Hot Tomato Cafe & Grill @ Nex Mall - Alvinology

Hot Tomato Cafe & Grill @ Nex Mall

Hot Tomato Cafe & Grill
Hot Tomato Cafe & Grill

Looking for a reasonably priced, no frill western restaurant in a shopping mall? Hot Tomato Cafe & Grill is a good choice.

I won’t proclaim the food as fantastic, but they are as good as it get for the prices they offered. Rachel and I seldom spend more than $30+ for a two pax dinner, inclusive of GST and service charge.

We would usually order a steak main and top up to a set meal that  comes with bread, soup and a soft drink.

Soup, bread and drink that comes with the set menu
Soup, bread and drink that comes with the set menu
Steak with spaghetti
Steak with spaghetti
Half a roast chicken
Half a roast chicken
Steak with grilled prawns
Steak with grilled prawns
Restaurant interior
Restaurant interior
Asher playing with the restaurant staff
Asher playing with the restaurant staff

 The service at Hot Tomato is pretty excellent. On our last visit there a few weeks ago, Rachel, Asher and I witnessed how the manager at the Nex outlet dealt with a particularly unreasonable customer.

The lady (let’s call her Beach) had came into the restaurant together with her two teenage daughters a few minutes earlier than us. When their orders arrived, the daughters did not want the salad sides and Beach requested to change it to spaghetti. When the waitress politely told her this was not possible as these are standard items, she kicked up a big fuss and started complaining that the salad and all the food were cold. She loudly asked to speak to the manager and went on a long, loud tirade which all in the restaurant can hear.

A very memorable quote came out of Beach: “We are not cheapskate. I came here instead of going KFC because we wanted better service and a good meal. I am very vocal you know. I am a US university graduate you know, not any uneducated auntie. Just so you know, I am a graduate and have stayed in the US for many years.”

In my head I was thinking – so? What has being a graduate or having stayed overseas got to do with anything? To Rachel and I, it just reflects snobbery to the highest extent.

The manager was surprisingly patient and slowly pacified Beach, offering her free sides and to change the salad for her at no cost. All in the name of good service.

Beach’s two daughters hung their heads in shame, seeing that all eyes were now focused on them, thanks to their mother’s crazy antics.

Their mother went on to tell the manager all sort of irreverent cock-and-bull story about her superior upbringing and how the restaurant has caused her embarrassment and  distress; now that everyone was staring at her table (as if it was not her own fault). Beach particularly singled out an Indian couple seated near to her table for mention, repeatedly saying to the manager that they kept staring at her, making her uncomfortable.

When the Indian couple walked out of the restaurant, the male turned around and cheekily said to Beach with a big smile on his face: “Madam, thank you for the free entertainment tonight.You made my day. Your children are much better behaved than you”.

I find it pretty hilarious and wanted to show the guy a double thumbs-up. Before I could do that, Beach started shouting off the top of her lungs: “You better watch out, you will have karma! I curse your children! I curse the two of you! Stay here I call police!”

That agitated theIndian lady who walked back to confront Beach. Luckily, the very professional manager intervened and got both parties to calm down.

It was really great entertainment that night. It made me learn to respect those in the service line more, having personally witnessed the kind of shit customers they have to deal with at times.

Beach is a total disgrace as a mother and as a fellow Singaporean. By bringing up her “US graduate” upbringing, it reflects the kind of crap elitist mindset that I detest the most, but I fear may be very prevalent in Singapore society.

Anyway, if you are interested to visit Hot Tomato, here’s the details for their Nex outlet:

Address: 23 Serangoon Central, #B1-47 NEX Mall
Tel: +65 6753 4300
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am – 10pm

They have many other outlets spread around Singapore. Visit Hot Tomato’s website for more details. 


  1. Woooo … I really can’t imagine being in the same restaurant, watching (and hearing) all THAT!
    The more the lady talked, the more ppl feel sorry for her …

  2. Omg she sounds really uncivilized. I hope she doesn’t stay anywhere near Nex….. And since I go to Nex really often, I hope she would be too embarrassed to step foot in Nex ever again :s

  3. @Mel, Leonny: Come to think of it, if she’s so elite, she should not be eating at Nex or even Hot Tomato… btw, she speaks very bad English, a bit like Aaron Tan.

    @Kelvin: Cos I was with my wife and baby son. We wanted a quiet peaceful meal, but she destroyed that. I was worried if I provoked her, she may turn her attention to us…

  4. TOTALLY NOT recommended at all.. Their Lobster pasta is super salty and their seafood pasta tomatoes base is not fresh when it serve out you can actually smells it is over night or can say is sour after tastes is sour had feedbacks to the mrg abt the sour tomatoes base instead of apologise he agrue back say all their food is ala min. What kind of service is this?

  5. Dude, in my opinion, you and the Beach are the same species who do not care about other people’s feelings.

    In your case, you took a picture – the sixth picture in this post – without regard to other people’s privacy.

    I know there is no law against taking photos of people in public but imagine how someone will feel to have his photo taken without permission and have it uploaded onto the internet.

    That boy in black was obviously trying to hide his face while you took the photograph.

      1. What about my comment that makes you think I wasn’t for real?

        You think everyone likes to have their photo taken and uploaded onto the internet meh?

  6. I totally agree with you Alvin. I am in the service industry and most of the time, we are being discriminated. Even the lifts we take to do a delivery are segregated. We have to take the Goods lift just to send a piece of envelope!The reception who received the mail would not even return our greetings or a word of “Thank You”.We need the courtesy campaign and the “Gracious Society” back into our lives.

  7. I think it’s sad that there is such disgusting elitist hatred and also that Singaporeans have a “mind my own business”, “watch and eat popcorn” mentality. If you see someone behaving badly, call them out on it. Bad things happen not just because there are bad people but also (sadly) because of people who don’t do anything.

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