LaiFa Bar is a new modern fusion restaurant inspired and named after the mandarin auspicious phase “来發” which meant “welcoming Prosperity”. Located within the Scarlet Hotel, the restaurant occupies the first storey and a rooftop bar on the fourth floor, which offers a panoramic view of Chinatown. Serving the breakfast menu from 8am to 11am daily, diners get to enjoy English classics from the assorted baked goods, pancakes, traditional big breakfast to the healthier options of acai bowls and granola for a morning boost. Come afternoon, a more extensive selection of mains are available on their lunch and dinner menu, with familiar and rich flavours of the western cuisine.
Singapore Dream 4/5. Lemongrass Detox 3.5/5
We started off the meal with some sparkling refreshers recommended by the server, the Singapore Dream ($7), and Lemongrass Detox ($7.80). While we loved the tangy-sweet fruity taste of the former, we found the latter to be a tad too bland, with just a very subtle hint of lemongrass.
Crackling Pork Buns 3/5
The Crackling Pork Buns ($8) came in a pair, served with sriracha mayo, pickled carrots and coriander, sandwiched in between soft fluffy mantou. The crackling pork belly fell short of expectations, as the skin lacked the crispy crunchiness, and was more chewy than crispy, while the accompanying elements did little to amp up the taste.
Wagyu Burger 4/5
A signature dish from the menu, the Wagyu Burger ($24) features a tender 200g beef patty, together with bacon, cheddar, caramelized onions, truffle mayo, pickled relish, and mustard in between charcoal buns. The harmonious blend of flavours complements each other well. Round off with some crispy fries and mesclun.
Roasted Pork Ribs 4.2/5
One of our favourite dishes is the Roasted Pork Ribs ($24) which comes glazed with hoisin sauce and served with mash, corn cob, and slaw. The pork ribs were cooked till fork tender, and we loved its rich sweet-salty flavours. The side of mash and slaw helps to cut through the richness.
Seafood Marinara 4/5
The Seafood Marinara ($22) comes filled with generous amounts of prawns, squid and clams. A classic seafood pasta dish, it was decently executed with the al dente linguine cooked in a tomato base Marinara sauce which was light and well-rounded.
Shrimp Mentaiko Pizza 4.2/5
Not to be missed is the Shrimp Mentaiko Pizza ($22) which was strongly recommended by the head chef. Laden with an umami mentaiko paste, it was surprisingly not too overpowering and worked as a great combination with the generous amounts of shrimps and bonito flakes atop. We liked how the thin pizza crust was extremely crispy as well.
There may be some hits and misses. However, we still enjoyed the overall dining experience at LaiFa Bar, especially with such a comprehensive menu of fusion delicacies on the menu. We are definitely looking forward to be back to try more of the dishes.
Photos and words by Crystal. A girl who likes to eat, photograph, and write about food, and dreams about travelling around the world one day. Note: This is an invited tasting.
The Scarlet Hotel
33 Erskine Road
Tel: +65 92728571
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer (DT Line), Tanjong Pagar (EW Line), Chinatown (DT Line, NE Line)
Mon-Tues: 8am - 10pm
Wed: 8am - 1030pm
Thur-Sat: 8am - 11pm
Sun: 8am - 2pm
1) Alight at Telok Ayer MRT station. Take Exit A. Turn left and walk down Cross Street. Turn left onto Amoy Street. Continue to the end of Amoy Street. Climb the stairs beside Siang Cho Keong Temple, up Ann Siang Hill. Walk to destination. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]
2) Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Take Exit G. Walk down Maxwell Road towards Kadayanallur Street (beside URA building). Turn right onto Kadayanallur Street. Walk to destination. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]
3) Alight at Chinatown MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk down Pagoda Street to South Bridge Road. Cross the road and turn right. Walk down South Bridge Road. Turn left onto Ann Siang Hill. Walk to destination. Journey time about 10 minutes. [Map]