Riders Café is a restaurant serving delicious contemporary comfort food in a casual and relaxing space that exudes a lovely old world charm. Hidden within the tranquil greenery of the Bukit Timah Saddle Club, Riders Café is indeed a hidden gem in the bustling city of Singapore. Since its opening in July 2007, it has quickly popularity as one of Singapore's best brunch spot.
The last time I went there, I had lunch with my friends and I had Bacon-wrapped pork with spiced apple chutney and herbed potatoes. My friends had the Saffron Risotto & Seared Hokkaido Scallops with Saffron & Baby Broccoli and Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Crabmeat, Spinach, Chili Oil, Garlic and Parsley. If you think that the names of the dishes sound good enough, you will be in for a bigger treat when you taste the dishes at Riders Cafe itself. Truffle fries and Calamari were what we ordered for side dishes and we loved them too! And for dessert lovers, death by chocolate cake is a must try. My friends and I were glad that we shared it though, it was too huge to be consumed one on its own! The chocolate was rich and thick and when topped off with vanilla ice cream, it just tastes heavenly.
I say food at Riders Café is really value for money and worth a visit. Just a reminder- It is relatively quiet on weekdays, but it gets crowded on weekends so perhaps you might want to make a reservation before going!
Accessibility is a major downer for this cafe as it is tucked away in the deep of Bukit Timah, and without a transport, it is extremely difficult to get to the place. We rented a car to celebrate a friend's 21st birthday, and we immediately made this place a priority! I am so glad we did, because the place is exquisite. It is definitely like no other.
We were too late for brunch as the breakfast menu ended at 11am, so we only could try the lunch menu. I had Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, and I must say, it was the best Aglio Olio I have ever tasted. I have not been able to find any to top it. My friend had a Bacon-wrapped Pork which was heavenly as well. Every single bite would bring you bliss, no kidding!
As for the ambience, it is definitely unbeatable. Despite the fact that it was not air-conditioned, it has a rustic feel to it and you will not complain about the warmth with the beautiful scenery as you dine. With any luck, you might be able to see a horse or two galloping in the fields. It felt as though we were on a vacation away from home.
I've been dreaming of the day to go back and dine there again. It's that good, trust me!
Besides that, the food is pretty good too. Being a dessert-on-occasion person, I tried the Death by Chocolate, which I could barely finish. The portion size was huge, and it was not too sweet, which I liked. It's probably best for sharing, so bring a friend!
Anyway, if you're in the mood for a little getaway and don't mind travelling a little, do come here for the environment, if nothing else. The food is pricey, but not unreasonable, and I suppose you're not just paying for the nutrition you consume, but the atmosphere you soak up and enjoy. Coming here will leave you contented and happy.
The Death by Chocolate ($13) literally lived up to its name - this is a dish that should be shared, and I had a hard time finishing even 1/3 of it by myself! The Banana Bread Pudding ($13) was also generous in terms of size, but I really enjoyed the flavours. Something I think I could make myself, though!
Overall, a really good experience attributable to the attitude of the serving staff.
We reached there early on a Saturday morning for brunch as we did not want to wait so long for a table. I had a Blackstone eggs benedict that came with a strip of bacon. To my disappointment, my dish did not taste as impressive as it looked and it was only average. The sour dough bread was tough and dry. My friends mentioned the same disappointment for their dishes as well. The coffee was average but definitely not enough to warrant a second visit.
Their desserts however, was their saving grace. We ordered their signature chocolate cake to share and it was really good and just nice for 4 girls to share.
Apart from the nice, laid back setting of the cafe and their desserts, I would not return to Rider's cafe again. The food was expensive and unimpressive.
But the best thing about this place has to be the ambience. I think its awesome that its located near the stables and I always find myself going out to take selfies with the horses haha, don't pretend like you're not guilty of it too!
I'd say this is a nice place to come once in a while to maintain the novelty of it and also to save your wallets.
The aglio olio and roasted chicken were alright, I feel. It wasn't the best tasting aglio olio but it certainly wasn't the worst. At $24 for a pasta dish I would have expected more. The roasted chicken, at $27 was recommended to us by the waitress and we were kind of disappointed with the dry meat. Prices are really high here and I wouldn't consider going back there because of the low to mediocre food quality. Accessibility is also a problem as it is located deep inside the saddle club and no buses go straight to the cafe. You either take a cab and walk if you do not drive. Besides the ambience and the occasional horsey sighting, I didn't like the food and the prices. Won't see myself coming back here again.
The location has both good and bad points. Being situated so far away from civilization, it is certainly inconvenient, but at the same time, it exudes peace and tranquillity. And yes, you definitely need a car or a cab that drives all the way in, never attempt to walk! As you look further at the stables, you might get to see some horses! For families with kids, there’s also a mini playground nearby, certainly a little paradise for the kids.
As for the food, I ordered French toast with burnt banana and bacon from their brunch menu. Priced at about $14, I think that although it tasted average, the portion was really generous. They offer a wide variety of coffee, tea and beverages too, definitely worth a try.
I would go there again, maybe not so much for the food but definitely for the ambience.
The Café is open air, ventilated by fans. We were not able to see any horses because no one was bringing them out or riding them, so that was a little disappointing. Both my friend and I ordered salads. I chose the avocado salad because my friend wanted the chicken, and it turned out terrible. The whole salad was just stacked with tons of lettuce, and nothing much else. Waste of money. It was like paying $15 for a ball of lettuce. The chicken salad was much better, with apple and rocket salad leaves.
The place got livelier as the afternoon came along, so it might be difficult to get seats despite the quiet location. I suppose it’s more of a place for those living nearby to come down for a quaint afternoon.
I would say that most people go there for the 'out of the world' ambience rather then for the food, The food tastes average and is rather pricey in my opinion. Except for one dessert, the chocolate cake. The portion is meant for sharing, and it is extremely sinful, but this cake is one cake worth going back for.
I doubt I will be going back any time soon, unless I get a car in the near future.
Otherwise, their breakfast and brunch menu isn't all that expensive. Come for their tea too and you can savour their delicious scones warm with cream and jam, as you sit by with a book and watch the horses trotting along nearby. It does feel like you are on a vacation.