The new Coconut Club flagship outlet on Beach Road is a gastronomic shrine worshipping the humble coconut in all its aromatic glory.
The original The Coconut Club was a famous nasi lemak restaurant located on Ann Siang Hill. It was such an immediate cult favourite Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong once brought Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte there soon after its opening in 2016.
But it was known for more than its nasi lemak; its co-founder Lee Eng Su and his team was unwavering in sourcing and using the best coconuts for many coconut-based dishes from curries to desserts. Lee unfortunately passed on in 2019, and in 2021 The Lo and Behold Group – which runs Odette, Le Bon Funk, and Esora, among others – came in and took over the brand.
Lo and Behold recently reopened The Coconut Club on Beach Road, and the new outlet promises to carry on its late co-founder’s obsession with coconut. That, and more. The new flagship venue is two shophouse floors entirely dedicated to the coconut.
Nasi lemak, of course, is still central to The Coconut Club’s offerings. There’s the Ayam Goreng Berempah Set, which sees the aromatic coconut milk-infused rice and accompanying condiments served up with Malaysian-style fried chicken complete with spiced crust; Selar Set with an entire deep-fried yellowstripe mackerel; or the Otah Set, which comes with a banana leaf-wrapped spiced otak-otak fish cake chunky with barramundi pieces.
And while the old Coconut Club served up a number of winning sides, the new one has expanded on those offerings. Highly recommended are Kerabu Udang Kacang Botol, a winged bean salad with prawns, and Gohu Ikan, a fun Southeast Asian twist on the ceviche that sees yellowfin tuna cured in a dressing of calamansi lime, chilli, and coconut milk – think a local version of leche de tigre – and tossed with avocado and pine nuts. The Sate Ayam Bumbu Kacang is also worth the order; this is tender chicken tail and thigh that’s chargrilled to perfection.
If you’re the sort who likes your nasi lemak rice drenched in curry or sauce, order the Rendang Sapi for sharing. This unctuous dry curry sees beef shin braised in spices and coconut milk till it’s fall-apart tender, and you’ll want to slather that rich sauce on every grain of your rice.
The coconut also takes centre stage for dessert. From Chendol and Coconut Jelly to all manner of kuehs – Kueh Bingka, Kueh Kosui, Kueh Salat, among others – there’s now an entire slew of Malay- and Peranakan-style cakes and other desserts to sate your sweet tooth.
Lo and Behold’s version of The Coconut Club also plugs two gaps that used to exist in the old menu. It now offers breakfast – you can drop in early on Saturdays and Sundays for Charcoal-grilled Kaya Toast and Otah Katsu Sando, for example, with some coffee.
The other gap? The new flagship features a properly fleshed-out drinks programme. Aside from a small wine and spirits list, there are various cocktails as well. Some of these feature coconut – the coconut milk in the Coconut Club Mai Tai, while the Pineapple Old Fashioned is touched up with some coconut water – and others employ familiar tropical ingredients, such as the hibiscus-infused Cointreau in the Plum Hibiscus Margarita.
Non-alcoholic options abound too. The Coconut Shake was a hit, an insane combo of everything coconut in one drink. For coffee fans there’s Coconut Water Cold Brew or Coconut Milk Cold Brew, which sees PPP coffee infused into them.
For sure The Coconut Club has evolved under new management. But it’s heartening to see that Lo and Behold is committed in Lee’s original vision to elevate that most humble, yet vitally important ingredient, in much of Southeast Asian cuisines.
The Coconut Club is dead. Long live The Coconut Club.
The Coconut Club
Address 269 Beach Rd, Singapore 199546 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 11am to 10.30pm Tuesdays to Fridays; 8.30am to 10.30pm Saturdays and Sundays; closed on Mondays
Tel (65) 8725 3315