212 Hougang Street 21
Singapore 530212

(open in Google Maps)

05:30pm - 11:00pm

05:30pm - 11:00pm

05:30pm - 11:00pm

05:30pm - 11:00pm

05:30pm - 11:00pm

10:00am - 05:00pm


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From the Burpple community

Came across a post that was mentioning about the new #3 that had recently opened its doors at the hipster neighbourhood in Kovan located around Blk 212 Hougang Street 21 — this is also the address where one would be able to find other establishments that is not typically found in other neighbourhood centres; think establishments such as Udders Ice Cream, Tachinomiyq, Claypot Valley, Nakhon Kitchen and Two Cranes, just to name a few. #3 is located just right beside the outlet of Nakhon Kitchen there; itself taking over the former premises of a 212 Social — some might be more familiar to the space that #3 occupies being an establishment named Knuckles Bistro. It seems that #3 has not made too many changes to the interior space ever since 212 Social had moved into the premises; the interior space is being decked in a somewhat industrial-esquire theme with a big use of grey and black elements for its walls, floors and fittings. That being said, there is a slight contrast where furnishings with a wooden accent are used for its dining furniture — there are also some usage of plants that help to remove some of the “coldness” of the space as well. Given how the space is being decked out like how a gastro-bar would probably be like, it is actually little wonder that #3 operates somewhat like a cafe in the day, whilst they are more of a gastro-bar come night time. Visiting #3 on a weekend evening, it is noted that dinner service starts at 6pm; the dinner menu comprises of items split into Mains, Salad and Bites — there is also the Chef’s Special menu which comprises of special dishes available for the day that is written with chalk on one of the cabinets as well. For beverages, there is quite a good variety of alcoholic beverages ranging from martinis, cocktails, wines, bubbles, spirits and beer to choose from; for those who prefer something non-alcoholic, there are also juices, mocktails, coffee, tea and canned drinks — there is something for everyone here.

Having seen that #3 is serving up even prior to the trip that we had made to the establishment, the Potato Gnocchi was a dish that we had set our eyes on when skimming through the menu back then. The Potato Gnocchi at #3 is described to have included elements such as that of chili crab sauce, crisply and an Egg Espuma. An attempt by the folks of #3 to incorporate a local element into gnocchi, the Potato Gnocchi can be said as a good attempt to do so. Coming with chili crab sauce which the gnocchi and the other elements are being plated in, the gnocchi itself does seem to be handmade at least — we did observe that the gnocchi came in non-uniformed shapes and patterns; some with more distinct grooves than others while there was a mix of long and short gnocchi pieces here. The gnocchi comes with a soft bite — a pretty light texture, whilst the grooves on the pasta also meant that it was able to catch some of the chili crab sauce that gave the gnocchi ample flavour. The chili crab sauce itself bore the bright and tangy flavours that is signature to the local favourite; all that with a slight hint of spiciness that helps to tickle the tastebuds — quite manageable for those whom are tolerable only to lighter levels of spiciness. Since the chili crab sauce does not come with bits of egg white being curdled within the sauce, much of the flavours of the egg white came from the Egg Espuma — would have worked well if one mixes the sauces and the Egg Espuma before digging in, though it still works if one gets a spoonful of everything (just like how we did). There are ample chunks of crab hidden beneath the Egg Espuma that carried a good bite and a note typical of crustaceans, though it seems that Ikura was also added for popping umami burst of flavours as well. The Crisply, as it seems, was dehydrated pieces of bread — these were probably included to replicate that of the fried mantou typically found in the classic chili crab dish; we did like how these still remained somewhat crisp (a bit Keropok-like) even despite being soaked in the chili crab sauce for a while.

Apart from trying the Potato Gnocchi, we also went with one of the Chef’s Specials which was being served up on the day of our visit — the Shanghai Pork Dumpling with Sichuan Vinegar was a dish that we were also quite impressed by as well. These are essentially their rendition of the Red Oil Chili Dumplings that one would be able to find at most Chinese eateries, including that of restaurants and coffeeshop stalls alike. The Shanghai Pork Dumpling came with a chock full of ingredients; from meat, to even chestnuts and carrots that helped provided a good bite and crunch — all that being served with the spicy chili oil that is all vinegary with just a light hint of spiciness puddling at the bottom. We also gave their cocktails and mocktails a try — the Homemade Chrysanthemum listed on their “Martini” section of the menu was something that we also found that is worth a mention. Coming with elements such as that of Vodka, Chrysanthemum, and Sweet and Sour, the Homemade Chrysanthemum was a good balance of herbal and alcoholic that is an alternative take to the otherwise familiar chrysanthemum tea that is child-friendly; not a first, but definitely well-executed here. Prices of the mains listed in its dinner menu is in the range of $18 to $26 — most dishes being priced at $20 or $22. Meanwhile, the cocktails are priced between $16 to $18. We are of the view that the prices of the food at #3 is a little bit on the high side considering they are an establishment in the neighbourhood; that being said, it is priced as such for good reason — the folks behind the kitchen seems to place a lot of effort in the research and development of the dishes on the menu. The fusion elements played out well, and the dishes are well-executed; no sloppy vibes at all. The same can also be said about the cocktails as well too. #3 is a spot that reeks way white and beyond the usual neighbourhood gastrobar; one where the food and drinks aren’t generic, and most certainly worth making a trip down for!