Eat The Fried Chicken, Skip The Burger At One Night Only
UNDERCOVER RESTAURANT REVIEW: American-style diner One Night Only makes a valiant attempt to serve the sort of ribsticking grub seen in 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives', but the results are hit-or-miss. (A version of this story first appeared in Issue 1375, Feb 23, 2017.)
There’s a tough crowd at our lunch table today: two pals in our party lived in the US of A for a few years and consider themselves adept in the art of dissecting authentic American diner food. As for us, well, we’ve holidayed in the country several times and always dug the gleefully greasy, trucker-type cuisine that Guy Fieri wolfs down in his Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. You know, the kind of cholesterol-clogging delights that go towards your doctor’s new sports car fund: buttermilk fried chicken, burgers and syrupy pancakes. Month-old American-style diner One Night Only at River Valley serves all these and more, including all-day breakfast. The 36-seater is opened by the dudes behind burrito joint Muchachos and popular protein bowl chain, The Daily Cut. These guys know something about producing likeable, flavour-packed food (at least at Muchachos). Moreover, one of its co-owners studied in the States, and both partners recently went on an American eating road trip as research — they stayed for one night only at each of the towns they visited, hence the restaurant’s name. The chef in charge here, however, is a Malaysian who didn’t go on that trip. Perhaps he should have.
We think the Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($19.50; see main pic) is better seasoned. Two medium-sized drumsticks and a hunk of breast meat marinated in tenderising buttermilk brine, then dredged in flour with “lots of herbs” and sizzled to a deep brown. It’s quite good, but not swoon-worthy enough for us to fantasise about if we want to sin on fried bird while on a diet. Both dishes come with a choice of two sides.
VERDICT: 3/5 Instead of ginormous, gloriously calorific greasy spoon plates, what’s served here is a watered-down version with modest portions, probably to cater to Singaporean stomachs. There are some tasty gems, but overall, the flavours aren’t quite there yet. It’s as though the chef here understands American diner food only as a vague concept. $$-$$$
397 River Valley Rd, S248292. Tel: 6235-1248. Open daily except Mon. Tues-Fri noon-10pm, Sat & Sun 9am-10pm. Last orders at 9pm. www.onenightonly.sg