06 May, 2008

Going Om - An Alternative Home

Tucked in the corner of the eclectic Haji Lane, there lies a café in a simply refurbished shophouse that you may seek harmony, peacefulness and bliss within the confines.

Set up by Mr Barry Tan and Mr Oliver Pang, Going Om is a café with a western subculture concept of New Age, where besides food, fun and activities (Flow toys performers e.g. movement artists, spinners, twirlers, circus freaks, martial artists, jugglers, object manipulators gather every Thursday nights), patrons can also get to indulge in intuitive card readings, crystal healing and meditation classes, the latter to be held every Sunday evening at 7pm where one can learn to focus on visualisation and manifestation techniques amongst other skills. The place offers a two-storey option.

One gets to sit on an out of the ordinary wooden platform with small tables on the ground level, and as you make your way up a very steep flight of stairs, you will be greeted by a huge Buddha rug hung on the wall and a very spacious room, where customers can have a choice of sitting on the wooden sofa set at the corner or the many mattresses strewn all over – as for me, I definitely prefer the latter.

One of the many interesting feature you will find at Going Om is a trap door on the 2nd floor that opens up to a wooden staircase, that leads you back to the outside of the café on the ground level, the other is the pet parakeets that Barry and Oliver will bring around on their shoulder as they make their rounds to chat up with you.

Besides the usual finger food, Going Om dishes out interesting homemade desserts at $4.50 each that leave you craving for more. The Strawberry Surprise, a creation from Barry, is a warm savoury dessert of cheese and cream, where the delightful surprise is the chilled refreshing strawberries found in the middle of it. This pleasurable mix of sweet and savoury, hot versus cold leaves one wonder for more.

The Apple and Pear Crumble is another excellent homemade creation, this time by Oliver, who picked up this recipe while he was living in UK. What I like about this dessert was the fruits are sliced thickly, still retaining the crunch, unlike the usual cubes you get from outside. The sweet and sour combination of the fruits was enjoyable, plus the generous topping of cereal gives the dessert a fulfilling ending.

We also enjoyed the interesting Chakra drinks ($11.00), an alcoholic beverage that is made of Advocaat, a rich and creamy liqueur from Holland that is made from eggs, sugar and brandy – it is smooth to the throat and leaves an almond aftertaste when one drinks it.

There are 7 colours or choices to choose from and each a different flavour and symbolises a different meaning, which Barry and Oliver will be delighted to share them with you (it was just too complex for me to remember actually). I truly enjoyed my time spent there and before I knew it, 5 hours past quickly.

So Have You Gone Om Lately?!

Food: 4/5 (Homemade desserts are very good)
Service: 4.5/5 (Barry and Oliver makes their round to every table whenever they are free)
Ambience: 4.5/5 (Simple, and VERY relaxing)
Price: 3.5/5 (Desserts were affordable but I find the drinks slightly overpriced)
Total: 16.5/20
63 Haji Lane
Singapore 189256
Closed every Monday


And if you are at
Haji Lane, why not take a trip down to the many quirky retail shops in that area. Among them, you will find Bianca – the shoe boutique, which find its new home to 44 Haji Lane, Level 2, moving from its original place at Far East Plaza.

The boutique is done up in a lush, intimate setting, perfect for trying on your shoes in unhurried comfort.

In conceptualising the designs of the shoes, Bianca’s team of designers have came up with effortlessly stylish shoes that are practical for everyday wear, with designs that can take women from work to play.

And if you think only women get to shop here, fear not gentlemen, besides the one-of-a-kind accessories you can get for your girlfriends, watch out for their upcoming launch of men’s label, Jacques, from the designers of Bianca. Check out their current promotion below (click to enlarge).

View Larger Map


Anonymous said...

This place looks sooo nice! wow, I'm definitely going to check it out ;P


His Food Blog said...

Heh. You should - nice place to chill out with your buddies!

Anonymous said...

zomg! i've been to haji lane quite a few times but din notice these 2 gems! must really go down & try e desserts~ looks super yummy! And I pretty love ur blog! Enjoy reading all ur entries! (:

His Food Blog said...

Hello again!

*Blushed* Thank you for your compliments.

Oh the desserts are still as yummy, was just back there 2 weeks ago!

Steve said...

Okay... sussed this place out last week on the basis of HFB's review... and I can't disagree with anything that he has written. For the reader's interest, the Thursday performance artists gathering seems to have gone by the way (it may have moved to another night... sorry, forgot to ask).

Too criticisms though. First was the lack of a menu. Whilst it appeared quirky to have the handsome waiter pronounce that he was our menu, it meant that there was a pressure on us to order much quicker than normal - and no chance to adequately compare the different offerings. Having said that, the dish we chose (both the same... as a result of the pressure to order without a menu) - the chicken salad - was an absolute winner. I have been having a salad deficit since in Singapore, and this hit the spot. Superb vinegarette dressing and (unusually for a salad) crumbed chicken meat that was as tender as.

The second criticism was that no itemised account was provided. Whilst I don't doubt that we were charged correctly, it does leave that feeling of uncertainty. And uncertainty is not a feeling that you want to leave customers with if you wish them to become repeat customers.

Thanks to HFB for putting me onto this place. Finding Haji Lane made it well worthwhile and if Going Om could at least address the menu issue, I would become a fan.

His Food Blog said...

Hi Steve,

You might wish to give them a call @ 6297 9197 on your next visit to find out about the schedule of Movement Thursday. Last spoken to Barry and Oliver, the activity was still going on.

Haha. Going Om is unlike your usual restaurants with proper menu and food - which is why I only go back for their homemade desserts and to chill out - did you try the desserts?? I hope you did - cos you can't really find them elsewhere.

I will feedback to Barry and Oliver about the itemised receipt and hopefully they can do something about it. :)

Anonymous said...

hi guys!!

thank you for the valuable feedback!

it's barry & oliver here from going om.. and we're here to address the concerns steve has.

going om was set up as an alternative space to rest and relax. and one way that we have adopted to achieve this is to have no menus. the reason being that we want to treat our customers as friends. and when you receive friends at home, or visit a friend's, you don't ask for a menu right? ;-) but rather like... 'what's cooking?'. in that light, we change our menu according to the season's produce and have various 'specials' whenever inspiration calls =)

we have no intention to pressurise you into ordering something quickly, but rather, to advise you on the menu over your preference of meat and staple. we can even do what is 'not on the menu' for you if time and stocks permit.

hence our menu is no menu... ;-)

as for the itemised receipt... we are working on buying a detailed printing cash machine... any one with a second hand one? hehee...

and the thursday night activity... is a platform that we have created for fire twirlers and enthusiasts to come together at going om. they come on a regular basis... in fact they come more than just thursdays... but because we play as and when we are asked to or when we have news tricks and such to 'show off' or practice, it's not a scheduled performance but more so an impromptu and spontaneous 'let's play!!' ..so you might even be sitting amongst them when you least expect it!! haha!!!

please do call us at 62979197 after 6pm if you guys have any enquiries, yeah?

so keep oming with our fellow omers, for it's your om experience that counts!

love & blessings from all of us at om!!!!

Steve said...

I totally appreciate these responses to my comment on this Blog. HFB, my hat goes off to you – you obviously alerted the owners to my post, and that is above and beyond what I have ever heard any Blogger doing before. Thanks mate. (and no I didn’t try the desserts – will next time, lah.)

To Barry & Oliver, thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I acknowledge your rationale for no menus. Can I counter with the comment that as it was my first time at Going Om, I was probably not prepared for the no menu experience. I believe that others in the same situation might also feel the unease I had. May I suggest that it could be alleviated by having a proper explanation. First question should have been “Is this your first time at Going Om?” and once acknowledged that that was the case, an explanation of how the menu at Going Om works… and a logical way of explaining the choices. (I am not sure what that way might be, btw, but your explanation on this blog is a good start!)

And good to hear that you are looking to provide itemised accounts in future. It doesn’t have to be computerised/printed, guys. The food server has to write it down anyway (I would imagine) so at to know what to charge for, so why not present that scrap of paper?

I will be back. Thanks again.

His Food Blog said...

Hi Steve,

No worries mate. (And you SHOULD definitely try their desserts on your next visit - Apple & Pear Crumble anyone?)


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