Collins is s heartland western grill franchise in Singapore. They serves a variety of good and very affordable western foods as well as Japanese bento sets which are truly value for money. Let’s check out what Collins Western Grille and Bento has to offer.
It is not uncommon to find a typical Collins branch in a “hole in the wall” coffee shop western store. You can find them mostly in heartland coffee shops. Moreover, Collins also recently launched a more up-market range of restaurants which I like to call the “Atas Collins” which they claim to “Redefine your dining experience“. I shall cover in a separate write-up. This article shall focus on what I call the “traditional Collins”.
Henceforth, the setting in Collins shop, is well, your typical coffee shop fan fair. You can mix and match your food choices from all the stores, including the drinks store. No exclusivity or restrictions here. Your food comes out really quickly after ordering.
In addition, I found this western setup is reminiscent of the old and now defunct Botak Jones western. The benefit is really low prices, even comparable to that of hawker center western grill dishes.
What’s on the menu?
If you can’t decide what to have at Collins, you can’t go wrong with their Chicken. A recommendation will be their most affordable and value for money staple dish will be their Chicken chop with seasoned spaghetti. It is served with corn cob and fresh salad with mayo. This is costs $7.90 with portions which could easily set you back twice the price in comparable dine-in restaurants.
Moreover, adding to that, a highly recommended dish will be their St Louis pork ribs served together with a quarter chicken. It can be a rather filling meal even by my gluttony standards. This hefty serving is yours for under $15.90. In comparison, a similar meal at say a steak house could easily set you back in the range of $30-40. Very good value I would say.
The ribs are glazed and marinated well, but sometimes can be on the dry side. However, is not as juicy and tasty as what you get form premium offerings at Tony Romas Baby back ribs or Morganfields. Moreover, it happens to be one of Collins most sellable dishes. They sometimes usually run out of stock on the end of the day. So do be quick!
Good balance of quality and price
Despite being a hawker store, Collins establishes themselves at a segment above your standard western store. Moreover, I found their general serving portions generous. No “fancy all plate but no food” scenario here like what you see in fine dining restaurants. The quality of their meats are consistently well cooked.
Moreover, they are not dry and surprisingly always juicy. Their chicken dishes are pretty universal, with varieties offered through a selection of different sauces. Surprisingly too, Collin’s pork chops retains their juiceiness, with big servings. This is interesting as seldom do hawker centers western stores get this right- without serving essentially dry rubber chops.
In addition to their main dishes are a selection of sides and entrees. This range from soups which varies by day. Additionally complementing the menu are starters such as salads, potato offerings such as cheese fires and wedges, as well as Sausages or chicken drumlets for sharing. Payment is made upon ordering. You be given a buzzer prompting you to collect your food.
Fancy a Japanese selection?
Moreover, a little known fact is that every Collins also serves a small selection of Japanese bento sets. Though not a popular item on their menu, their Bento sets gets my recommendations. You have a choice of curry rice such as Furai Fish, Chicken or Prawn Curry Rice. Furthermore, these come served in large decently sized Bento boxes packed with rice, salads and additional fried serving of Tori Karaage. It completes the meal and is rather filling and satisfying by itself, all for a bargain under $9. In addition to these Bento sets are more affordable Katsu curry rice bowls (about $5.50 a bowl) served with Miso soup.
An attractive membership program
Moreover, despite being around for about 2 years, this year, Collins runs a membership program. Having a member account with them gets you 10% off all your bills. The registration fee costed me about $20 upfront with a sign-up bonus of an equivalent ~$20 worth of free food from their regular menu. These are redeemed via a main course and soup which I was planning to consume in the future on my future meals with them.
Hence, so to me, that effectively waived the sign-up fee. Moreover, you can accumulate points tired to every dollar spent which you can redeem in cash redemption too (100 points per dollar off your bill). Just remember to tell the cashier that you are a member before you place your order. On few occasions, I was setback by their cashier not being able to include the discount after the order entered into the cashier for payment. This effectively forfeited my points and discount for that meal. You are identified using either your NRIC or handphone number (preferred). Despite these quirks, I found their meals offered are still extremely value for money, even without the discounts.
All in all, Collins gets my recommendations for offering really cheap food yet good food for the price. This, coupled with a large number of branches all around Singapore makes their food highly accessible to all. It is one food choice, I look forward to.
Collins Western Grille and Bento
At various locations around Singapore.
Check their website for full franchise list around Singapore.
Collins Grille typical opens daily: 10:00am – 2:00am (Open 16 hours a day till past late)