Serangoon

Serangoon

Featuring Joji’s Diner (Serangoon), Graffiti Cafe (NEX)
Yong Kang Sng
Yong Kang Sng

📍Joji’s Diner @ 534 Upper Serangoon Rd

Ambience: 9/10 ❤️❤️❤️❤️🤍
Flavor: 6/10 ❤️❤️❤️🤍🤍
Service: 10/10 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Overall: 25/30 ❤️❤️❤️❤️🤍

Visited Joji’s Diner at 534 Upper Serangoon Rd on a Thursday night, which is located 6 minutes walk away from Serangoon MRT Exit A. Alternatively, you can also take bus 153/147/853/107 from the bus stop outside Serangoon MRT Exit A (no. 62139), and alight after 1 stop.

I ordered (1) All Star Plate, (2) Banana Creampie, and (3) Loaded Fries.

Priced at S$12.90, the All Star Plate was packed with a very generous portion of classic American breakfast ingredients - Scrambled Eggs, Baked Potato Chunks, Fresh Cherry Tomatoes, Wild Mushrooms, Bacon, Sausage, Baked Beans, and a choice of either a Garlic Toast or a French Toast.

Amongst the aforementioned ingredients, the ones that really caught my eye were no doubt the nearly melt-in-your-mouth fluffy Scrambled Eggs, as well as the Bacon that was so crispy that you could literally hear the crunch with every single bite. As for the rest of the ingredients, they were conventionally prepared - not in a bad approach, but in a fashion that did not stand out to me.

Priced at S$8.90, the Banana Creampie is a very well-executed huge, thick and creamy banana milkshake topped with a very generous amount of whipped cream, chocolate syrup drizzle, wafer fan, and a cherry on top. I would recommend sharing this with a friend because if your appetite isn’t too big, the All Star Plate paired with just a couple mouthfuls of the Banana Creampie would instantly fill your stomach. Alternatively, you can also go for their Tea options that are more refreshing, less heavy, and definitely less sinful - such as the S$5.50 8 Secrets Green Tea that comes in a teapot, sufficient to fill 3 full tea cups.

Last but not least, priced at S$8.90, the Loaded Fries is an intentionally-soggy crinkle cut fries that is topped with beef chilli, homemade aioli, and cheese. This is definitely not for diners who do not enjoy soggy fries because as a soggy fries hater myself, this dish did not convert me into a soggy fries lover. However, because of the inherent bias against soggy fries, I will not take into account Loaded Fries into my rating for Joji’s Diner.

For that, I give Joji’s Diner a 6/10 for Flavour.

As for the ambience, I was so impressed by how closely Joji’s Diner replicated the retro vibe of the diners in the 50s. From the choice of the red chairs, black and white checkered floors, as well as the decorations on the wall, Joji’s Diner really aced the replication of a retro diner vibe. It really looked like a scene straight out of Pop’s Chock’lit from Riverdale. The only other retro-diner that gives me such a similar vibe in Singapore is perhaps Mel’s Drive In located in Universal Studios Singapore. On a side note, what really sold this place for me was their choice of music, when I heard them playing my all-time favourite song - The Ballad of Mona Lisa by Panic! At The Disco. Boy was their taste in music immaculate.

For that, I give Joji’s Diner a 9/10 for Ambience.

The staff were also generally very friendly. When my friends and I came at a time where the Diner was completely full, the staff who welcomed us at the door immediately walked around the floor to gauge how long we had to wait and proceeded to give us a time estimate together with a digital queue number that will inform us when a seat is available for us. An SMS was also sent to my mobile phone when the seat was ready. Although the downside was that because Joji’s Diner was located at a rather boring street of Upper Serangoon Rd with the nearest NEX Shopping Mall located 7 minutes walk away, there wasn’t anything we could do while waiting for an available seat.

Nevertheless, I give Joji’s Diner a 10/10 for Service.

Overall, Joji’s Diner at 534 Upper Serangoon Rd scored a 25/30 after combining the scores for Ambience, Flavour, and Service. To quickly conclude, the real highlight of Joji’s Diner is their retro-vibe ambience and personally, the music that they play in the diner. As for their food, they are traditionally executed, but do not expect flavours that are too mindblowing.

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📍Graffiti Cafe @ NEX

Ambience: 5/10 ❤️❤️🤍🤍🤍
Flavor: 7/10 ❤️❤️❤️🤍🤍
Service: 6/10 ❤️❤️🤍🤍🤍
Overall: 18/30 ❤️❤️❤️🤍🤍

On a late Monday afternoon, I visited Graffiti Cafe at NEX, which is located right beside Serangoon MRT station Exit E.

I ordered (1) Set B (Wanton Noodles, Water Chestnut Drink, and a Soup), and (2) Ah Balling (Longan Soup).

Graffiti Cafe offered a very good bowl of wanton noodle that is flavourful, filling, and affordable. The fried wontons are very crispy, the noodles are Q, and with each bite, the noodle that is infused with the tomato sauce makes me want to go back for more. The Ah Balling also impressed me as well - chewy and comforting. My only complaint is that the Water Chestnut is way too diluted. It felt like I was drinking a Water Chestnut drink with ice that had been left under the sun to melt for 20 minutes.

For that, I give Graffiti Cafe a 7/10 for Flavour.

As for the ambience, Graffiti Cafe is a decent spot for a very quick meal alone, especially when you are running short of time. The area is quite cramped and if you do visit during peak hour, it can feel like you are squeezing with the rest of the diners.

For that, I give Graffiti Cafe a 5/10 for Ambience.

The food collection area is not well-planned out as it is situated in the middle of a very cramped store right in front of a sitting area. Given that it is such a cramped area, it does not give the diners and people who are taking-away much area to walk. The queue display system is also placed such that you can only view it when you are standing near it. As a result, people who are taking-away their food are forced to cramp around the collection point in the middle of the store, causing a lot of congestion and blockage for other diners who want to walk pass the area - such as to collect their utensil (which is again, poorly designed as it is placed near the cramped collection point which induces a lot of blockage). The staff on the other hand are actually relatively pleasant and friendly!

For that, I give Graffiti Cafe a 6/10 for Service.

Overall, Graffiti Cafe at NEX scored an 18/30 after combining the scores for Ambience, Flavour, and Service. To conclude, Graffiti Cafe is a comforting place for a quick meal if you are craving for an affordable yet delicious bowl of Wanton Noodle and Ah Balling.

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