Onalu Bagel Haús, SMU: “I’d stop by for one daily. Maybe two. Or ten.”

·4-min read

If I had to eat only one thing for the rest of my life, it would be a sandwich. My mum used to joke that I was an easy kid to feed growing up, simply because I was always content with two slices of toasted bread and whatever ingredients we had in the fridge. Fast forward to more than a decade later, and nothing has changed in that regard, except maybe for the fact that I now get to eat and write about sandwiches so robust that little Ariel would’ve been absolutely blown away.

onalu bagel haus
onalu bagel haus

Enter Onalu Bagel Haús, an aesthetic eatery located conveniently in the heart of Singapore Management University’s campus in Dhoby Ghaut, boasting an extensive menu of bagel sandwiches, each one tasting better than the last.

What I tried

devilled spam bagel
devilled spam bagel

The first on my list to try was the Devilled Spam (S$8), simply because spam and devilled eggs seemed like an unlikely pairing that I wasn’t sure would work. Long story short—I was proven wrong. Alright, since you asked, here’s the long story—it’s a decadent combination of creamy mashed eggs punctuated by the sinful savouriness of fried spam paired with melted cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.

I started off worrying that this might be too jelak, especially when paired with a cheddar bagel, but after three bites, my only worry was that I might miss this a little too much after it was finished. A word of caution: it does get a little messy if your bites aren’t big enough and might not be the most feasible option if you’re eating this on the go or wearing a white outfit.

somethin fishy bagel
somethin fishy bagel

Smoked salmon and cream cheese on a perfectly toasted bagel is an elite-tier combination that never goes wrong for me. Onalu Bagel Haús’ rendition of that, Somethin’ Fishy (S$11), boasts of an upgraded version of the bare-bones combination with a sandwich stuffed with red onions, tomatoes, dill, and capers.

Their bagels are freshly made in-house after meticulous experimenting and recipe tweaking during ‘Circuit Breaker’, resulting in a bagel that’s both moist and fluffy. My only gripe was that the smoked salmon was not as fresh as I had hoped and thus fell short of the admittedly sky-high expectations I had for it.

big breakfast bagel
big breakfast bagel

Onalu Bagel Haús’ The Big Breakfast (S$14) is the last thing I’d ever classify as false advertising. Whatever stereotypical food you associate with breakfast is definitely in this bagel—smoky bacon streaks, honey baked ham, crispy hashbrowns, fluffy scrambled eggs, cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, alongside their secret sauce, which I’ll leave as a mystery for you to find out when you try it yourself. Here’s a hint: it’s sweet and reminded me of a thick stack of pancakes.

Not going to lie, that ingredient list was a huge mouthful, and so is every bite of their breakfast bagel. Unfortunately, this thiccc bagel ended up becoming a deconstructed mess that required a fork and spoon to finish. Sandwiches have always been associated with convenience for me, and in that regard, this was a disappointment, admittedly a very decadent one.

salmon and BEC bagel
salmon and BEC bagel

My favourite by far was the Classic B.E.C. (S$10), another well-loved combination that proves time again that it’ll never go wrong. It’s safe to say that I absolutely struck the jackpot on this because I bit into a warm sandwich that was laden with smoky bacon streaks, fluffy scrambled eggs, and a savoury combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. And if that isn’t enough to get you licking your lips, their sweet maple aioli would.

It’s a medley of sweet and savoury flavours, crunchy and soft textures—if I were a student at SMU, I would stop by Onalu Bagel Haús for one of these every day. Maybe two. Or ten.

Onalu's homemade kombucha
Onalu's homemade kombucha

If you’re popping by on a sunny afternoon for something to tide you over until dinnertime, Onalu Bagel Haús also offers a House Kombucha (S$5) that carries a refreshing hint of mint leaves that they grow and harvest in-house. I’d recommend that you pair it with one of their fudgy homemade brownies, available in Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge or Sea Salt Dark Chocolate flavours for S$2.50 a piece.

It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth, and if the dessert’s chocolate-anything, you’ll definitely see my eyes light up like a kid opening their long-awaited Christmas presents. I think I’d like ten of those chewy and decadent brownies for Christmas, thank you very much.

Final thoughts

Onalu fudge brownies
Onalu fudge brownies

I’m glad Onalu Bagel Haús doesn’t have an outlet in my university because I’ll definitely be late to class after making yet another detour for an ice-cold kombucha and a warm brownie that feels as comforting as a hug. And let’s be real here, can anyone really resist a freshly baked bagel that’s crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and stuffed full of your favourite breakfast ingredients?

Expected damage: S$2.50 – S$10 per pax

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