Owned by the same folks behind the ever popular Lola’s Cafe, is On The Table along Pasir Panjang road. These people seem to have the power to cause an upheaval in quiet places, well, in a good way. First, it was Lola on Simon Road, the relatively less happening part of the bustling Upper Serangoon area, now, Pasir Panjang (what?) Road.
Despite having lived in Kovan for the past 6 years, I have only visited Lola’s once, because I have always been turned off by the crazy snaking queue forming outside that cosy cafe everyday. Every. Single. Hour. Minute. Second. Since I’ve been told that On The Table served up a similar fare as Lola, and it’s just a <15 minute bus ride away from hall, it was in my calling to check out what’s the deal about these 2 cafes.
Even though I mentioned that the 2 cafes are located at relatively quiet places, they have one thing in common that makes them tick amongst the cafe hoppers, the proximity of a MRT station. On The Table is situated just 3-minutes away from Pasir Panjang station on the circle line, and right behind a bus stop (10, 30, 51, 143, 175, 176, 188 are the numbers to note).
In terms of the interior design, OTT is a stark contrast from its sister cafe. While Lola is cramped and cosy, OTT occupies 2 shop units, which caused our jaws to drop when we discovered its massive cafe space. Yet, the cafe was still crazily packed on our visit on a weekend.
OTT hones a simplistic industrial interior, with off-white walls, and bright yellow furniture. Seems like there is minimal work done in the interior design, but it still works for me.
Their menu resembles that of what I remembered of Lola’s brunch menu, with the exception of the pastas. I remembered being pretty disappointed by the limited brunch offerings the only time I was there at Lola’s, which was partly the reason why I never returned again. But take this as a pinch of salt because I visited them about a month into their operations previously, and everything may be different now, which I strongly believe so judging from the crazy queues.
We ordered The Big One ($18), Salmon and Mushroom Truffle Cream Linguine ($16), and of course their famous Crispy Honey Wings ($10). Oh, and an iced mocha too! The Big One ($18): It’s just the regular rendition you would get from any cafe that serves anything with the synonym of the ultimate breakfast, i.e. the little bit of everything brunch meal. Despite its lack of uniqueness as a brunch item, I thoroughly enjoyed every single bit of this dish. The scrambled eggs were fluffy and creamy, the brioche was crisp and buttery, while the sausage, bacon and ham provided the right amount of savory into the dish. I was very impressed by this supposedly lacking of X-factor dish. And hey, just $18 dollars NETT for this. Worth it. Totally worth it, even though I could put this together for less than $10 at home, but it’s still better priced than many cafes out there.
Salmon, Mushroom Truffle Cream Linguine ($16): I did not expect The Big One to be just a prelude of what was coming to our table, and into our mouths. The whiffs of truffle scent billowing from this dish got my stomach churning and salivary glands working like Pavlov’s dog. (Oh my, what’s with my flowery use of language today?! Must be too much sleep.) This was hands down the best pasta dish I’ve ever tasted. Mushroom. Salmon. Truffle. Cream. EVERYTHING I LOVE PUT IN A DISH. In rather generous amounts too! Every mouthful of this pasta dish, brought out the flavors of every of the main ingredient in this dish, like peeling off the layers of the flavor onion. Amazing, amazing dish.
Crispy Honey Wings ($10): The signature dish of Lola and OTT. Everyone has been raving about this on every possible platform of social media, and there I was, with an upturned nose doubting the claims of how good this is, because HOW GOOD CAN WINGS GET? In fact, very good. The first bite of this crispy honey wing got me on to the bandwagon of raving about how good these wings are. Crisp to perfection, and with a drizzle of honey on these moist and juicy wings, gave me heart palpitations. These are indeed the best wings I’ve had. A definite must-order when you are there!
After tasting the food, I finally understood the reason behind the snaking queues at Lola’s Cafe. One, the food tasted amazing. It’s rare for us to order 3 dishes in a cafe, and all of them being hits. Two, the prices are nett, and I would say it’s relatively affordable as compared to many of the cafes out there. Quality of food, checked. Quantity of food, checked. Third, the space occupied by Lola is too small for its own good. So, OTT is just god sent, for fans of Lola, as well as all the Westies. Ample of space here, and the likelihood of waiting half an hour for a table, is close to zero.
I would definitely recommend OTT to everyone who is looking for a good and affordable brunch fare. However, it can get very noisy when the place is crowded, despite its space, which makes it a rather uncomfortable setting to have your food in. I will be making a return trip for its Ultimate Croissant, and see how their dinner menu fare!
How to get there?
118 Pasir Panjang Road, 118541
CC line: Pasir Panjang Station