PET-FRIENDLY VENUE

We dig into scrump­tious Chi­nese fare at a newly opened dog-friendly zi char restau­rant.

Pets (Singapore) - - Contents - BY GIL­LIAN LIM

fur-mi­lies, re­joice! There’s a new zi char joint in town and it’s not lo­cated in a hu­mid cof­fee shop. Si­t­u­ated right next to Zhong­shan Mall, I.N.U Pet Friendly Cafe is a spa­cious 2,347 sq ft dou­ble-storey eatery. The premises used to be oc­cu­pied by Paw Pe­tradise Cafe, but it was bought over and re­branded last June.

We’ve got to ad­mit that it doesn’t look like your reg­u­lar zi char place. With high ceil­ings and sturdy black ta­bles that are evenly spaced out, this cafe-like venue ex­udes a con­tem­po­rary vibe. Colour­ful donut-shaped cush­ions sit on built-in black benches. The walls are pep­pered with the joint’s lat­est menu pro­mo­tions. A rack of chic pet ac­ces­sories, treats and beds can be found next to the cashier counter. The first floor, which can sit up to

50 cus­tomers, is split into an up­per and lower deck. The se­cond floor is cosier, qui­eter, and takes up to 25 din­ers. I.N.U also hosts pri­vate par­ties and week­end mar­kets, so be sure to check its Face­book page for updates.

The ex­ten­sive menu in­cludes clas­sic zi char fare like Black Pep­per Crab

($69), Salted Egg Squid ($25), Prawn Paste Chicken ($15), Mapo Bean­curd ($13), and Sweet & Sour Pork ($15). For those look­ing to en­joy a one-per­son meal, there’s I.N.U’s Sig­na­ture Bak Kut Teh ($11.80). Furkids also get to en­joy doggy meals made from hu­man-grade in­gre­di­ents like oats and chia seeds.

The spa­cious and clean en­vi­ron­ment makes it easy for us to tuck into hearty plates of XO Fried Rice ($14.80) and Fra­grant La Las ($20). Fe­lines and small crit­ters are wel­come too, as long as they’re well-be­haved and housed in car­ri­ers.

FOOD AND DRINK

If you’re in the mood for some ex­cel­lent seafood, try the Black Pep­per Crab—it packs some se­ri­ous heat and comes with a good amount of roe. The Salted Egg Squid fea­tures crisp bat­tered chunks of squid topped with a deca­dent golden sauce. The Fra­grant La La is stir-fried with garlic, chilli and spices. The Prawn Paste Chicken doesn’t dis­ap­point either. We re­ally en­joyed the XO Fried Rice, a flavour­ful toss of squid, cap­sicum, prawns and egg. For the greens, try the Broc­coli w Scal­lops ($18) and the tangy Thai-Style Bean­curd ($13), which are re­fresh­ingly light dishes. Sa­ti­ate your thirst with the cafe’s light Flora Tea ($9) or or­der a bucket of four Tiger Beers ($20) dur­ing happy hour, which is from 3pm to 7pm.

AM­BI­ENCE

Sur­pris­ingly, for an air-con­di­tioned zi char place, the dou­ble-storey cafe is clean and well-ven­ti­lated. The high ceil­ings add to the spa­cious­ness, and the di­vide be­tween the up­per and lower deck on the first floor is great for pooches that need space. PET-FRIEND­LI­NESS

There’s a com­mon area in the cen­tre of the cafe for pooches to run around and min­gle. A push cart con­tain­ing pet toi­letries is con­ve­niently sta­tioned at the corner of the main hall; a large wa­ter bowl is placed cen­trally, and the help­ful staff love to dish out free treats. As for food, Fido has the lux­ury of choos­ing from Wag­gies Bites ($6.90), which are baked liver bites, or Woofles­burg ($9.90), a pork patty with tofu, peas and carrots, which is served be­tween toasted waf­fles. On a hot day, or­der Woopie Chillers ($6.90) for your pup, which is frozen yo­ghurt, or Woofles Ice Cream ($6.90).

ACCESSIBILITY

If you’re driv­ing, you can park at Zhong­shan Mall (which is right next door), or at any one of the nearby res­i­den­tial es­tates. The cafe is an 11-minute walk from Novena MRT.

PRICE

Granted, the dishes are priced a lit­tle on the high side and only come in one size. How­ever, the por­tions are pretty gen­er­ous. The noo­dles and rice mains start from $13.80, meats from $15 and seafood from $9. Drinks start from $2.50.

PAW-RAT­ING:

This is the first pet-friendly zi char place we’ve heard of and it cer­tainly doesn’t dis­ap­point. The cafe’s dishes pack a punch of flavour, there’s enough va­ri­ety to en­sure you never try the same thing twice, and it’s a boon that Fido has his own menu as well. Airy, roomy and clean, it’s also con­ve­niently lo­cated and there’s am­ple park­ing space nearby. We’re def­i­nitely com­ing back again with our own fur-mi­lies.

I. N. UP et Friendly Ca fe

530 Balestier Road #01-07 Monville Man­sion Sin­ga­pore329857

Tel:81898092 Open­ing hours :12 pm -10 pm( Sun to Thurs ); 12 pm -11 pm( Fri to Sat ). Last or­ders 1 hour be­fore­clos­ing.

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