Thursday, 13 September 2012

Next Door Deli: Definition of hidden gem

You would have heard if not read in most reviews of food bloggers like me using certain terms at a higher frequency compared to other words or phrases. Too often perhaps, just to share how enjoyable the dining experience was at any particular place and arousing your inner most lust for food with tempting photos. So much was done so as to ignite that little spark for yours to check out the place at your own time own target. It is what food blogger like us do best; tempting you sensory gland in the quest for indulgence sake.

Every word has a special implication. It all depends on how you interpret and react to it. Some are just down right simple capturing the neuro aspect of your body with a capital G for good if not excellent. Then you have those complex cocktails that fill in the gaps where simpletons can't, making friends and readers clicking another tab or link thinking about your meaningful statements. 
Of all the common (and rare) jargon used, none is quite as attention seeking as the term, hidden gem. Usually a hint that a particular place is somewhat out of the place if not hard to find, known only to a few and possibly worth checking out because there's something worth those extra calories.   

Now about Next Door Deli...

I have to confess that Ang Mo Kio might just be the last place in Singapore where I expect to find a cafe sprung in the middle of high rise HDBs and famous hawker stalls. I'm pretty sure unless you work/live in that area or make an effort to explore the area, you will never know there's a deli just next door! 
Everything here reminds me of Ikea's bistro, with siding doors for the "grab your dessert" concept and settle your bills after you decided or your friends want. One might even suspect if they get most of their furniture from the mega store as well.  Look up by the way, everything they serve are either up the boards or on daily specials.
Over here, you don't just eat old school western food like your chicken chop or chicken steak and fish & chips but old school local dishes like curry chicken and whatever you find old school. It wasn't out of this world but plain and simple just that we wished there wasn't so much carbo on our plates.
I always thought mee siam is noodle in sweet and sour if not spicy gravy so when I saw Next Door Deli rendition of the Siamese noodle, I just wish I didn't ordered my fish & chips but sink my fork into this stir fried dish.
It's neither a tower or a monster. Just a simple burger though it looks kinda out of place with that thick slab of meat patty. I wonder if they made the patty like Jamie Oliver does in his show. Mixing and patting the meat into perfect round shape because it doesn't look like it's from the supermarket.

Overall, the lunch was good and there wasn't a lunch time crowd like the usual. I think we were lucky there was a drizzle out there, keeping them stuck to their office chair with takeaway rice box to spare.
Coincidentally, the folks at the deli were celebrating their first year with the public. There's no party hats or fancy balloons. Just discounts and to good to be true deals to share with you. That explains why 5 main courses with a few drinks to get by amounts to no more than $30.

A somewhat secluded cafe located in an unassuming avenue, with interiors that looks like an Ikea showroom and food made simple and affordable. It's places like Next Door Deli where you find food bloggers using the term hidden gem.

As for desserts, you can try their Margarita chiffon cake or Brownie that resembles a popsicle or better yet, grab a few alcoholic ones just next door. Literally next door but that's another post to share.

PS: A heartfelt thank you to my wonderful lecturer, Jocelyn for the lunch and the three other classmates friends for the wonderlust conversations. Hope there are more to come!

Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, Block 529 #01-2369
Tel: +65 6458 6180

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