By Joyce Er (15A01A)
Photos by the writer and Gabrielle Jeyaseelan (15S06A)
Compared to its Thomson neighbour Habitat Coffee (reviewed here), Old School Delights is perhaps less raved about – undeservedly so. An instant throwback to the homely nostalgia of Singapore’s early days, OSD is charmingly quaint with its menu and tasteful decor. While some might balk at the relatively high prices for rather commonplace hawker dishes, the fare is hearty and the ambience, priceless.
At 2pm, most of the seats were filled, but the staff graciously found us a seat soon enough. We wrote out and submitted our orders using a miniature whiteboard and marker. Our food came within 10 minutes of ordering, and we entertained ourselves in the meantime with a primary-school style eraser battle using the erasers provided in a game set on our table.
Caffeine connoisseurs take note: OSD does not offer much in the way of premium roasted beans compared to its other cafe counterparts. Nevertheless, with the afternoon heat, their Old School Mocha-Cinno ($4.90), comprising malted chocolate, roasted black coffee, and frothy milk, was refreshingly cold and not overpoweringly rich or sweet.My friend’s Horlicks Dinosaur ($4.90) was similarly thick and satisfying, although she remarked that it was somewhat overpriced for something that straightforward.
We also had the Teh-Cino ($4.90). It boasted gorgeous layers of milk and tea, but was pedestrian in terms of taste and potentially cloyingly sweet to some.
OSD’s menu is packed with traditional hawker favourites such as mee siam, chendol and nasi lemak. Tucking into our food in a cafe ambience was certainly a fresh and enjoyable experience, although the price is of course accordingly higher. The Kueh Pie Tee ($6.50) was visually stunning. It came topped with sweet homemade chili with a real kick, and its flaky, tender shell was filled with layers of egg and braised turnip. The price was somewhat off-putting, but with my stomach full, I could hardly complain. 4/5
The Hainanese Chicken Cutlet ($9.80) portion was satisfyingly large, and the chicken was pleasingly crisp. However, my friends pronounced this dish unremarkable in terms of flavour. 3/5
We found the Chicken Macaroni Soup ($6.80) excellent comfort food, and also a somewhat healthier option for those watching their diets with its clear broth and shredded chicken breast. My friend particularly liked the quail eggs that were included. 3.5/5
Besides their mains and drinks, the menu also offers cakes and assorted packs of traditional biscuits going for a dollar each. Even if you’re a penny-pincher, OSD is definitely worth patronizing at least once just for its unique ambience. If you’re planning to drop by, you can place a reservation to secure a table. As for us, we’ll definitely be back for their highly rated Tuckshop Wings, Choc-banana Fudge Cake and Laksa D’Lite.
Old School Delights is located at 215M Upper Thomson Road
Open 11.30am – 10.30pm on Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 10.30pm on Saturday to Sunday