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Woody Family Pub Cafe

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Nestled within private estates in the far end of Sembawang is Woody Family Pub Cafe – a cosy alfresco dining place dishing up Peranakan cuisine. On a Thursday night, the place wasn’t rowdy, and with music playing in the background, it was an ideal place to chill and laze around with friends and family. Heeding the advice of the chef-owner Ms Jenny, we ordered the following dishes – soup of the day: Fusion Rebus Assam, Mango Salad, Dory Fish Tempra, Peranakan Buffalo Wings (Spicy Level) and Devil’s Curry Chicken.

Fusion Rebus Assam

Fusion Rebus Assam

Fusion Rebus Assam – Chicken slow cooked with pumpkin, lemon grass, shallots, onions. The Fusion Rebus Assam tasted similar to that of chicken soup/stock. Though we did find lemon grass in the soup, there wasn’t much of a lemon grass taste or fragrance. Contrary to what the name has suggested, there were no sourish taste of assam too. The soup was more on the lighter side, not too heavy and rich in flavours. Each bowl of soup came with a small drumstick which was tender but tasteless. The essence of the chicken went into the soup. It doesn’t seem all too representative of Perankan food and was something pretty average.

Mango Salad as served (top) and Mango Salad after tossing and mixing (down)

Mango Salad as served (top) and Mango Salad after tossing and mixing (down)

Mango Salad – Green garden vegetables, mango topped with special salad dressing. The salad dressing was pretty unique, it was different from the typical thousand island dressing. It was a little spicy and gave that extra kick to the salad. The generous amount of crispy oats sprinkled on top gave the salad an additional texture and sweetness.  The vegetables (gourds, green carrots, tomatoes, radish) and fruits (guavas, apples, mangoes) used in the salad were quite fresh and crunchy, except for the mango. The mango was on the mushy and soft side, which we thought would do better if crunchier version of Thai mangoes were used. It was a unique salad, something not commonly found elsewhere. However, with other more outstanding dishes at Woody (featured below), we concluded that we may have to give this a miss next time.

Spicy Peranakan Buffalo Wings

Spicy Peranakan Buffalo Wings

The buffalo wings we’ve tried so far have been the Mexican/Texas/Western kinds from Chili’s and Buckaroo. Hence we were rather surprised to see Woody promoting their very own spicy Peranakan buffalo wings. The wings were generously coated with a layer of chunky thick sambal chili and that alone left us excited! The wings were very spicy even at the intermediate level, leaving us tearing with uncontrollable runny nose.  The flavours of these buffalo wings were authentically Peranakan, and was a deviation away from the sourness of Texas buffalo wings. Still, we thoroughly enjoyed these fire-coated and finger licking wings!

Dory Fish Tempra

Dory Fish Tempra

Dory Fish Tempra – Dory fish braised with dark sauce, onions and chili padi. The dory fish was very fresh, without any fishy taste. It was pretty soft and we could just slowly let it melt in our mouths. We didn’t quite like the watery consistency of the dark sauce; it didn’t seem to complement the fish very well. Though it was said that the dish contained chili padi, we hardly detected any spiciness. The essence of the dish has got to be the fresh, soft and juicy dory fish.

Devil's Curry Chicken

Devil's Curry Chicken

One of Woody’s signature dishes is the Devil’s Curry Chicken – Chicken cooked with Woody’s special curry spices, chicken hot dogs, green papaya, gourds, potatoes and carrots. And one thing special is that the curry chicken does not contain coconut milk! Even without coconut milk, the Devil’s Curry Chicken was still fragrant and packed with robust flavours. It did not seem to carry the fragrance and flavours of the curry leaves, but still, this has got to be one of the better curries we have tried. It was very thick and rich, and not forgetting, the curry was adequately spicy and went well with the freshly toasted baguettes. Perhaps because there wasn’t any coconut milk, the curry didn’t make us too sick and overwhelmed. Rather, we were pretty addicted to dipping the crispy baguette into the curry sauce. We liked the thoroughly curry-soaked vegetables, but a pity they were not in abundance. The chicken in the curry came in the form of a large chicken thigh. The portion was really huge, definitely sufficient for at least 3 people. However, the addition of the hotdogs did not go quite well with us, though this is known to be a Portuguese style tradition.

There were a few hits and misses, but on the whole, we were rather impressed with the home-cooked family style dishes at Woody Family Pub Cafe. The Peranakan style dishes were appealing and palate captivating, a better alternative to the much hyped Peranakan Blue Ginger restaurant.

For directions to Woody:

Woody Family Pub Cafe
12F Andrews Avenue


Written by foodphd

October 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm

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