In this entry we visit a place that, John, an old friend of mine has wanted to try for some time. He warned me that they don’t specialise in meat but I thought it might add some ‘colour’ to my meat-seeking list of establishments.
Appearance-wise, Lepark is one of the more impressionable places I’ve been to in my hunt for the best steaks in Singapore. Located on the rooftop of People’s Park Complex, this cosy bar utilises “vintage” materials to create a contemporary social honeypot for youths (at least that’s my interpretation).
They have zinc panels on the bar’s front counter, old-fashioned folding tables and chairs for the seating and rustic wooden designs for various sections of the place. It’s all very nice and cool but nothing about it promises tasty, wholesome food. When I browsed the menu, the dishes were definitely innovative and intrigued my curiosity yet I still didn’t sense any comfort-creating bites within. While a sense of trepidation did creep in, I decided on keeping an open mind.
I immediately went for dishes that contained more substantial servings of meat and ended up trying their wings, chicken skin and cheeseburger.
The ‘main attraction’ of our dinner was the Beef Cheese Burger with Garlic Aioli and Salsa ($19). As mentioned in earlier posts (Jinjja!! Chicken and District 10) I am quite an enthusiast of the beef burger. And seeing a beef cheeseburger on this menu made me happy. When the burger arrived, it made for a pleasant and inviting sight so after taking a few pictures, I went in for the kill.
Upon biting into it, one could immediately tell that this place made sure to utilise only good and fresh ingredients. The burger bun had a slightly crisp exterior and fluffy centre, the beef patty was thick, juicy and succulent, the garlic aioli wasn’t too greasy, the cheese was decently melted and the salsa was definitely fresh. Strangely though, the flavours just didn’t add up. Despite having great ingredients for each component, the taste was at most, forgettable. I’m thinking that it was probably due to lack of seasoning, especially for the beef. I’ll give them points for using fresh ingredients but flavours definitely didn’t reach the mark. And price-wise, it’s far from what I’d call value. (6/10).
What I wanna talk about next is their 5 Spiced Deep-fried Chicken Skin ($8). The words in that dish’s name have been put together to excite. When a fried chicken-lover sees deep-fried, chicken skin and multiple spices in one sentence, it’s like receiving a gift from the heavens. And yet, this “gift” was not to be.
Regarding texture and presentation, the chicken skin was divine. They were fried to a lovely, crispy state and the serving size was just right. Yet like the abovementioned cheeseburger, the flavours appeared to have been misplaced! I could taste the freshly fried skin but there was no impact from the seasoning – all five of them. I think I tasted some salt and pepper, but even that is a guess on my part. Again, I give them points for cooking technique and presentation but the flavours just threw us off. 5.7/10.
And then there were the Fiery Spicy Mid Wings ($10) that we had for our second appetiser. Once more, the staff delivered on presentation and preparation. Nicely battered, the wings were cooked to a beautiful golden-brown and sprinkled with curry leaves and some sliced chili. There was a nice crunch with every bite and the wings weren’t too oily.
When I bit into them, I found that they were indeed evenly coated, cooked through and succulent to say the least. Unfortunately, they too lacked the much needed flavours to create a wow factor. It’s not very often that I come across dishes that bring me up at the beginning, then leave me in a limbo when it comes to taste and flavours. They did taste better than the previous dishes we tried, but I would say that’s barely getting by. Kudos for culinary skills but taste just wasn’t there. 6.3/10.
The non-meat dish we tried was the Salted Egg Yolk Homemade Crab Cake Mantou Slider ($14). While not my first time, I’m always open to trying these tapas-sized sliders because the idea of having ‘bite-sized’ burgers is always intriguing. Looks-wise, the sliders were very inviting. Golden, syrupy salted egg yolk sauce was generously drizzled over each slider, and a nice portion of crab cake was packed within each slider. Didn’t appreciate the sprinkle of coriander though.
The mantou was soft enough, the crab cake had a lovely crisp exterior and was filled with, what I think was a blend of crab and seafood meat. The sauce didn’t manage to tie the components in though. It lacked the familiar punch of salted egg yolk and was pretty much underwhelming. So another promising dish that lost its opportunity to wow. 6.7/10.
As I shared in the beginning, the ambience and decor were very inviting. Service was mainly with a smile and I appreciate that they use fresh ingredients for their food. Prices were alright, when you think about the place’s novelty and that it’s a bar.
Should You Try It?
If you’re looking for a place to chill with your friends, while enjoying a cold drink or two then sure. If it’s a good meal – or even snack – you’re looking for, then I suggest trying the next bar.
1 Park Road, Level 6
People’s Park Complex
Tue – Thu: 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Fri: 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Sat: 12:00 pm to 12:00 am
Sun: 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm
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