A short flight of steps beside the Play Nation branch at Prinsep Street will lead you to its new F&B sister, Hungry Chimps. A café in a rooftop setting, Hungry Chimps is lit with mostly sunlight shining through the panels in the roof and the windows by the side, creating an atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re in your own home’s attic.
Attracting mostly youths, Hungry Chimps provides free WiFi and even power points to be utilised by those who need a quiet working space. Not in the mood for work? Feel free to help yourself to the magazines and books provided while enjoying a cuppa with soft relaxing music playing in background.
But of course, there’s more to Hungry Chimps than just that, this café that is barely 2 months old serves up mainly Western and Asian-Fusion cuisines that are relatively wallet friendly as well. The recipes are purely authentic too. Wong Kai Jun, 28, founder and managing director of Hungry Chimps, shared, “Whatever you eat here is all conceptualised from scratch and we actually have a team of chefs working here, bringing you new dishes all the time. We’ll remove all those things [customers] don’t like and add in more things that we think they will like.”
Come mid-May, Hungry Chimps joins the likes of Strictly Pancakes and Wild Honey with the launch of an all-day breakfast menu. The breakfast selections definitely can’t compare to those of Wild Honey, but the ever changing menus of Hungry Chimps might just mean that we will be able to look forward to a wider variety of breakfast options.
With 8 options to choose from for the starters, such as the Hungry Chimps Truffle Fries and the Chilli Beef Cheese Fries, there will definitely be something to your liking to start your meal off. Perhaps you can have yourself the Chimps Specialty Calamari Rings ($13) that will surprise you. These lightly battered crispy squid rings come with a hint of rosemary. Dip them in the tangy tartar sauce served on the side, and you’re ready to let the flavours whet your appetite.
What’s so special is that the fresh squid tubes are sliced, battered and fried only upon ordering. And because they weren’t overcooked, they stayed tender instead of becoming tough and chewy.
Hungry Chimps offers 8 mains ranging from the Specialty Beef Stew to the Bacon & Sweet Corn Spaghetti, all priced at an affordable $9.90.
The Oriental Chicken Chop is succulent, juicy, and flavourful, and not surprisingly, it’s their bestseller. “Basically they blend 11 different kinds of ingredients,” Kai Jun revealed “They marinate [the chicken] with a lot of different spices… you’ll find pepper, Worcestershire sauce and also hei jiang you (dark soy sauce) and other oriental herbs.” What might not work for you, though, are the soggy and tasteless fries on the side, as compared to Food for Thought’s fries, which are crispy and well seasoned with salt and rosemary. Nevertheless, the East meets West marinade of the chicken chop made up for that.
What better way to end your meal than with a treat for your sweet tooth? The Volcanic Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream ($10) was a pleasant surprise for I was half-expecting an overly sweet one akin to the one from Max Brenner Chocolate Bar. Hungry Chimp’s lava cake is smooth and melts effortlessly in your mouth. The flavour of dark chocolate is rich, without being overpowering. That’s not all, you’ll get a scoop of fig ice cream instead of the usual vanilla flavoured ice cream. The richness of the cake is balanced by the honeyed taste and slight saltiness of the fig. The regret though is that the lava cake didn’t live up to its name. Volcanic ooze was less liquid than expected, but the fusion of flavours definitely didn’t disappoint.
No space for cake? How about some milkshake? The Fresh Strawberry Milkshake with Marshmallows ($9) is usually made with fresh strawberries and strawberry gelato, but since they ran out of strawberry gelato on the day of my visit, they made it with chocolate gelato instead. So don’t worry if something you want is sold out, as they’d be able to improvise something specially for you. Surprisingly, the flavour of strawberries came through well enough and both flavours made a great combination. The milkshake was smooth and thick and was also not too sweet, unlike the milkshakes from Wendy’s.
Hungry Chimps offers a wide selection of beers as well, besides the usual Carlsberg and Heineken. From Green Goblin ($16) to La Trappe ($16), it is no wonder Hungry Chimps draws in a soccer crowd too. Over here, live soccer matches are broadcasted, like the recent Man City vs. QPR match being one of them. Hungry Chimps is opened till late on the nights of these matches for the pleasure of avid soccer fans. A big screen will be set up in addition to a television set that is ever ready for a match screening. Not to worry if you’re not a fan of soccer though, the rowdy soccer fans will be kept to a section which will be blocked off by the big screen, while the other far end of the café will be kept available for other patrons like yourself.
Also, students including those from tertiary institutions, can get to buy any handcrafted coffee and specialty tea at only $5 (usual price: $6-$8) and enjoy a discount of 10% for all the other items by presenting your student pass.
New to the F&B scene, Hungry Chimps may not be that popular at the moment, but who knows, the food and the cosy atmosphere of the attic setting might just attract many as an ideal hideout for a chill out session.
(Photos courtesy of: Tan Siew Kiang)
Price rating (for main course): $
Address: 64A Prinsep Street, #02-01
- Sun – Thu: 11:30 am – 9:30 pm
- Fri – Sat: 11:30 am – 3 am