The Lokal - A complete Aussie-style cafe experience

The LoKal, located on Neil Road, is one cafe that I really looked forward to visiting as it has a few differentiating points from other local cafes. The place is opened by the same folks behind Sarnies (said to be another great joint) and the cooks hand-make quite a fair bit of the ingredients used in the cafe's dishes. The concept of the cafe specifically emulates a Melbourne cafe too.

In the interior, the rustic brown of the furnishings and its spaciousness gave the cafe a nice laidback vibe that is perfect for catchup. It was relatively uncrowded when we got there, but the place filled up after 11.30am. The menu has a good range of brunch items, all of which seemed appealing because it isn't the usual cafe fare one expects.
The Lokal Brunch Menu

The Lokal Drinks Menu

Apart from the dishes, the mocha was fantastic - good enough to be at the top of my list of best mochas, sharing the spot with La Ristretto. So was the latte ordered by my friend. They do mean coffees here.

Mocha and Latte

Roast Chicken Ciabatta
Roast Chicken Ciabatta ($18) with creamy avocado, aioli and bacon. 
Although it threw me off at first as it was served cold, the creaminess of the avocado with the flavour from the chicken and aioli came together very well. The bread was chewy inside, while there was an occasional crispness from the bacon. It may look simple, but every mouthful was delicious. Order it.

French Toast
French Toast with Sauteed Apples, bacon and maple cream ($15)
While the bread was a thick slice, the dish was only average at best. All of us agreed that the bacon had a funny taste to it (sign of rancidity) and only the maple cream saved it. There are much better french toasts for the same price point. Skip,

Toasted Banana Bread

Toasted banana bread with caramelised bananas and macadamias  ($12)
This was listed as highly recommended by a lot of reviews and no wonder why. It is a unique brunch item. The bread was a nice dense texture and moist inside. The light banana sweetness was made even better when combined with the yogurt, which was soaked up by the bread. Though the portion was just about a fist size, for one person, it is just right as too much could get cloying towards the end, especially so for people with less of a sweet tooth.

Grilled Sausage
Grilled Sausages with sauerkraut, fried egg, potatoes and added-on sundried tomatoes.

The sausages are homemade, but it was on the dry side though the taste was alright. One of my friends commented that they seemed to be less generous with the accompanying sides, compared to her previous visit. For the price, this wasn't worth it.

Smoked Mackerel and Salmon

Smoked Mackerel
We added on the sides of smoked mackerel and smoked salmon. These are smoked in-house by the chefs. The smoked mackerel was a tad salty on its own, but would go well with a piece of plain toast. As for the smoked salmon, it wasn't too salty and had a nice flaky texture. The subdued smoky flavour was nice and we preferred it to the mackerel.

The Lokal is one cafe that can potentially offer the wholesome authentic cafe experience, from its perfect-for-a-laidback-afternoon setting to a distinctive menu and great coffee. Standards may not be as it has been when it first opened, but it is still worth a visit for some dishes. This is one place I will return to and let's hope it can pick itself up back to when it first started, if not do even better.

Order: Roasted Chicken Ciabatta, Toasted Banana Bread with Yogurt, Mocha.

The Lokal (nearest MRT: Outram Park, Exit H and walk along Teo Hong Road to the end till you see Goethe Institute)
136 Neil Road, S088865
Tel: 6423-9918
Opens daily. Mon 8am-6.30pm; Tues-Fri  8am-10.30pm; Sat 9am-10.30pm; Sun 9am-4pm.