Ridgewood Close homes a serene cluster of condominiums that are the envy of those who wished their homes were anything larger than the current shoebox-sized apartments. Another point of envy should be the fact that Stirling Highway is a literal hidden treasure that even some residents aren’t aware of, given the expansive compound.
Inspired by her years in Australia during her studies, owner Estelle, wanted to replicate the authentic cafe fare that she enjoyed — with little frills and simple, honest flavours.
What drew me here initially was the Pulled Pork Pancakes ($14) made with homemade batter, Jack Daniels-infused maple syrup and homemade BBQ sauce. The pancakes were impressively fluffy and light, which worked well to absorb all the maple syrup I generously drizzled. However, as the consistency was quite runny, I found myself pouring a lot more than I would’ve liked to. Also, I could hardly taste the usual strong maple flavour nor any hint of Jack Daniels.
As for the layers of pulled pork, they were juicy indeed. One drawback though, was that the smell of the pork was rather overpowering, which might put off some diners. If you consider yourself a pancake purist, I recommend you stick to consuming these stacks for dessert.
I spotted the Arrabiata Salmon Tobiko ($16) dish on the menu and knew I had to give it a whirl. No regrets at all, as the smoked salmon slices came in generous amounts, with flying fish roe scattering the dish. A fan of umami dishes? You’ll find this plate irresistible with its rich, savoury and smokey flavours, combined with an adequate kick of heat all thanks to the spicy tomato. I had to consciously remind myself to slow down so that I could truly delight in every bite.
They are also proud of their personally curated selection of teas, which Estelle explained to me, was very much inspired by her own love for teas. The blends are definitely some I’ve never heard of before, so to satisfy my quench (and curiosity), the first blend I chose was the Cherry Rose White ($6).
Using real flowers and fruits in all her teas, the aroma was light and as fresh as new sheets. Upon tasting, the tea proved to be a great palate cleanser in between bites, and even as a post-meal allay.
The other tea that caught my eye was the Long Island Strawberry ($5.50). A traditional Long Island drink would be alcoholic and quite boozy, but this (of course, wasn’t) carried notes of dark berries and slightly bitter-sour hint, which was unexpected but surprisingly pleasant.
The third tea I tried was the Pina Colada ($5.50), which was tropical, fruity and highly recommended to those who have an affinity to fruity iced teas. All their teas, I would say, are best enjoyed sans sugar and milk, as they have so much depth and contrasting flavours.
Moving on to dessert, I was introduced to their cake special of the week — which changes weekly — Chocolate Cake ($7.50). What sets it apart is that it’s gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free, so even those with allergens get to enjoy this piece of cocoa heaven. In spite of having it made with lots of baking substitutions for traditional ingredients, the cake was dense, moist and amazingly decadent. It has a fudge-like consistency, and not overly sweet.
Lastly, I was presented the Sticky Date Pudding ($6.50), which I have noticed is getting increasingly popular in Singapore’s foodscape. But, it is very hard to find one that isn’t too dry or too bland. This one, at first look, seemed that it wouldn’t meet the mark, but after the first forkful, it proved to be otherwise. The dessert was adequately gooey, and the natural sweetness of the dates made return helpings inevitable.
The highlight of the place for me was the remoteness of the area, with little to no foot traffic, and most diners were residents who lived in the area. This made the dining experience very peaceful, and with such great dishes served, this cafe will really suit those who wish to dine on a budget without compromising on flavour.
Expected damage: $15 – $30 per pax