my mom loves this place. its her favorite version of hawker food – sanitary, air-conditioned and delicious food…lol, and of course it comes at a higher price, almost two to three times the price of what you would pay were you to order something similar from a hawker center. some might instantly scoff at the notion, and find it incredibly dumb to eat at such a place, but hear me out.
space @ my humble house is sited right outside the more atas humble house at esplanade. it’s like the poor-sister version of the more posh, artfully designed restaurant, with quirky chairs and poetic names tagged to their dishes. no.. the design of space @ my humble house is more spartan – minimalist but still stylish, with green apples used as a wall installation to lend it an artsy feel as well. its the kind of restaurant that rich people head to for like a executive power lunch or for some pre-show quick dinner. kind of a cool, tranquil ambience if i may say.
food-wise, its an interesting menu of common local delicacies like hainanese chicken rice, rack of lamb bak kut teh and the works. what sets it apart and somewhat justifies the price (of cos besides paying for the ambience) is the ingredients that have gone into the dishes. a simple porridge is transformed into claypot jasmine rice with crabmeat and shrimp in consomme ($12) for the health conscious (like my mom), whereas common carrot cake is paired with crabmeat, luscious whole prawns, juicy scallops and egg ($14).
the salad was refreshing and nicely balanced in terms of flavors, the crunchiness of the walnuts (i think they were candied) and almonds paired well with the fruits and vegetables. its a good starter to order and share.
i think part of the reason my mom loves this place is that it is genuinely a healthier rendition of local fare – the laksa doesn’t feel overly oily, though i did feel like it’s not as shiok as the normal ones because it wasn’t spicy enough and the coconut milk was slightly overpowering. but the noodles, fried oysters and cod slices were super appetizing and left you wanting for more ingredients.
my sis called it the best zhajiang mian she has had in her life, and well, i really do like it as well. the noodles are just the right level of ‘Q’ and the mean sauce is addictive. and honestly the price point ain’t that steep in this case…
loved the pumpkin creme brulee though i did wish that they used a traditional ramekin and had a larger surface-area worth of the burnt sugar since the combination of the burnt sugar and the pumpkin cream was really good. the mango sorbet was alright, though it wasn’t impressive. im not too sure whether i was supposed to combine both to eat, since it didn’t really seem to make sense.. hmm, to me, the dessert felt more like two different dishes plated together, and lacks the rhapsodic harmony found in french desserts.
all in all? ignoring the price point for now, the food is really decent, with a certain healthier, and more expensive touches to traditional dishes. one needs to switch a mentality when approaching such a restaurant, to soak up the atmosphere, slow down and breathe in the aroma of some oolong cha, enjoy a quiet chat with friends whilst eating some delicious and (hopefully) less calorific versions of your favorite fare. if you come here with the notion of comparing the value of the food you imbibe with hawker centre food, you are gonna be one disgruntled, unhappy diner. oh.. and yeah this place is good to bring the more elderly ang-moh who want to try local fare but might not have the stomach to take the real stuff. oh.. and try mama leong’s chicken rice, it’s really pretty good. lol 7.5/10
space @ my humble house | 8 raffles avenue, #02-25 esplanade mall | local, upmarket, ambience