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Bar and restaurant Route 65 dishes local favourites with a twist. It’s not groundbreaking fare but perfect for those looking for good food at fair prices

SINGAPORE (March 13): There are a lot of food options available at the sprawling megamall that is Suntec City, so competition is tough. Still, new eatery Route 65 has one thing working for them: It offers tasty food at fair prices. The restaurant — named for Singapore’s international dialling code — serves familiar local dishes, bringing flavours that always show the route home to Singapore, so to speak.

We had the chance to sample its most popular dishes — the first being the Hot Sauce Drummers ($8), a classic bar food that pairs off perfectly with ice cold beer. The chicken drumlets are glazed with a sweet and spicy (and it’s got a kick, for all you spice-lovers out there) sauce and were a good way to pique the appetite. Next up was the Grilled Half-Spring Chicken Panggang ($16) which was a tad dry (even though it was cooked sous-vide, which is the French method of cooking meat in a vacuum-sealed bag in a water bath of very precise temperatures). However, it was flavourful and went well with a side of potato cubes tossed in belacan sauce.

There was also the Superstar Beef Rendang ($25), a very generous portion of short-rib beef came with all the right spices and flavours, and braised for 24 hours for a beautifully tender bite. It comes with belacan fried rice, making it a hearty meal on its own for those with big appetites. My personal favourite was definitely the St Louis Grilled Pork Ribs (half at $18, whole for $34), which were falloff-the-bone prime cut pork ribs with a sticky and sweet glaze that was perfect. Marinated for 12 hours then flamegrilled, this dish packed a lot of flavour.

We were also intrigued by their take on the humble carrot cake, a Singaporean favourite. Route 65’s Cheesy Lobster Carrot Cake ($20) may be unrecognisable but it sure was tasty. In fact, I mentioned to a colleague that the dish was much like a ‘fancy Asian pizza’: The cheese, eggs, lobster and pork floss added made for an odd but delicious combination. It is indulgent, however, so do not attempt to eat the entire serving yourself — unless you’re very hungry.

For dessert, we had the Creme Brulee with Gula Melaka and Coconut Ice Cream ($10), which really hit the sweet spot and was just a classic dessert with no frills. After all, you cannot go wrong with any two combinations (or even all three) of what I like to call the ‘terrific trio’ of pandan, gula melaka and coconut.

Best of all, Route 65 also tailors their boba desserts for adults. Here, they add a dash (or two) of alcohol to their mix, serving up five different boba cocktails ($15 each). Mostly gin-based, these cocktails are truly fun, fruity, refreshing — with quite a punch. There is The Casanova, with Hendricks gin, rose, and lychee boba (little gelatinous spheres of lychee juice which explodes in your mouth). They taste better than they sound, believe me. The same lychee boba is found in the It’s Complicated, which has gin, lime and peach in it. The Girl Next Door — a refreshing, sweet and tart mix of gin, passion fruit juice and boba — was another favourite.

And, if you’re nipping to Route 65 for lunch, their set promotions are priced between $10–$12 for a main course and drink, with the option to add-on a starter for $3 or free-flow drinks for $3.90. For dinner, they’re offering one-for-one main courses between 5pm-7pm everyday.

Overall, Route 65 is a great place to grab a meal — especially if you want wallet friendly food that will have you coming back again.