Old Airport Rd Western Barbeque, Bedok: “Their signature garlic sauce is still to-die-for”

I remember making multiple jaunts to Old Airport Road Food Centre when I was growing up solely due to the array of food stalls available. But one stall that stood out to me whenever I was craving for a good plate of chicken chop was Western Barbeque. Established in 1974, Old Airport Road Western Barbeque has been there since the food centre first opened with Uncle William Lim serving up his rendition of Hainanese Western food, and his signature garlic sauce. And for the last 47 years, that’s what he’s been doing. 

Old Airport Road Western Barbeque Stall front

Hence, when I found out his children, Sharon and Derek Lim, left their corporate job to join the hawker life, I was beyond thrilled. The sibling duo has opened up their first, second-generation outlet in Bedok to continue their father’s legacy, and you already know I had to make my way down for a taste of nostalgia. 

What I tried

Old Airport Road Western Barbeque chicken chop

Of course, I had to relive my childhood and start off with a plate of their famous Chicken Chop (S$7) topped with Uncle William’s signature garlic sauce. The simple-looking plate came as I remembered; a piece of chicken cutlet doused with the famous garlic sauce with a side of crinkle-cut French fries, a generous serving of coleslaw, and my favourite butter bread. 

Close up of butter bread and garlic sauce

I proceeded to tear apart the fluffy bread and noticed the amount of butter spread in the bread is still the same as before. ‘Cool, nothing much has changed’, I thought to myself. Once you dip a piece of the bread in the garlic sauce and take a bite, you’ll immediately notice the pungent aroma of garlic dissipating and begin to taste an explosion of sweetness filling your mouth. 

Close up of chicken chop

How can I move on to the next dish without talking about the main protein? The chicken was as expected—juicy and chargrilled to perfection. What I enjoyed most about this dish was the simplicity that comes with it—akin to having a classic Western meal in a tuckshop. 

Old Airport Road Western Barbeque pork chop

The Pork Chop (S$7) also comes with the signature garlic sauce and two side dishes. Like chicken breast, pork chops are easy to overcook, resulting in dryness, so I was pleased to find my lean protein delightfully succulent. Pairing the meat together with the garlic sauce captures the essence of savoury meets sweet—which is always magnificent. 

Close up of pork chop

Although I’m a huge garlic lover, too much of it will inadvertently leave an acidic aftertaste on my tongue, which is the least bit enjoyable. Hence, I had to do the unthinkable and scrape the sauce off the meat to finish my dish. However, I found that what worked really well to rid my mouth of the sulphuric taste from the garlic is to have it together with the buttered bread and wash it down with a spoonful of coleslaw. 

Old Airport Road Western Barbeque  lamb chop

Here’s the thing; I try not to consume any form of baby animals to the best of my ability—often failing at it. Also as a picky eater, I’m very particular about my red meat so imagine my devastation when the visually appealing Lamb Chop (S$10) didn’t meet my expectations. Unlike the version you can get at Old Airport Road Western Barbecue’s original establishment, the meat was gamey, tough, and chewy.

However, I do believe with a bit more practice, Derek will be able to achieve a perfectly made lamb chop in no time. 

Basket of onion rings

I also had a basket of Onion Rings (S$3.50). If you’re planning to make your way down, don’t miss out on ordering this well-breaded basket of crispy ringed onions. Unlike many places, the Onion Rings here aren’t oily and don’t come with an overpowering acidity. It was light, crispy, and fried to perfection, to say the least. I even enjoyed it on its own without any sauces; that’s how good it is! 

Final thoughts

It’s not every day you see a family-run hawker business so it’s very wholesome to know that both Sharon and Derek decided to leave their 9-to-5 careers to continue the business. The story of the sibling duo bringing their father’s dreams of expanding his eatery is also heartwarming. 

Additionally, they’ve recently opened their second outlet in Jurong, which is amazing news for West-siders! I’ll definitely make another trip down to try the other dishes on the menu despite the forgivable misses I faced today. After all, their signature garlic sauce is still to-die-for. 

Expected damage: S$7 – S$14 per pax

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Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Old Airport Road Western Barbecue

Blk 59 New Upper Changi Road , Singapore 461059

Our Rating 4/5

Old Airport Road Western Barbecue

Blk 59 New Upper Changi Road , Singapore 461059

Operating Hours: 10.30am - 9pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 10.30am - 9pm (Daily)