You know how irritating it gets when you head out on a weekend, with all you want is just a nice quiet place to chill and eat, but you just get hordes and hordes of crowd swarming past you at Orchard Road? Irritating right? There’re no longer that many places in Singapore where you could get an uninterrupted, peaceful and tranquil meal on weekends now – and it’s going to get worse since we’re aiming for 6.9 million right? Pfft.
My colleagues previously went for lunch (one which unfortunately I couldn’t join) at Colbar, a cafe located off Portsdown Road. When I heard Portsdown, I went, “isn’t that sibei ulu and nothing there except Temasek Club??” Well, turns out there ARE REALLY a lot of food haunts there, such as Colbar.
So having missed out on that meal, I decided to bring Kai to explore the Portsdown/Wessex Estate area a while back, and since we were looking for that quiet and quaint place to have a meal, we decided to try the dishes at Colbar.
It being our first time to Wessex Estate, it took us quite a while to locate this eatery despite it being right next to the road -.- So if you’re driving there (or even taking the bus there), alight or park at the Wessex Estate main car park (near the bus stop), and Colbar’s just off the car park. You should be able to spot the unit number sign that reads 9A, and a small path leading to what you see in the picture above!
For those who are wondering, Colbar actually stands for Colonial Bar – something which we also found out on that day! It used to be a mess (or canteen for those who don’t speak military) for the British soldiers back in the 1950s, so I guess they retained the name till now.
You can choose to sit indoors (no air-con though) or outdoors as above, but we figured who the heck comes here to sit indoors surrounded by four walls -.- It was pretty packed, but we were lucky that someone was getting ready to leave and we could get a seat fast. I was actually quite impressed by the decor and set up of the place – it brings you a nostalgic sense and allows you to immerse yourself back into the olden days while catching up with your friends over food and drinks. Where else in Singapore can you actually find an antique weighing machine in the centre of the cafe entrance?
Kai Shi ordered their Sausage, Eggs, Bacon and Chips meal ($14.00), which was pretty well done, except that I felt it was a little on the pricey side. The bacon was done up deep fried and crispy, so don’t be disappointed if you’re expecting the succulent kind.
I decided to try the Pork Chop, Chips and Mushroom meal ($11.00), which proved quite disappointing though. The meat, though flavourful, was tougher than I expected. And oh, can I just say I really didn’t expect them to use canned mushrooms instead of portobellos or shiitake? Totally made my $11.00 not worth it at all.
For $5.50, this Vanilla Milk Shake was another order that I felt we could have done without. You’d probably taste more of milk than vanilla essence inside this, and despite milk shakes usually being served cold, this one came slightly short of room temperature. Makes you wonder if they have a huge ready-made jug full of the different milk shakes (they probably do).
I feel the best dish there was probably Kai’s Sausage, Eggs, Bacon and Chips meal, although duhhzz… it’s really quite impossible to go wrong preparing this right?
On the overall, I don’t think the quality of the food (if you’re not there for drinks) would warrant a second visit for us anytime soon. The environment and ambience of Colbar was rather impressive, but the food was perhaps a little bit of a let down given the prices that was pegged to the dishes. I’ll give it the following ratings out of the total score of 5:
But then again, this is named Colonial Bar. I understand that they have an impressive selection of beers and ciders, though I never got to see the menu (perhaps they only serve it in the evening). They say to each his own and everyone has their own individual preferences. So if you’re still keen on looking for that “quieter” place, do head down and try their meals out for yourself!
Colbar is located at 9A Whitchurch Road, Wessex Estate, just off Portsdown Road if you’re coming by AYE. They are open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 11.00 am to 8.30 pm.