The New Harbour Cafe & Bar is an quaint English-styled restobar at the slowly-being-revived-once-again Duxton Hill area. Think dark wood paneling and dimly lit interiors. The cuisine here is basically bastardised western food with Hainanese leanings, reminiscent of the days of colonial yore when our local chefs had to cater to the western palate with just their homestyled recipes.
In addition to the 6 fixed choices for mains under the weekday set lunch scheme, there's also a rotating stable of daily set lunch offerings with 3 additional main course choices. My advice is to take up the set lunch for its value-for-money-ness. While the food isn't particularly refined or mind-blowingly good, portions are generous, and the food's got an unpretentious and homestyled quality to it.
A signature dish, the Hainanese Pork Chops ($16.80 as part of the Thursday special set lunch) comprises a bunch of juicy, albeit fatty, breadcrumbed-coated pork cutlet flash fried and drenched in a thin tomato-gravy, with a side of peas and onions, chips and a fiery chilli. This is one of the better renditions around. A mound of chicken-flavoured rice completes the main, but trust me, you'll be struggling to finish this.
The Grilled Salmon Fillet Florentine ($18.80), with 2 thick slabs of salmon, seared to retain its moistness is doused with a florentine sauce, and served with with mash, creamed spinach and buttered mixed vegetables. This could have done without the rich and a little cloying florentine sauce. The cream element of this was just a tad overkill with the creamed spinach.
I liked the Grilled Pork Chops ($18.80 as part of the weekday set lunch), flavoursome and moist, just the right attributes needed for a delicious hunk of meat. This was tasty on its own even without the brown sauce.
All of the set lunches are served with the daily soup and bread. Unfortunately, the soup was unmistakeably of the Campbell's canned variety, just thinned and smoothened out. At least the bread roll was soft and warm.
We also ordered a side dish to share, another signature, the Hainanese Roast Pork ($12.80). This was seriously good stuff. Meaty, and salty and juicy and with the perfect crunchy skin. Both the thick black kecap manis chilli mix and sambal were great accompaniments. One lent a sweet and spicy tinge to the belly pork while the other provided a piquant potency to the salty overtures of the pork.
The New Harbour Cafe & Bar
114 Tanjong Pagar Road
Tel: 6226 2657
Open Mondays to Fridays from 11am to 11pm;
Saturdays from 3pm to 11pm;
Closed on Sundays