Time-tested Singaporean Recipes And Friendship: Enjoy Eating House and Bar

No matter how many food trends come and go, at times, we still need some old school charm. Enjoy Eating House and Bar opened its doors in late 2018 and is proudly helmed by childhood friends, Joel and James, where Joel heads the kitchen. It is an eatery that’ll take you right back to the past, woven with familiar Singaporean flavours. 

What is Enjoy Eating House and Bar? 

“My Grandma was the best cook I knew. When she passed away, I didn’t want all her recipes to go to waste,” Joel shared. The thought of a future without these treasured recipes dawned upon him. Hence, opening Enjoy Eating House and Bar provided Joel with the opportunity to showcase his Grandma’s beloved dishes and it has indefinitely, withstood the test of time. 

The dining experience at Enjoy Eating House and Bar embodies the restaurant’s namesake by keeping the dining experience enjoyable yet nostalgic. From the setting to the posters to their logo, everything screams ‘blast from the past’. James shared, “What we wanted to bring in terms of food and experience is for people to enjoy and get a sense of nostalgia and their years growing up in Singapore.” Hence, Enjoy Eating House and Bar only leaves you with a wistful yearning for the Singapore of yesteryear.

Their secret to their long-lasting friendship 

“Sometimes, people say as you transit from friends to business partners, things will change (for the worst). But for us, it didn’t change anything.” 

Joel Ong, Chef-Owner of Enjoy Eating House and Bar

Joel and James are childhood friends and have known each other for more than 20 years now. They attribute this special bond of theirs to a similar character trait they both hold – sincerity. James shared, “Both of our characters are very sincere. I know where he is coming from and he knows where I stand. There isn’t much suspicion whether someone is out for themselves or trying to backstab. As long as you have that understanding, it hasn’t been that difficult to remain as friends.”

Enjoy Eating House and Bar specialities 

The duo at Enjoy Eating House and Bar chase perfection in every single dish. Where one would describe it as a faultless parade of food due to their peerless understanding of cooking. James mentioned, “We put in a lot of effort in almost every single dish on the menu, and we get a lot of satisfaction from our customers that every dish they ordered was very good. I think it’s part of our Singaporean upbringing where everything has to be done very well.”

Delve into Enjoy Eating House and Bar signature, Grandma’s “Te Kah” Bee Hoon 招牌猪脚米粉 (from $14.30), well-loved by all. This dish is made from Chef Joel’s grandma’s secret recipe, with a slightly refined touch of his own. Fork-tender, the almost melty braised pork leg is braised in multiple herbs and spices over long hours, Joel describes. They are paired alongside amazing wok-fried vermicelli noodles with additional touches of vegetables and mushrooms at the side. Reminiscent of comfort food in the best way possible.

Enjoy Eating House and Bar other must-try includes its Crispy with Chef Joel’s Red Curry Sauce 香辣椰浆红咖喱汁 (from $22.30). Unique in its very own way, this curry is in the form of a thick creamy-like red curry sauce, made in-house from scratch. It is paired alongside Barramundi fish, where Joel explains how they source them directly from a local farm where the fishes are farmed in fresh seawater. This means high-quality fish, free from added antibiotics or chemicals. The fish fillet is deep-fried to crisp perfection and drenched with curry, simply a match made in heaven. Best with a bowl of white rice. 

Through the highs and lows 

With the dining-in restrictions that came alongside the pandemic, the duo’s business was severely affected. Dismayed, Joel shared,  “At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, it was a struggle during that entire year, then 2021 (restrictions) came again and it all went down again. It’s very disheartening. Running a business is already an uphill task but with all these (restrictions) in place, it makes it even harder.” They even considered stopping operations as it was becoming too difficult to handle. 

“If we get through this period unscathed, we’d be happy enough.”

Joel Ong, Chef-Owner of Enjoy Eating House and Bar

However, with the responsibility of their team on their shoulders, it only pushed them further and kept them going. Joel heartwarmingly shared, “I have been running a restaurant many years and my team has followed me throughout, some with me for over 10 years.” To them, it’s not just about the success of their business, but seeing their team through is what matters most.