Food for Thought: Roadhouse

by Joyce Er (15A01A), Michelle Zhu (15A01B) and Kang Yi Xi (15S03N)

Photos by Joyce Er (15A01A)

Tucked away in a relatively inaccessible corner of Dempsey, Roadhouse is not an intuitive gastronomical choice for the average Rafflesian, nor are its prices particularly wallet-friendly. However, with its hearty portions, explosive flavours and divine desserts, we could hardly keep this gem to ourselves. Visit this American-style diner as a treat to yourself – on a friend’s birthday, or after completing a round of examinations. We promise it’s worth the trek.

Mains

We arrived in time to catch their Lunch Combo offer, which comprises of a burger main with fries coupled with either a salad or dessert, all for $22 – which we thought very reasonable in comparison to the considerably higher prices on their à la carte menu. The four of us shared three combos and some even struggled to finish our portions.

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Each standard set comes with fries. Between the truffle and regular fries, we preferred the regular, which were perfectly salted and had a subtle crunch. In contrast, the truffle fries were lacking in truffle flavour and tasted slightly underdone.

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We chose the Build Your Own Burger option for the last main, forgoing the fries. One of us decided to have a burger containing a Cajun-spiced chicken patty with red cheddar cheese, sauteed mushrooms and BBQ sauce. The rather sizeable nature of the deep-fried chicken patty meant the burger could be considered quite a filling dish. However, in our opinion, that did not justify the lack of fries, especially since this particular patty was made out of chicken and not a more expensive meat like beef. Another grouse would be that although the patty was supposed to have been amply marinated with spices, we found its actual flavour a tad underwhelming as it was rather bland. The sauteed mushrooms were similarly lackluster; fortunately, the rich, savoury BBQ sauce ensured that the burger was still considerably satisfying. Owing to its crisp, well-fried nature, the batter also had a very pleasing crunch. Moreover, the melted cheddar cheese not only looked but also tasted appetising, and was a relatively excellent choice of topping. Overall, you might be better off choosing the beef patty instead and skipping the mushrooms entirely, though this might just have been a one-off incident.

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Their Caesar Salad (à la carte: $13) was a delight, featuring the usual croutons, grated parmesan cheese and bacon bits atop a bed of crisp juicy Romaine lettuce. We were surprised and impressed by the breaded soft boiled egg, which turned out to be an egg beautifully poached and then carefully fried. When broken, the yolk flowed over the salad, mixing with the tartly sweet salad dressing.

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Desserts

Having been enticed to Roadhouse by photos of their S’more Ice Cream Cake, we were looking forward to this dessert and were thankfully not disappointed. Featuring a buttery graham cracker crust and a vanilla toffee ice cream filling, the cake was topped with roasted mini marshmallows and drizzled with a vanilla/toffee sauce. All in all, it is a great dessert, but perhaps is one to be shared amongst friends unless you have an exceptionally sweet tooth.

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The Warm Salted Triple Nut Tart, served with vanilla ice cream and drenched in a butterscotch sauce, juxtaposed crunch from the nuts and crust with the filling, which was thankfully not cloyingly sweet. While the quality of the ice cream was not fantastic, it more than sufficed as a complement to the pastry.

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Drinks

To wake ourselves up from the midday doldrums, we ordered a Double Espresso ($5), which was of a passable standard but rather lacking in the appearance department. Another gripe about this otherwise charming eatery is its iced Cafe Mocha ($9). Although purportedly containing 67% Valrhona chocolate, it was disappointingly watery and lacked the rich flavour we were anticipating. If you’re looking for a mocha fix, we recommend splurging on Artistry Cafe’s Iced Mocha instead.

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