211 Henderson Road
Boasting a great cuppa Joe and all time café favourites in a cozy environment, Blu Hills Café along Henderson Road caught our eye as a must-try eatery.
Located just across the road from Surbana One, the café was incredibly easy to get to. We arrived around noon and could still enjoy the luxury of picking our favourite table. Just 15 to 20 minutes later, the entire café was packed and bustling! This certainly is a popular lunch spot, but with all the diners talking at once, it began to get a tad too noisy for our liking. Service also slowed down markedly as the crowd began to build up, so don’t hit this café up if you are on a time crunch – you have been warned!
Blu Hills Café has a pretty extensive menu for a joint its size. We were delighted to see that they had all day breakfast, café staples, such as burgers and pastas, and even an Asian selection. Their drinks menu was quite impressive too, with a good range of coffees, teas, sodas and juices to choose from. With most items priced below $10, this café provides yet another dining option for the budget-conscious.
So did their offerings hit or miss the spot? Here are some of the items we reviewed:
Honey Soy Baked Chicken Leg ($9.00) – 4.5/5
This dish looked quite pleasing – a nicely cooked chicken thigh that was browned just enough, served with steamed garden vegetables and a nice portion of shallots rice. The thigh was sizeable and, boy, was it succulent. Juicy and tender, it was tasty and went well with the fragrant shallots rice. The dish would have been even more delightful if there were more greens for a balanced meal.
Salted Egg Yolk Chicken Burger ($10.80) – 3/5
The burger arrived at our table with a glistening bun up top which caused us to gasp in excitement – this recommended dish looked promising. Upon further investigation, we saw that the bun was actually toasted on a grill, evident by the charred lines beneath. The chicken was thick and well cooked, but lacked in flavor. The salted egg yolk sauce saved the day as it was thick and savoury. The sides were passable and nothing to write home about. We had high hopes for this dish, but sadly, it was only good to look at and lacked punch.
Chicken Rendang Nasi Lemak ($8.80) – 2/5
This dish in a word? Bland. The rice lacked any lemak flavor and the chicken was once again not marinated. Even the rendang sauce couldn’t save the dish for it, too, was insipid and needed more seasoning. The ikan bilis was tough, to say the least. The only thing that tasted decent was the sambal chili, but they gave so little of it, there was barely enough to tide over the dish. We were left disappointed. Save yourself the calories and give this a miss.
Blu’s Grilled Garlic Chicken Chop ($7.90) – 3.5/5
The good ole chicken chop is a staple at most joints offering café-style western food. Blu Hills Café is no different. In fact, this Grilled Garlic Chicken Shop is a recommended dish and house special. Honestly, the plating could be better, especially if this was supposed to be a star dish. There was no sight of garnish at all, and everything just looked carelessly thrown together. Taste-wise, the chicken was decently marinated and reasonably tasty. The mushrooms were done well. The fries, however, lacked crispiness and left us wanting. Overall, this was a reasonable dish for the price.
Golden Calamari Rings with Siracha Mayo ($5.50) – 4/5
We couldn’t ask for a more perfect side dish. Served piping hot, these calamari rings were so crispy and went really well with the siracha mayo. The portion was decent too – good for a party of four to share. Very satisfying!
Latte ($3.50) – 3.5/5
If ever you need a good jolt to perk you up from a tiresome day, come here to have a latte. This cuppa was strong. Slightly bitter but still smooth on the palate, this was a decent pick-me-up. The only drawback was that this café doesn’t serve hot beverages with soy milk, which didn’t sit well with this slightly lactose-intolerant reviewer.
Orange Mocha ($4.00) – 4.5/5
The perfect end to a meal, this drink was delicious. The orange scent was luring and wafted our way as the server brought the drink up to our table. Like Bert and Ernie, the orange and chocolate flavours complemented each other so well, cloaking us with a warm and fuzzy feeling to battle the gloomy weather outside. This drink was close to perfect, and would have scored full points if only it came in a bigger cup. Yum!
Overall score for Blu Hills Café – 3.6/5
While Blu Hills Café has its misses, there were some pretty good hits too. A nice neighbourhood café, it is a good place for a quick lunch, but nothing more. They do have an interesting beverage selection with choices, such as Taro Latte ($4.00) and Peppermint Chocolate ($3.50), which we fully intend to try in the near future. Not to forget their pretty wide selection of sandwiches and pastries too!
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