Official Website: http://www.onekampongbahru.com; Facebook
Address: One Kampong Bahru, S(169339)
Tel: 6220 4711
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11am-6pm (Bakery), 6pm-11pm (Bar/Bistro)
Budget: $5-$15 (Lunch); $15-$30 (Dinner), Tasting Sessions also available.
Recommendation: Salad and Cupcakes
OKB, short for One Kampong Bahru or “Our Kind of Bar, Bistro, Bakery”, is helmed by Chef Jeremy Cheok, Cordon Bleu-trained Estelle Chey and Deborah Ong, who has worked in commercial kitchens in Melbourne. OKB aspires to be the “most affordable food & wine bar in town” and I believe it has certainly lived up to its expectations. Most of its sweet treats range from $2 – $3.50, while lunch sets are available at $10 – $13. OKB thus matches SG Boy’s criteria for the hunt of “cheap and good food”.
The iconic ‘OKB’ logo and the Ordering Counter
The decor at OKB is simple and unassuming. If you were expecting designer leather chairs or delicate Wedgwood cutlery, then perhaps your hopes would be dashed. They used to serve cakes in plastic saucers, but now they seem to have switched to disposable meal boxes. Religiously delivering food at affordable prices means that all things have to be kept simple. Fortunately, water does not come with a charge and can be found by the window (see picture above).
Lunch Menu at OKB
According to many bloggers, the items here are handmade freshly in batches and done from scratch as far as possible. You can also try some of the testers before ordering. However, the lunch menu seems to lack variety and is a little pricey in my honest opinion. If you’re coming for dinner, it would be advisable to make reservations as OKB is frequently full at dinner. When London Gal (LG) and I arrived for lunch, it was half-filled and we wanted something starchy and savoury, so we opted for the lunch special instead of the usual tarts and cupcakes. The sandwich choices include the Wagyu burger, Viet Pesto, Chicken Ham and Cheese, Vegetable Omelette Wrap and Chorizo Omelette Wrap.
SG Boy’s Lunch Special: Vegetable Omelette Wrap, with Pasta Salad ($10)
The Vegetable Omelette Wrap came with Pasta Salad, Ham and Corn bits. The wrap was pretty decent and the salad was dressed with a light and savoury sauce which was extremely refreshing. One of the better salads I’ve tried this year. Filling and fulfilling.
LG’s Lunch Special: Vegetable Omelette Wrap with Rocket Salad in Balsamic Vinaigrette ($10)
There was however an unexpected twist of events for LG. She had ordered the same wrap as me but the Chorizo Omelette Wrap was served instead (as shown in the picture, the red meaty portions are the chorizo ham). As LG is a pescetarian with extremely sensitive tastebuds, she immediately turned to the counter to check if the order was wrongly served. Indeed, the server had mixed up the wraps as they looked deceptively similar. For the record, the servers were extremely apologetic and immediately served a complimentary Vanilla Cupcake while they toasted a new wrap for LG. As for the Rocket Salad, LG and I unanimously agreed that it was a beautifully executed yet simple and refreshing salad. Who would have thought that their salad would be this good!
Menu for the Sweet Treats at wallet-friendly prices
Vanilla Cupcake ($3.00)
The cakes and tarts at OKB are very affordable. We had initially wanted to order a few of them, but after finishing our lunch set, we only had gastronomical space for the extra Vanilla Cupcake. Touted to be the most popular cupcake at OKB, the Vanilla Cupcake was sufficiently moist at the first bite and not too sweet. However, my second bite of the cupcake was a little dry, which implied that the sponge portion was perhaps inconsistent. The cupcake also failed to impress the avid baker, LG, who thought that it was indeed a tad too dry. The icing could also have been smoother in my humble opinion. Overall, the cupcake was still an above average one, better than many cupcake chains in Singapore.
If you’re coming to OKB for dinner, do check out their tapas ($7-10) and mains ($14-$18). According to the server, OKB is able to offer wine pairing at such competitive prices (about $6-$12) because one of the partners (Kenneth) is a wine dealer and therefore able to cut costs by skipping the middlemen fees. There are also regular tasting sessions which go at very competitive prices – do check out their Facebook page for more updates.
Unlike our counterparts who complained about OKB’s unenthusiastic service, we were in fact greeted with out-of-the-way hospitality. As mentioned, the servers were extremely apologetic when they served the wrong order and immediately made up for the error with their most popular Vanilla Cupcake, on the house. LG and I were speculating if the owners at OKB have been reviewing food blogs and noticed the recurrent grouse on poor service. Moreover, SG Boy was frantically taking photos with his DSLR and perhaps that had aroused the attention of the servers. In any case, the philosophy at fatsgboy is to comment honestly and document the experiences of common folks, so that readers can also expect the same experience. We definitely hope that the service standards at OKB can be maintained.
Although our dining experience wasn’t exactly smooth-sailing (due to the blunder in food order), we were glad that the staff made up for it with their impeccable service (& complimentary cupcake of course!). The server was also extremely friendly and displayed a high level of knowledge about the business. All in all, I felt that the versatility of the place is its major selling point, as it caters to afternoon tea lovers (cheap sweets!), wine connoiseurs (cheap wine!), atas people (they have food tasting sessions) and those who just wanna grab lunch on the go (since they serve food in disposable boxes). Do drop by if you’re in the area!
Rating: 3.65/5 Veggie Wraps