Nope, that isn’t the name of a cafe. Actually, it is. Kinda. It is what it is. A cafe that only exists for 24 hours here in Singapore, 7-8 February, 11am to 11am. The Growell Pop Up event is a collaboration between One Night Stand and Edible Gardens. The Edible Gardens champions the “Grow Your Own Food” movement, through growing food at underutilized places in Singapore such as rooftops and sidewalks. The Pop Up event, hence features the dishes made from Edible Garden’s backyard. Hey! That sounds like my parents trying to grow chili and bellpeppers outside my house! This One Night Stand event has got many people from different places working together to make it happen for us, foodies! We even spotted the chef from Ah Bong’s Italian working hard at this event!
Located at 109 Rowell Road, the Growell Pop Up was quite a challenge to find, because I’ve never heard of this place before. Ever. Yet, when we arrived at 10.40pm, the place was entirely packed. I guess that is the power of social media!
The interior was a little dingy when we walked in, with the dim, colorful lights. The first thing that crossed my mind was, CRAP! How am I gonna snap the pictures of my food! Hahaha! That dingy outlook was just a facade. As we proceeded further into the space, we realized that the pop up occupied 2 units. There was an opening on our left; a brightly lit space with the growing produce of Edible Gardens, and MORE SEATS! This reminded me a lot of the fish aquariums though! There were a variety of produce grown on both the left and right aisles, such as the mustard plant and rocket leaves. What an eye-opener it was to be able to admire the work of such a worthy cause by the Edible Gardens!
It took us a good 10-minute wait for available seats, and we were all ready to order!
To our dismay, most of the items which we wanted to order were unavailable. The Iced Gula Melaka Milk Tea was out, so were the Kong Ba Pau, and Pork Porridge. That left us with only 2 food items to order, that is, the Kaya Toast and Cup Noodles.
After 20 minutes of waiting, and starving, our cup noodles finally arrived. This Instant Noodles consists of housemade dehydrated egg noodles, dehydrated mushrooms, housemade luncheon meat, Growell’s urbanfarm microgreens, egg and lastly, all these are being topped with a tasty superior chicken broth, served in a pot!
First, we are being served with a bowl of noodles, dehydrated ingredients and an egg.
While adding the dehydrated ingredients into our noodles, we were both surprised to find the egg soft boiled! I thought it was a pretty good idea because I prefer the egg whites to coagulate more in my noodles, instead of being scattered in the broth! Adding the broth into our instant noodles. I had to get him to add more broth to ours, just for this shot. Thanks for the cooperation, albeit the lousy picture! HAHAHA!
I loved the handmade noodles in this. The texture was springy, pretty much reminded me of Ban Mian, and it’s really.. Yum. However, I thought that the microgreens tasted a little extraordinary. It had a weird aftertaste to it, even after we tried to soak it in the broth!The egg and luncheon meat in this dish reminded me a lot of the Gong Zai Mian from HK. It is the kind of instant noodles I always love from the Cha Chaan Tengs, except for the dehydrated veggies and mushrooms. The broth was pretty addictive too! Overall an interesting experience for me because of the concept of this dish. Albeit the pretty high price tag of $8 for this little bowl of noodles, it was really the experience that mattered and I even had quite a lot of fun just assembling my own food! Yes, I am instant noodle deprived.
Our kaya toast only arrived 10 minutes after we finished slurping our noodles. The long waiting time got us feeling a little impatient, but the taste of this dish, made up for it! The bread was toasted over charcoal, and served with housemade kaya made with foraged pandan and pork butter, 63 deg eggs, and housemade luncheon meat. Maybe they had to take a long time to toast the bread over charcoal. The kaya in this toast was not the usual ones we get at home or the kopitiam. I just can’t point a finger to it, but it tasted really, really good! Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I loved this so much, I wish I could have it for breakfast everyday!
The experience to the Growell Pop Up was quite an exciting one, since it’s the first-ever 24 hour only cafe in Singapore! I don’t admit that the availability of food was a little disappointing, together with the ridiculous waiting times. I really wanted to try the other 2 items on the menu. Besides, at the time we were there, it was only half way through their opening hours.. I guess they should have been more prepared with the amount of ingredients in the future if they are intending to go for such a large scale event, to avoid disappointments like this. Nevertheless, I applaud the efforts of each of the individuals that has played a part in making this happen, and to spread the idea of Edible Gardens to the masses. They did a pretty damn good job out of it! So, it’s time for a rest guys, and we all hope to see you guys back, bigger and better!