Collin’s Grille Bento: Breaking hawker stereotypes

Collin's Grille Bento

The typical Western food stall in the heartlands is every foodie’s greatest nightmare; stale and tough fried chicken, rubbery beef steak, and mushy grilled fish swimming in a pool of grease. Oh and how can I forget about that blue tub of coleslaw that has more mayo than veggies?

Collin’s Grille Bento is one hawker stall that breaks out of that stereotype. The stall serves restaurant standard western meals at affordable prices. A portion of fish and chips goes for $6.90 while a plate of mixed grill (consisting of chicken chop, pork chop and pork bratwurst) costs just $12.50. All meals are accompanied by a generous amount of fresh salad, waffle fries or aglio olio, and a corncob. That’s your health pyramid on a plate.

The Grilled Chicken Chop with Chicken Gravy ($7.50) was a pleasant surprise. The chicken was perfectly cooked, well seasoned with a peppery taste – though partially masked by the slightly salty gravy. Most importantly, the chicken was tender and juicy with a tinge of smoky flavour from the grill and the accompanying aglio olio is the best I’ve ever eaten at a hawker.

Wait a minute… did I just see pork ribs on the menu? Collin’s Famous Pork Ribs cost a mere $8.90 for half a rack. This is the star at the dinner table. The pork was tender enough to slide off the bone without much effort. Glazed with a smoky sweet barbeque sauce, these ribs are absolutely perfect. Get a whole rack!

The Smoked Flavour Breaded Fish ($6.90) was cooked decently enough. The breaded crust was crispy while the fish fillet remained moist and tender although the smoked flavour seemed to be mysteriously missing.

For a neighbourhood Western food stall, Collin’s Grille Bento definitely far exceeded expectations. The tiny kitchen impressively functions like a restaurant kitchen, where each cook has his own station, plus they prepare a ticket at a time to ensure that everyone at the table will be able to eat together – which of course, is a rarity in Singapore hawker centres!

Written by FairlyWrite

Check out more good fare at 5 Traditional Coffeeshops in Singapore to Visit Before They Disappear and Fast Food: Our Top 10 Express Eats in Singapore

Emily Seow

Managing Editor

Emily heads the editorial team on City Nomads by being a stickler for details, a grammar Nazi, and a really picky eater. Born and bred in Singapore, she loves cats, the written word, exploring new places, and all things Harry Potter. Easily bribed with good cocktails.

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