Last Updated: October 14, 2020
I’ve always associated classic 80s/90s pop and rock anthems with good times. They bring me back to an age of family gatherings at East Coast Park during my childhood, and Sports Day in school where designated DJs happen to be our very own PE teachers, as well as trips to the National Stadium with my father to watch the Singapore football team play.
I reminisce because I’m here today at Royz et Vous at Telok Ayer, my entrance marked by the rising sounds of The Village People belting out their evergreen 1978 hit, ‘YMCA’, over the restaurant’s speakers. For a second, I forgot that I was there for a food review, and tried my best to contain a fast-building desire to break out in dance during the chorus. There weren’t many others dining in at the time, only two other tables to be exact, but there was infectious electricity in the air—one that was ready to spark conversations (and stomachs, albeit very loosely).
Apparently, Royz et Vous wasn’t the kind of restaurant to die down after lunch hour, and true enough, the other patrons were all enthusiastically chatting away when we took our seats—though it was clear to us that they had long finished their meals. You Give Love A Bad Name came on next, and like its rousing vocals intro, excitement shot through my heart as I feasted my eyes on the dishes being laid before me.
Of all the dishes, one visually stands out the most—a thick, handsome slab of black Angus beef on a rib bone, generously relished in a syrup-like, homemade BBQ sauce. Plainly named Beef Short Ribs (S$42.90), the dish is anything but.
As my knife pierced through the thick outer layer, the beef within separated easily into thin slices with little resistance. The meat was juicy, tender and provided a solid, chewy base to hold the sauce, which came to me as a harmonious mixture of sweet, smoky, sour, and spicy.
Our second main came in the form of the curious Rendang Duck Pasta (S$19.90)—a plate of fettuccine tossed in rendang sauce, topped with thin slices of duck meat. Though it’s not quite the traditional rendang you’d find on buffet trays in Malay weddings, the sauce is a unique preposition that pairs beautifully with the pasta. Let’s be honest—have you ever had rendang with duck meat before, let alone pasta?
The rendang has a milder flavour compared to its more traditional counterpart; the spice level not too much, but still enough to give you a bit of rendang’s signature chilli padi kick. The duck, sliced carefully to include a layer of fat, was moist, chewy and had a strong flavour which ran counter to the milder rendang. To our surprise, the flavours of the duck and the rendang combined so smoothly in an unusual way—definitely a must-try.
A platter of Kampung Buffalo Wings (S$16.90) and Fried Mushrooms (S$13.90) accompanied our meal, each dish plentiful in terms of helping. The sauce on the wings reminded me of the traditional ‘ayam masak merah‘ gravy (and it could’ve very well been influenced by that), while the crushed peanuts added a textural dimension to the crispy texture of the corn-battered skin.
The mushrooms, deep-fried tempura-style in batter and served with a truffle mayo dip, was borderline addictive and had me forcing myself not to overindulge—to no avail. As the quantity was too much for me and my partner at that moment, I later brought these back to the office to share with the other writers—needless to say, no wing or mushroom was left by the end of the night.
To quell our thirsts, we were presented with three mocktails that were evidently crafted with a high level of care. The Irish Creme Kafee (S$9.90) presented itself as a bold, dark coffee topped with a dainty mantle of cream and a scent of hazelnut and almond. As I sipped, traces of dark chocolate appeared to my taste buds like long-lost friends within the medium-bodied coffee.
The Sour Plum Mojito (S$9.90), a concoction of mint leaves, lime juice, fresh sour plums and Sprite, was like a soft drink version of the locally-famous salted plum snacks—sweet, sour, and packed with a potent kick.
The Bubbly Lagoon (S$9.90) appeared the prettiest out of all the drinks—its liquid a gradual gradient from green to dark blue, topped with mint leaves, a slice of orange, and a sprinkle of sugar around its brim. It had a strong bubblegum taste, almost like a liquid version of kids’ candy.
Though I found it a little too sweet for my liking, it would be great for children, or if you have an insatiable craving for sweet drinks.
To end, the Banana Crumble (S$13.90)—baked and cinnamon-spiced banana chunks topped with vanilla bean ice cream. We feasted in pleasure as our mouths filled up with the contrasting warmth of baked bananas and cool sweetness of the ice cream, delighted to have met with such a fitting end to our time here.
Like the power-packed music, Royz et Vous certainly delivered with their food which was equally loaded with flavour and substance. We stayed long after everyone had left, charged by the atmosphere—as the waiters, chefs and staff came together to joke and revel in each other’s company after another job well done during peak hour.
The restaurant exudes the spirit of a merry and joyful time, almost akin to a bar. I felt strangely attached to the environment, a feeling I could only describe as magnetic. We ended our experience with the charming voice of Don Henley bidding us goodbye through the strains of the infamous Hotel California—we were checking out at the time, but could we really ever leave?
Expected Damage: S$30 – S$50 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Royz et Vous
137 Telok Ayer Street, #01-01, Singapore 068602
137 Telok Ayer Street, #01-01, Singapore 068602