Colbar is a hidden gem located at the western part of Singapore, along Whitchurch Road. It was opened by the Lim couple in 1953 at Jalan Hang Jebat as an eating house to serve the British military. In 2003, Colbar has to make way for the construction of a flyover linking Ayer Rajah Expressway and Queensway Road. A petition was submitted to the authorities to preserve Colbar and it was relocated to the current location at Whitchurch road. The old structure of Colbar was carefully shifted to the new location. Till today you could still feel the nostalgic charm of the eating house. You could read about the history and the moved of the eating house at their premise. Despite the inaccessible location, they draw large number of crowds to patronize them.
Entering the eating house, you are welcomed by an old school weighing machine, the type where you need to insert a coin to operate it. I’m not sure if it is still working, perhaps I will try it some day. Right behind the weighing machine is the ordering counter. On most times, you will see the Lim couple taking your order and collecting your payment in cash. You will be amazed by their mental arithmetic abilities! Dining at Colbar is a laid-back and casual experience. There is an indoor seating area and a sheltered outdoor seating area. It is pet friendly and we always sit at the outdoor area with our dog.
Both Western and Chinese cuisines are offered. You will find food such as oxtail soup, pork chop, fried rice, Hainanese pork chop and many more. There is a variety of beers and ciders in the fridge near the ordering counter. You may also order other beverages such as soda, milkshake, tea and coffee.
On a particular visit, my wife got fish and chips ($10) while I got myself a chicken cutlet ($11). The fish was lightly battered and evenly fried to a light golden brown colour. The minute you cut it you could hear the crispy sound. It was crispy on the outside, and moist and tender inside. You could taste the freshness of the fish. Lime was provided instead of the usual lemon. Tartas sauce was not provide but you could ask for it. Regardless of whether there is tartar sauce, the fish still tasted good. The chips were homemade potatoes wedges. The presentation was simple.
The chicken cutlet was served with potato wedges and baked beans. The chicken was tender, succulent and well marinated. Both the food portions were good size for a person.
On another visit, I got myself the hamburger steak egg chips and peas ($15) while my wife has the ham sandwich ($4). The hamburger steak meat patty was made up of minced beef pan-fried and drizzled over with a good amount of brown sauce. The meat patty was firm and succulent. The peas were soft and the chips were homemade potato wedges. The potato wedges paired very well with the brown sauce. The ham used for the sandwich was picnic ham and was sandwiched between two slices of white bread lightly spread with butter. The bread was fresh but the sandwich taste was average.
If you are looking for a feel of home-cooked food in a casual setting, this is a highly recommended place to visit. The only setback is that it is not very accessible via public transport. Do note that the last order is 830pm although you can stay till 10pm for drinks and to chit chat.
9A Whitchurch Road
Tue to Sun, 11am–10pm (closed on Mon)