Abe's Diner is a Euro-Japanese restaurant that is way hidden in the Tiong Bahru enclave which recently witnessed the rise of new indie coffee joints, drinking pubs and bookstores. It was just opened in April 2012 and remained relatively unknown to many locals. Locating that exact place amidst the neighbourhood can be tough without a map.
A relaxing calm green interior that has only about 10 tables.
Though reservations signs are seen, the crowd was sparse and thus groups can dine and chat at their own pace without any rush.
Fried Oysters(4pcs for $15)Good ol' reliable oysters with homemade tartar and sweet dipping sauce. They do serve fresh oysters with vinegrette dressing at $10 per plate.
The roll was fresher than the usual ones on the sashimi conveyor belts as the ebi was still warm while the rice did not clump together and became too chewy.
Fairly average and comparable to the cheaper salmon dons in Japan.
But the bright orange hues of the sashimi certainly lighted up the bowl.
Carbonara Udon ($14)Creamy pasta lovers should go for this as the carbonara sauce was not too overpoweringly sticky and was less rich than the usual Italian versions. I thought udon might be too heavy than the other pasta types but it was surprisingly springy and light. Besides this, they also have yaki udon and seafood gratin for baked rice lovers.
WC says: A mediocre bowl of rice that did not really impress. The rice was slightly too soft and the flavours of the sauce fail to hit the right note.
Personally, the texture of the rice was just right and the dish was neither too dry nor overly salted. That said, I can't wait for WC to whip up her WC-style oyako don for me one day :)
Roasted pork belly with mustard cream sauce($22)
This was another western-style dish which came recommended by the staff besides the carbonara. The pork belly, even though the top skin was not crispy, was fork tender and matched well with the mustard sauce, which could perhaps be drizzled more on the plate. However, the mash potato side was rather disappointing as it was tad dry and lack any aroma.
We did not plan to order any desserts but each received a complimentary dish of
Daigaku Imo from the chef. Made freshly on the spot, the warm sweet potato had a crackly caramelized shell which gave way to a slightly powdery interior.
Perhaps we were lingering in the place for too long but it was a nice sweet ending to our meal.
In all, the menu selection was not wide, even though there were some chef's recommendations such as wagyu steak and various grilled fish. Their nabe, or hot pots, seemed pretty good with some recommendations on their facebook page. If some likes Japanese food while the others prefer Western dishes, Abe's Diner might be the place that will fit all.
42 Eng Hoon Street