I usually don't bother posting HGW reviews, but after being bitten twice, I feel that I just had to highlight what they need to work on.
Came once during lunch time and was busy, the food and service were pretty crappy but then I thought that they should be given a chance cos they're new and all. But no, on the second try a week later, their food was still v. disappointing and the servers are so blur! There was a girl standing less than 7 steps from our seat, I had my hand raised to call for water and she was still dreaming away.
Breakfast burger. Sloppy, bland, and meat was tough and overcooked though ironically it came without much crispiness. It wasn't even hot, tasted as though it was deep fried and then just left on the countertop till your order comes in. Bun was dry, too.
Cappuccino. While it was smooth, it had a very strong bitter note on the aftertaste which took a couple of gulps of fruit juice to get rid of. I don't know whether it was meant to be like that styiistically, or it was burnt- if it were the former then a headsup from their servers or on the menu would have been nice.
Toasted banana bread: waaaay too heavy. It was sweet, sticky, and goopy not in a good way. Took no more than 2 bites.
Sticky Date Pudding: This was the most decent dish of the lot, and was sweet and nutty with the decadent taste of date. Though a little on the sweet side, it's still manageable compared to the toasted banana bread.
Smashed avocado, homemade ricotta cheese, pomelo and toasted almonds on sourdough. Taste wise was good- fresh, light, and using good ingredients. But way too expensive at $18 for the small portion.
Overall, this is a hipster cafe-hopping kind of place that looks pretty but doesn't deliver much for those staying around the area. I'm looking for a comfortable regular haunt where I can go for my weekend brunch without feeling like I'm packed uncomfortably into a tin can of hipsters and youngsters. And without feeling ripped off.
Definitely not recommended for families with children- my girls were so irritable cos food took quite a while to serve, and it was generally quite warm and noisy in the cafe.
I came here for the first time because many of my friends told me the coffee was nice. When I walked in to the cafe, there was no welcome greeting by the service staff. Granted they were ALL busy. However, I later observed and realized the service staff were poorly trained, inattentive and easily distracted by various requests from customers. Food was mediocre. Coffee was not bad.
This is always a common problem with cafes which are unable to keep up with their service & food with the so-called ambience.
For full review, visit http://www.ms-skinnyfat.com/2014/07/the-lokal.html
This new cafe on Neil Road is the offspring of Sarnies, another crazy packed cafe that I've yet to try (ZOMG call myself a food blogger).
Well The Lokal checked off all the boxes on the hipster cafe checklist and they even went as far as to throw in a $40k Slayer machine. Oh that s*** beast took me on an intense ride with his latte ($5.50) and I must say it was all very smooth. And a little nutty too. The beans are from Sarnies and they have their barista consultant, affectionately known as the K Man, who is overseeing the coffee making for now. Many would go for the signature Veal Schnitzel Burger ($28) served with a tangy grilled pineapple and red slaw but we skipped that because chunky chips weren't available that day! Instead, i opted for the Roast Beef on Rye ($17). The sandwich was a combination of perfectly caramelized onion and thinly sliced sautéed beef. The flavors were a little sweet and could be sharpened with a stronger mustard than the current grain mustard crème fraiche. It was a good roast beef sandwich nonetheless. The Roast Chicken Panini ($15) was good too. The filling included huge juicy slices of fresh tomato (not the cheapo Malaysian sort), copious amount of avocado mash, crispy pancetta and salty roast chicken meat. The bread was our favorite among the lot of sandwiches we had, partly because it's a little more pillowy and chewy.
A healthier option is the Smashed Avocado with Ricotta Sourdough ($18). The ricotta is made in house, along with their yogurt as well. It was simply topped with some pomelo and almonds, drizzled with olive oil. I liked the separate components of the dish but it came together rather plainly. A touch of honey could make this a better dish in my opinion but that's just my preference.
I never thought that dining at a place could leave me so confused.
I've been reading several good reviews on HGW and on online 'food blogs' about Lokal's food and service, and that nudged me to pop in for brunch. And I came here expecting that I'd be able to taste the "Good food with great service!" promised by others, but I felt as though I'd entered an alternate dimension.
You see, I didn't know that Lokal was an alternate dimension where "good food with great service!" meant that we got dry hard toasties and a staff who was busy attending to a table of what seemed to be food bloggers, and forgetting bout our requests to change our order. While food bloggers got "smooth scrambled egg", us being common beings, we got lumpy clots of egg. "The desserts were served hot" for bloggers' banana bread, sadly ours came cold. and overly sweet.
I could go on about how confused I was over the quality of food we were being served- but hey, what do I know about food reviews, right? Afterall I'm no 'food blogger' with an online voice to use as currency for some decent standard of food and service.
I'm just a regular diner, like the rest of us all.
I went there for an early lunch today because I was on leave. I was Checking out some food blogs before deciding on the lokal which has pretty decent reviews. I ordered the slipper lobster roll which came with the fries. The prawn is decent and ok value for $22, although I find the fries too overfried. Prefer fries which were not fried with reused oil.
My partner ordered his brunch that came with bread. He waited for a few mins for something before asking me whether they served butter. When we asked for butter, we were appalled that we had to pay for it. We were both on leave and didn't want to make a big fuss, but that didn't leave a good impression for sure. Both of you happen to be the kind who need butter spread on our bread!
The waitress told us that the butter is chargeable because it is home made. But there was no choice to take a normal butter, and I don't think it's reasonable for a cafe to serve dry bread without butter. It's really not about the $1, I just thought the owners could think a bit deeper on providing customers options on the butters, perhaps put in the menu about the healthier version of their homemade butter and let their customers decide!
having said all these, it is still a cafe worth checking out just for novelty sake.
For the full review and more photos, head over to http://toroamtheworld.blogspot.com/2015/12/food-review-lokal-revisit.html
Toasted Banana Bread ($12++): I've heard so much about this banana bread that I decided to get it, despite me not being a fan of bananas. While I wasn't 100% convinced of its hype, it's still a good slice of banana bread, with it being moist and quite rich in flavour. What I love most is the yogurt! It's all made in house and it's got a little tinge of sourness. The caramelised bananas were quite nice too. And as usual, something crunchy to add to the whole dish is the toasted macademia nuts. Great combination overall and I swept the plate clean (especially of the yogurt)!
Lokal Lobster Roll ($22++): My friend tried this Lobster Roll which is made up of slipper lobster tails, gherkin (pickled cucumber), coleslaw, lemon mayonnaise and served with twister fries. The lobster meat was fresh, but a bit overpowered by the coleslaw and mayo. That said, I think they should adjust the ratio of lobster meat to other ingredients, because it feels like you're eating much more salad than the meat itself. But it's priced reasonably so maybe that's why...?
I believe that this cafe sells quality food, and if I come again I may try their sandwiches, which I heard are not bad too!