Roadhouse is yet another dining concept by the Prive Group. Styled like an all-American diner, replete with old-school dial-up telephones and decked out entirely in wooden cafeteria-type benches, the barbecue grill spot is rustic and charming. Tucked in a little nook of Dempsey Hill, away from most of the other dining options at Dempsey, Roadhouse is surprisingly chilled and tranquil. There was hardly anyone when we popped by for brunch over the weekend.
It was disappointing then, that service was sluggish and lacking in initiative, even if the staff appeared with positive enough attitudes. We weren't served water until we expressly requested them, and they were never refilled.
For a burger-centric place, Roadhouse's brunch was pretty commendable. The Blue Swimmer Crab Omelette ($18) was fluffy and packed with shreds of succulent sweet crabmeat and lined with melty cheddar. This was served alongside a balsamic-dressed mesclun and a generic but perfectly nice hashbrown.
The Huevos Rancheros ($18), a sizzling griddle of cumin-accented and jalapeno-spiked stewed tomatoes and peppers, laden with caramelized parmesan and eggs, was delicious. The balsamic dressing drizzled over the green salad brightened up the already piquant tomato stew. A grilled pork sausage lent texture while a toasty white bread served to mop up every last remnant of the yummy stew.
The red-cheddar Mac 'N' Cheese ($5) topped with bacon bits wasn't exactly refined, but it was good in that comforting, familiar, diner-styled way.
It was a very pleasant surprise to discover that the Cafe Latte ($5) here wasn't half bad. In fact, it was pretty well-done, bold, robust and creamy.
13 Dempsey Road
Tel: 6476 2922
Open weekdays from 11.30am to 3pm for lunch; 6.30pm to 11pm for dinner;
weekends from 9am to 11pm; brunch served till 5pm