensity of the games. We chose a few games under the recommendations of the games gurus, who are always there to lend a helping hand.
Whilst we were in the midst of Santorini, a beautiful thematic 3D multiplayer, our food arrived.
The first dish that arrived was The King’s Nachos (S$23), and can I just say the portion size is literally fit for a king and all his men. A mountain of tortilla chips was topped off with a more-than-generous serving of salsa and guacamole.
Lifting up the tortilla pieces, a nice melty cheese-pull was unveiled, making them all the more indulgent. As if that was not enough, chicken chunks, grilled onions, buttered corn and black beans were scattered evenly throughout the chips as well.
This platter can easily be shared by six people. Taste-wise, it was pretty average, although I do appreciate the freshness of the toppings.
We also ordered the Truffle Fries with Seaweed Mayo (S$11). The shoestring fries were hot and crisp, although the truffle was not very pronounced. Nonetheless, the seaweed mayo was pretty unique and made up for the lack of flavour.
The House-made Croquettes (S$10) and Popcorn Chicken Duo (S$14) were then promptly served to us as well. I preferred the former, with a crisp crumbly breading that held the warm viscous centre made out of leek and mushrooms. It was delectable and reminded me of creamy mushroom soup.
The Popcorn Chicken Duo was just the run-of-the-mill; though crispy on the outside, it was nothing to shout about and I wouldn’t order it again.
Before we move on to the mains, I have to mention my favourite dish of the day was the Camembert Brulee (S$23). I am a cheese lover so I might be slightly biased on this. But, what is there not to love about warm, stretchy cheese with a crisp caramelized top?
It was both sweet and savoury, with the creamy cheese complementing the caramelized sugar. The roasted grapes, pear slices and crostini were perfect accompaniments and I could not stop myself from having more. Although this was a sharing platter, I could totally see myself finishing it singlehandedly. Oops.
We got the Truffled Honey Croque Madame (S$22) as one of our mains. Cutting through the eggs, I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was perfectly gooey in the middle, which acted as a nice dressing for the bread.
The buttery brioche encased a good amount of shaved ham, as well as two kinds of cheese that blended together very well. The truffle in this dish was definitely more distinct.
I’m not a huge fan of pasta, but the Creamy Duck Confit Pasta (S$21) had won me over. The capellini was al dente, and the white wine cream sauce complemented the mushrooms and duck very well. I believe this would be a hit for all pasta lovers.
Although we went there during the evening, the boss, Grace, kindly offered me a dish from the brunch menu to try. The French Toast with Salted Caramel (S$18) looked so good I dived straight into it.
I loved the crisp edge of the brioche that was still so fluffy in the centre. I must say the sauce tasted more like toffee as it was predominantly sweet. Nonetheless, it complemented the spiced apple slices on the toast, so I ain’t complaining. However, the nutty maple bacon was a little too chewy for my liking.
For those who do not have a sweet tooth, this might be a little too overwhelming on your palate.
The Cookie Butter Milkshake (S$9) was slightly too thick and milky for my liking, hence slightly surfeiting especially towards the end, especially after having the French Toast with Salted Caramel.
Nevertheless, I can’t fault it for being what it is. The sweet spice was distinct throughout the drink, with Speculoos crumbles on the top for good measure. Kids may enjoy this decadent drink more.
We also got an alcoholic drink just for the fun of it. The Forbidden Fruit (S$16) was made with Choya Honey Umeshu and gin. It was pretty refreshing due to the fresh calamansi juice added, a nice way to cut through all the heaviness from the food and dessert.
It had a tropical tang to it and I enjoyed the crunch from the passionfruit. I was also secretly pleased that enough alcohol to make you feel good.
King and The Pawn is definitely a perfect place for gatherings. Whether it is bonding over games, or just enjoying the food and drinks, they got it all.
They do charge a board game fee of S$8 from Tuesdays to Thursdays, and S$13 from Fridays to Sundays, as well as the eve and on Public Holidays itself. Do look out for Happy Hour promotions before 8pm from Tuesdays to Fridays and other available deals.
If you choose not to play the games, that’s totally fine as well. The food itself, in my opinion, is pretty worth coming back for. Whilst I would admit the prices are a little steep for a cafe, the quality of the food does make up for it and the portions are really huge.
Expected Damage: S$18-$32 (without board game fee)
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 3 / 5
King and The Pawn
24 Purvis Street, Level 2, Singapore 188601
24 Purvis Street, Level 2, Singapore 188601