The definition of Nirvana: a transcendent state of happiness; a state of being free from suffering; an expression affiliated with Buddhism; or it can also be a term often associated with an idyllic place.
Set in a historic conservation Chinatown shop house, Nirvana has its back against the city bustle, offering a relaxing day and night venue with simple bistro fare along with an extensive range of alcohol.
Adopting a decidedly ‘Nirvana’ theme, the minimalist bistro bar is decked with dark wood floorings and high tables, coupled with high wooden cushioned chairs, splashed with Buddhism inspired paintings across white-washed walls.
In the day, natural light illuminates the space. The atmosphere is light, airy, and casually but tastefully appointed. By night, dim lighting create a cosy and intimate atmosphere.
Service is casual and informal.
Bar seating is available. For those who wish to check out the cute bartenders in action, grab a seat here for the best view.
Enjoy their ‘Happiest Happy Hour’ from 4pm-9pm, Mondays to Saturdays: two house pour for $9.
Orange Juice ($6)
Sipping on my pre-prandial libation while waiting for the Late Queen to arrive.
Oreo Milkshake ($6.50)
I would order milkshakes wherever and whenever I see it on the menu. Love them!
A generous amount of Oreo cookies are added to the blend. Though not the thickest and creamiest milkshake I’ve had, I enjoyed it. It’s less viscous, thus easier to suck up the straw.
Mushroom Soup ($6.50)
Nirvana serves up a light, thin Mushroom Soup as apposed to the typical thick, creamy soup.
The soup is made in-house. It is tasty and comforting, flecked with mushroom bits for texture.
Supposedly catering to the health-conscious, I can’t help but notice traces of oil that surface –mushrooms are sautéed in butter before stock is poured in for the final simmering.
Set lunch menu (Available from 12pm-3pm)
For just $12.50 nett, you get a Sandwich and Soup with a choice of beverage. Sandwich and Salad or Salad and Soup combinations are available as well.
All Day Set
The All Day Set, costing $15.50, comprises Sandwich, Soup and Drink.
Tuna Melt ($8.50)
The Tuna Melt Sandwich makes a delicious comfort food, apt for a simple, straightforward brunch. Though not earth shattering, it is satisfying.
Fresh bread is toasted to a light crispy crust without robbing the bread of moisture. It is filled with a generous helping of moist and creamy tuna mayonnaise, roused with a touch of pepper.
Chicken Wings ($14 for 10 pieces)
Sandwiches are accompanied by a tangle of fresh salad, but diners are free to order sides to supplement their meal, should any strike their fancy.
I had chicken wings on the side, as I’m not a huge fan of greens.
The Chicken Wings are Grandma’s old recipe. Don’t be too quick to judge based on its slightly scrawny appearance. Unerringly tender and succulent meat lies under the tantalisingly fragrant skin. My appetite for the dish increased a thousand fold upon my first bite.
The BLT arrives a classic presentation, except I had it without lettuce. Best way to enjoy it is to pick it up with your hands and chomp into the crisp toasty crust.
Don’t expect breads to be baked in-house. They source for reliable suppliers for their breads.
The highlight is definitely dessert. Be sure to leave room for their house-made cakes. Ezekiel, Managing Director of Nirvana, bakes daily. The selection of cakes varies throughout the week.
Purchase a slice of cake with coffee or tea at $10.
Strawberry Cheesecake ($7.50)
I’m highly impressed by the standards of cakes served at Nirvana.
I started off with a slice of Strawberry Cheesecake. The rich, creamy and silky texture is oh-so-comforting. Kissed by an ingratiating strawberry glaze, this cake is simple but divine.
Double Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake ($8)
If you love Oreo as much as you love chocolate, and have always been stuck in an indecisive situation, you can now have the best of both worlds. I have to warn you though: it is very rich –you may have to go on a restricted diet the next day to lessen that guilt.
Although sinfully rich, those with a sweet tooth and massive chocolate cravings will find it worth the calories.
I would sacrifice my savoury meals for more of this.
Banana Chocolate Cake ($7)
The Banana Chocolate Cake is an alternative for chocolate lovers if you find the Double Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake to be too rich.
The moist banana cake is made with fresh banana, speckled with dainty melt-y chocolate chips, and finished off with a luscious chocolate glaze. Even I – who barely fancy banana – ate this cake with no grouse.
Triple White Chocolate Cake ($7)
The leader of the pack is clearly the Triple White Chocolate Cake. Even before visiting Nirvana, I’ve heard raves about this cake.
Nirvana successfully suffused the cake with white chocolate. The cake is moist yet crumbly, redolent of a ‘browned crust’ fragrance in every bite. It’s perhaps a personal thing –I always find the browned crust of cakes especially desirable. White chocolate shavings cover the entire surface of the cake. It is a delight in every bite.
What sets this establishment apart from other bistro bars is most certainly the outstanding dessert. Ezekiel’s passion for baking is wholly apparent in the finished products.
Savoury items are decent across the board, while the cakes surpassed my expectations. I will be back for more.
As Nirvana is relatively new, I am excited to see what is in store for the future.
If you’re looking for a place to host an intimate party or event, be sure to look up Nirvana.
Look out for upcoming themed events where the revelry begins at 9-10pm, supported by a DJ.
Nirvana Bistro Bar
43 Neil Road
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NirvanaBistroBar
Telephone: +65 62242865
Saturday & Public Holiday: 12pm-2am