In its former incarnation, this shophouse next door to 7-Eleven housed a peculiar golf-themed bistro that served no apparent purpose except to arouse (very fleeting) curiosity. Now that Lili Tan’s taken over with her part-alfresco Western comfort-food emporium, we’re really back in business. In a far cosier environment than the nearby Blue Mist in Tanjong Pagar Plaza, which serves similar fare at inflated prices, the tuna sandwich in ciabatta with a generous portion of fries is a steal at ($10), while regular no-nonsense mains include spaghetti alla carbonara and drunken fish and chips.
On any given day, the daily-rotating specials menu can include staples like a highly serviceable steak and fries, and for those seeking a morning pick-me-up the coffee (by Caffè Cagliari) is one of the best in an area overflowing with java joints. Quite unbeknownst to casual passersby, after working hours the second floor sees local office suits thronging upstairs to the spacious pool bar (open till midnight) with a view over the street to the Berjaya Hotel, where a mug of draught Tiger goes for just $6 (a jug is $22), and imported beers include Asahi, Guinness and Corona.
In this brightly painted, unpretentious space, perhaps the biggest draw is the welcome from the impeccably charming Lili and her team, who make you feel instantly at home – and in an area like Duxton, crammed with expensive, high-concept Euro bistros, down-to-earth pleasures like those at Burrps feel strangely refreshing. We like. Jonathan Evans