From the owners of the Working Title, Afterwit and Santap, “The Mad Sailors” is the latest brainchild from the Blackhole Group. Located along Haji Lane near Bugis,The Mad Sailors got its name from the expression “Mat Salleh”, a term Malays use to call Caucasians. This seems fitting, seeing how this café came to be due to a lady’s dream of bringing authentic halal British food into Singapore. True to its name, The Mad Sailors serves up a wide assortment of British-related food, not forgetting classics such as Fish-and-Chips.
The interior design of the Mad Sailors matches the overall vibes of Haji Lane: it is not only vibrant on the outside, it’s a beautiful collision of colours inside too. “Mad” may just be the right word to describe the unorthodox use of colourful old doors and a mixture of different furniture inside.
Being a somewhat the hipster looking cafe, it is a given that an Avocado On Toast ($14) would be on the menu. Other than the pleasing look, there was a generous amount of avocado given on the toasted sourdough too. The only thing that was a little lacklustre was the poached egg. It would have been the perfect dish if the yolk wasn’t a tad overcooked!
The Bee’s Knees ($18) was aptly named as it was my favourite dish here. It is essentially a plate of linguine with pulled beef. The pasta was cooked al-dente and the beef mixed well with the pink sauce and parmesan shavings. The dish was very creamy and yet tangy too – with the help of the cherry tomatoes in the sauce.
I am generally not a big fan of gourmet burgers but I would not mind having the Goodness Gracious Me ($18) again. It may look unassuming but the chicken patty was well seasoned, matching well with the tikka masala sauce. The brioche bun was a great choice too – rather than having a traditional, plain bun.
The main star of this place, to me, would be the Grilled Seafood Platter ($48) that promises to feed 2 to 3 people. Inside this overwhelming dish includes batter-fried dory, butterfly squid, mini-crab, mussels and shrimps; served with a side of chips, slaw, mushy peas, mash, and 2 different sauces. This platter felt so big that I thought that I had better eat it before it eats me. If you do not know where to start, take it from me and immediately grab all the mini-crabs if you can. The bite-sized crabs had a crunchy exterior due to the fried shell but a soft interior. But be careful, you would find yourself quickly demolishing all of it if you do not slow down. Also, take note of the squid, shrimps and mussels! The marinate used brings about a punch of spice that can easily catch you off-guard.
The Mad Sailors also has its own drinks meu, ranging from the stereotypical British classic tea to coffee and smooshies. After such a heavy meal, you may be looking for something more refreshing. If you are, try the Berry Bena ($8). It’s Ribena mixed with lemon and mint, giving your palate a good cleanse and cools down your body from Singapore’s heat. They also have other options such as the Midnight Bird ($8) – though I personally prefer the former.
All-in-all, if you are craving desperately for British food, try The Mad Sailors. It will be sure to give you a maddening good time, and be a great backdrop for any of your Instagram pictures! With its predecessors providing great food and service, The Mad Sailor is not far behind.
The Mad Sailors
24 Haji Lane,
Nearby MRT: Bugis