British Hainan Carpmael Road Review : "Back to the Past" Dining Experience - - Singapore Lifestyle Portal

British Hainan Carpmael Road Review : "Back to the Past" Dining Experience


Looking to elevate your dining experience?

Head back to the past with a visit to British Hainan.


Transport yourself back in time with a visit to British Hainan, a charming restaurant nestled at the intersection of Carpmael Road and Crane Road amidst the picturesque landed properties of Joo Chiat. British Hainan serves up traditional Hainanese dishes made popular during the British era. 

Upon arrival, your attention will be drawn to the distinctive red and white building adorned with a Union Jack logo on the front of the building. The entrance features a vintage scooter permanently parked, flanked by two majestic lion statues, giving it the appearance of a quirky residential site rather than a conventional restaurant.

As you step closer, you'll notice a fascinating array of old artefacts, such as vintage computers, posters, and machinery lining both sides of the corridor. At first glance, it might remind you of a karang-guni office, but if you take a closer look, you'll discover that these items are actually treasures waiting to be polished and would easily find their place in a museum.

Inside the Resturant

The museum experience carries on inside the restaurant. On the walls of all sides are photos and artefacts that belong to the 1970s-2000. 

There are plenty of iconic eye candy to savour for treasure hunters. From Lee Kuan Yew Bust to portraits of Princess Diana and a Stalin statue alongside a Jukebox, vintage Chinese vase, first-generation PC and 90s movie poster, this place is a visual feast of the past. 


The restaurant is divided into two sections. The main hall has Westernised artefacts, while the inner hall has a Chinese influence, including photos of Mao and communist vibes.

Aptly named the Red Dining Room, this stark contrast goes well with the British Hainese theme, a quirky mix of East and West.

The Food

For our dinner, we decided to indulge in the restaurant's two house specialties - Oxtail Stew and Hainanese Pork Chop.

Oxtail Stew

The Oxtail Stew presents an irresistible aroma and is cooked to perfection, with the oxtail rendered tender and soft, practically melting in your mouth. The savoury dish pairs exceptionally well with bread or rice, owing to its fragrant gravy. Though not the most budget-friendly option, the culinary experience is well worth it. The portion may appear substantial, but it's more suitable for an individual serving. If you're sharing, consider ordering an appetizer or another dish to complement the Oxtail Stew.

Hainanese Pork Chop

As for the Hainanese Pork Chop, it was the dish we were looking forward to. However, the meat turned out to be somewhat tough and dry, fortunately, offset by a delightful sauce that managed to salvage the overall taste. While the dish may not have matched our initial expectations, it stayed true to the authentic essence of Hainanese Pork Chop, offering a more genuine representation than some modern renditions.

Orh Nee Cake

For dessert, we indulged in the Or Nee Cake, also known as yam cake. In contrast to some other cakes, this version stood out for its unique texture, being less spongy and generously filled with flavorful or nee. It proved to be a delightful and satisfying way to conclude our dining experience.


Our dining experience at the original British Hainan on Carpmael Road was both quirky and delightful. If you're yearning for a nostalgic ambience that whisks you away from the urbanized landscape of Singapore and transports you to another world, this is the perfect destination.

While other outlets of British Hainan exist, they lean towards a more modernized approach, making the OG at Carpmael Road stand out as a unique gem. For its distinctive charm, it undoubtedly deserves the title of the quirkiest dining spot in town. It's a must-try if you find yourself in the mood to relish the flavours of the past and embark on a journey through time.

The views on this post are based on personal experiences and opinions. The ranking is based on 5 stars. Rankings are based on personal experience and may not reflect the same as what others may have experienced.TWD is not liable for any experiences by the reader at the establishment. #notsponsored

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