White-collar workers in Singapore’s CBD area are fortunate to have a bevvy of eateries to choose from once lunch hour hits. It’s almost too hard to decide just where to eat, because, as you know, we humans don’t do well when we have too little or too much.
But on days that you want to try something just a wee bit different, there’s always Pickleville.
It can be a tad hard to locate, but you’ll soon appreciate its hidden nest at The Working Capitol along Robinson Road, as it serves as an escape from the heat as well as the at-times-deafening sounds of the unrelenting traffic in the vicinity. The ceiling is high, the seating plush and the ambience, relaxing indeed.
Started by the same folks behind Sarnies, you’re guaranteed great coffee, which is what we had to perk up our afternoon.
Choosing with a traditional Latte ($5), we were very pleased to find that there was a really nice balance of bitterness and milkiness — something many coffee places fail to nail. Most would make theirs too milky, making it almost impossible to taste any coffee at all.
As we wanted to try some of their fancy toasts, too much bread would have us having a snooze in their lounge due to a carb overload. We were fortunate enough to have a sampling platter presented to us, highlighting some of their best.
The Sourdough Toast ($2.50) is really one of the best we’ve tasted, as it carries this very rustic, freshly-baked aroma as well as a sourness that is tinged with a hint of sweetness. It can definitely be eaten on its own, just with olive oil.
You can also top up a small price for their really unique spreads, especially their must-try speciality — the Fermented Honey Garlic Butter ($1.50). It’s unlike anything we’ve tasted before, as the honey has an acidity and an element of savouriness. It’s the kind of spread you’ll want to lick off the spoon. Another spread we’d rave about is the homemade Espresso Butter ($1.50). It’s creamy and fatty, and coats your palate luxuriously.
The first grain bowl we chose, we decided to try a hand at making our own selection. One thing to note is that a lot of things on the menu are pickled (in-house, of course!), so be mindful not to over-select too many pickled items lest it turns your meal too acidic.
We went for a base of Quinoa ($2.50), together with Beet Pickled Quail Eggs ($2), Fermented Pineapple Salsa ($2), Feta With Chilli In Olive Oil ($3), Baked Salmon ($6), Classic Pesto ($2), and Zaatar ($1) as garnish.
So was our DIY combination a success? We would say so, especially with how the Fermented Pineapple Salsa cut into the Baked Salmon‘s fattiness.
The Quinoa was a great change of texture to the other soft-textured ingredients, as well. There’s no limit on how many ingredients one can choose to add to their bowl, but for this portion, we would say, you’d have to be starving to finish it (because we didn’t manage to).
The next one was the favourite of the three we had that afternoon. The Roasted Beef ($16) bowl comes with a hearty portion of brown rice, sliced beef, cherry tomatoes, steamed broccoli, pickled pumpkin, pickled red onion and honey mustard.
Everything came together beautifully; the beef was amazingly sweet and tender, and contrasted perfectly with the crunch from the pickled red onions.
The last bowl we had was the Vegan ($12) bowl, made with grilled tempeh (fermented soybean), mixed greens, pickled zucchini, sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes, pickled cucumber, and coconut ranch dressing.
Being a huge fan of tempeh, we already knew this was going to be quite delicious, in spite of being meatless. True enough, the flavours were bright and complementary, complete with a crunchy texture all thanks for the grilled tempeh and sunflower seeds.
One may think that Pickleville is just another place that similar to rice bowl eateries. But once you’ve given them a shot and tasted their fresh and innovative creations, they’ll instantly be one of your favourite spots in an area that is overly saturated with cafes and to-go kiosks. Over here, the only pickle you’ll land yourself in will be deciding what to put in your bowl!
Expected damage: $5 – $20 per pax