I spent several days in Tabaco City in Albay for coverage of Tabak Festival 2019, and during this time, I was able to visit several restaurants in the area. A notable one is Singapo Lah Cafe, which offers Singaporean dishes. It is in fact the first Singaporean cafe in Albay.
Singapo Lah Cafe
Singapo Lah Cafe is owned by a couple who previously worked in Singapore. They decided to bring Singaporean dishes in Tabaco City.
Location and ambiance
Singapo Lah Cafe is a small casual restaurant, though it’s far from ordinary. It has striking murals of Singaporean Art and Instagrammable corners. It’s a great hangout place for people who are craving for rice meals or noodles or who just want to hang out with an icy milo drink in the afternoons.
So, this is the exciting part. As background, I haven’t eaten a lot of Singaporean food but I stayed for a year in Malaysia and they do have similar dishes (they also have an on-going war between which has better food) so I’m familiar with the menu in Singapo Lah Cafe.
First, we had nasi lemak (regular – P119). Singapo Lah’s nasi lemak has blue ternatea-infused rice which gives it a pleasing blue color. It also has anchovies, peanuts, cucumbers along with a sunny side up egg and fried chicken. Of course there’s a dollop of sambal on the side. This is a delicious, filling meal and I love that the chicken is juicy and flavorful.
If you aren’t into rice, they also have nasi burger (regular – P119). The idea is that the rice is replaced with buns and chicken patty is used. Anchovies and peanuts are a side dish. Like the nasi lemak, it is also served with sambal (spicy sauce).
For the pasta, we had salted-egg carbonara (regular – P139). I like this one because you can really taste the salted egg flavor. They also have bak chor mee (small – P89, large – P149), which is minced meat noodles. You can have the bak chor mee dry or with soup. It’s my first time to try bak chor mee and it’s not really up my alley. I don’t get the combination of earthy-flavored broth and sweet red sauce. But again, it’s my first time having this dish so I probably need to give it another go.
They also have salted-egg fries (P149) and sambal fries (P149). These are both good choices. I’m addicted to salted-egg so the salted-egg fries is a thumbs up for me. Funnily enough, I’m not into sambal and had never really gotten why Malaysians and Singaporeans like it in every meal, but I dig this sambal fries. It’s spicier than what most Filipinos prefer, but I’m looking at that as a sign of its authenticity.
We also had kaya toast. In Singapore and Malaysia, this is normally served with coffee, as a breakfast item. Singapo Lah offers ala carte kaya toast (P49) or kaya toast with coffee (kopi-o toast set – P125, kopi-c toast set – P135). When I took a bite of the kaya toast, I actually teared up a little. (Hey, don’t laugh at me.) It just reminded me of late mornings in a restaurant in front of my condo in Kuala Lumpur, where I would always order kaya, cham-c and tomato soup noodles. I could never finish everything but it’s a ritual I practiced delightfully. So yes, if you’re after a light snack or breakfast item, order kaya toast with coffee.
For the drinks, they have various types of kopi (the national drink of Singapore). They also have teh tarik (P95), a heavy milk tea drink which is always a guilty pleasure for me.
For dessert, we had milo iced kacang (P125). It’s similar to a bingsu, topped with milo, chocolate-flavored cereal and ice cream. It’s very delicious. They also have a similar drink called milo godzilla (P115). If you’re not watching your weight, try out any of these two especially on hot days — you won’t regret it.
Overall, Singapo Lah Cafe is a great restaurant to visit in Tabaco City. The interior is clean and artistic, the food is delicious and set at reasonable prices. It’s actually refreshing to visit an Asian restaurant where you don’t have to pay exorbitant prices for authentic meals, such as the case in most restaurants in Manila.
Singapo Lah Cafe may be a casual restaurant, but the quality here is top-notch. Personally, Singapo Lah is one of my top 3 restaurants in Tabaco City.
[ READ: Where to eat in Tabaco City, Albay ]
Practical Info: Singapo Lah Cafe
Address: Tomas Cabiles St.Zone 2, Panal, Tabaco City, Albay
It’s beside Polytechnic Institute of Tabaco. If you’re coming from Tabaco town center, you can ride a tricycle to get here.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday – 7AM to 8PM
Contact: Singapo Lah – Facebook
Disclaimer: Thanks to Tabaco Tourism Office for organizing this visit and Singapo Lah Cafe for feeding us! As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you been to Singapo Lah Cafe? What other Singaporean restaurants would you recommend?