Saw a friend of mine liked a photo of french toast from Little Diner’s FB page, which prompted me to check out this quaint little place along Bukit Timah. Little Diner opened in one of the shop houses near Sixth Avenue in 2012. Its nondescript shop front failed to catch my interest so it never crossed my mind to try it out. Also, both J and I agreed that the shops in along this strip were kind of cursed, and not many survived for long so to a certain extent, I didn’t expect it to stay around either. Perhaps it is due to the lack of parking, and the current MRT construction around the area did not help matters either.
When I arrived, I was promptly shown to my reserved table (which was near the toilet) which had a ‘reserved’ tag and my name on it. Cute. Feeling thirsty, I order a strawberry and lime Kopparberg cider and down half of it at a go. It is really more of a sweet soda with alcohol. J finally showed up at 7.45pm. By then, I was ready to order some fries to nibble as I was feeling a bit hungry. After some hemming and hawing, plus glancing at the daily specials on the blackboard, J finally came to a decision of what to eat. “HURRY UP ALREADY!!!” I shouted. Tsk.
The appetizers came very quickly. First up was the wild mushroom soup with truffle oil. That was delicious. I am not sure if they made it themselves or bought it from a supplier. If they bought it, I would like to know from where. The truffle oil complimented the taste of the mushroom soup and successfully upgrade it from good to deluxe. The risotto balls were equally good. Fat balls of risotto with molten mozzarella centers sitting on a lake of tomato sauce. The balls were good on its own but with the addition of the tangy tomato sauce gives it an extra dimension. The beef chili we ordered was a daily special. It came in a little pot topped with cheese. The flavors were great but too much to eat it on its own. If there were some bread accompanying the dish it would have been perfect.
As for the mains, the thick cut pork chop reminds me of a upgraded version from those you have from western stalls in hawker centres. The pork chop, though fully cooked was quite tender. However, I personally prefer mine to be slightly pink inside. I also like the buttery mash that came with the dish, though the roast vegetables were quite bland. When I studied the menu, I was immediately drawn to the XXX Baconator, which came with bacon espresso jam, bacon aioli and strips of bacon. When the burger was presented to us, it looked really promising but there is one problem. Just look at it. How in the world can anybody take a full bite of everything without making a mess? The patty was like a small tennis ball. If I have to eat it deconstructed, then what’s the point of ordering a burger? Sometimes, common sense must be applied in situations like this. Much to my annoyance, I had to cut out a bit of everything and eat it with my fork. The next (and bigger) problem is that it isn’t a good burger. Firstly, we requested for the patty to be cooked to medium. Due to the thickness of the patty, the middle part was practically raw. In addition, the meat in the hand formed patty is grind too finely. While the patty may be packed densely together, the meat just becomes a sandy texture in your mouth and the raw middle part was mushy. The bacon espresso jam was not impressive either. It was way too sweet with salty bits of bacon. As for the bacon aioli, I couldn’t differentiate that from the jam. All in all, the burger was a major disappointment and put a damper on our meal. On a brighter note, the truffle fries were good though. Apparently they are freshly hand cut at the shop.
This place have a personal feel to it and I do quite like it, despite the lousy burger. After all, the other dishes we had were quite decent. I also spied the neighboring table order a tiramisu which looked divine! I wouldn’t mind bringing Fat Man to try out its brunch menu some day, since it isn’t too far from our place either.