Ah, Sundays by the pool. When I was a child, there was nothing better than escaping the relentless heat with an afternoon at the swimming pool, followed by a hearty lunch with family under the sturdy shelter of an umbrella table.
For families taking a refreshing dip at Woodlands and Sengkang Sports Centres, Citrus By The Pool and its sister cafe, Citrus Bistro, offer western and Asian fusion fare that is pretty bang for buck, in terms of flavours and portions!
Best of all, diners at Citrus Bistro enjoy free entry to the swimming complex – just dial the number on the signboard next to the gantry and a friendly staff will usher you in.
Citrus Bistro sports a nautical meets industrial look. Its alfresco tables facing an unobstructed view of the swimming pools, making the cafe an ideal spot to grab a bite while keeping an eye on your little ones.
New additions to Citrus Bistro’s seasonal menu include pastas, snacks, and mocktails. The Tobiko Pasta with Smoked Duck ($12.90) is a beautifully plated dish with Asian influences. A fragrant aroma of shallots and garlic wafted from the linguine, which was topped with sliced smoked duck and generous amounts of tobiko and furikake. While the smoked duck was a tad thick and tough to bite into, the linguine was delightfully umami, and not too oily either.
The Nacho Libre ($7.90) is one Asian inspired snack that is ideal for sharing if you’re feeling a little peckish after your swim. Crunchy nachos topped with an indulgently rich amount of melted mozarella cheese, and a blend of Asian curry dip with minced chicken and potatoes, this platter is a decently sized one that should satisfy diners with smaller appetites.
“Hearty” is certainly a good word to describe Citrus Bistro’s menu, as the cafe keeps prices reasonable without compromising on ingredients or portions.
It’s not hard to see why classics like Tom Yum Seafood Pasta ($13.90) have remained popular with regulars. The signature tom yum broth packed a spicy kick that did not overpower the other ingredients, which include squid, prawn, and ridiculously huge and succulent mussels! Not bad for its price point at all. We had no problems slurping everything up; the broth was simply too delicious to resist!
Ravenous carnivores can take to Citrus Bistro’s mains, which comprise sizeable, meat-based dishes served with seasonal vegetables and the like (because, you know, balanced diet). The Cajun Lamb Rack ($21.90) is one such feast for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Pan fried and perfectly seasoned, the lamb rack was served piping hot, with the brown sauce adding a homely touch. The photographer in me was also very enticed by the array of colours from the seasonal vegetables! Talk about letting the eyes feast first.
The Big Boss Burger ($17.90) combines the best of both worlds.
Two – yes, two – deliciously juicy beef and mutton patties smothered in satay sauce, layered with caramelised onions, fresh lettuce, and sliced cucumbers tomatoes, and stacked between two fluffy charcoal buns. We wasted no time taking this mouthwatering creation down (sorry, chef!) and attacking those tender patties.
Most unassuming dish of the night goes to the Curry Chicken with Bread ($10.90). I must confess I didn’t think much of the curry (which tasted strikingly similar to the curry dip from the Nachos Libre), but that tender, melt off the bone chicken thigh meat instantly changed my mind. SO GOOD. And the potato chunks and homemade curry would pair very well with a bowl of fluffy white rice. More please!
For the sweet toothed (or those with a second stomach for desserts), Citrus Bistro certainly does not disappoint in the desserts department. Look no further than the Mighty Milkshakes ($8.90 – $10.90), which serve up gargantuan concoctions of ice cream blended with milk and topped with childhood snacks like pop corn, ais gem biscuits and biscuit rolls!
While I’ve been sorely disappointed by other cafes and restaurants’ mediocre attempts at this classic dessert, Citrus Bistro delivered perfectly on their Molten Chocolate Lava Cake ($10.90). Satisfyingly sweet and piping hot without verging on overly cloying the lava cake was a perfect end to our meal, with its richness contrasted by a refreshingly cool scoop of cookies and cream ice cream.
For a cafe by the pool, Citrus Bistro certainly defies a lot of expectations from its humble location. With numerous daily discounts and promotions, there’s little reason to not want to hit this spot for lunch or dinner. They’re also available on all delivery platforms, so fret not about having to step out of your house to satisfy your cravings!
Citrus By The Pool
Address: 3 Woodlands Street 13
Nearest MRT: Marsiling
Monday to Friday: 11am – 11pm
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 9am – 11pm
(Last order at 10pm)
Contact: +65 6366 6581
Citrus by the Pool
Address: Sengkang Sports Centre
Nearest MRT: Sengkang (alight at Farmway LRT)
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm daily (last order at 8.30pm)
Contact: +65 6904 4850