Jainita Dadlani | June 25, 2014
ERP – the cash card depleter all motorists dread. But no matter how you slice it, the blue and white Electronic Road Pricing gantries have become a prominent Singaporean icon. And that’s precisely what inspired the façade of ERP or Eat Ripe Products, a new fruit juice shop tucked away on Race Course Road, along what is arguably Little India’s most famous restaurant belt.
You could very easily miss the cleverness of the ERP sign if you walk along the five-foot-way. But the moment you step out onto the main road or if you happen to be standing across the road, the ERP board is guaranteed to make you stop and smile, and probably even whip out your phones to Instagram or Facebook it! The digital scrolling text on the board rotates to flash the price of some of the juice shop’s fresh fruit offerings.
The Singapore city theme carries right through into the shop’s décor, with the entire length of the shop depicting the skyline at sunrise with icons such as the Merlion, Singapore Flyer, Esplanade and Marina Bay Sands. The tables and chairs in the red and white colours of the Singapore flag add a burst of colour, making the juice bar instantly come alive. We found ourselves also marveling at the extension of the road theme with double yellow lines and yellow box markings on the ground.
Intrigued by the cleverness of the décor, we knew we just had to find out who was behind it. Meet Darren Chai, the creative and entrepreneurial brains behind Eat Ripe Products. We met up with him one day over cups of freshly squeezed juice to speak to him about his quirky little juice shop.
Officially opened on Good Friday on 18th May this year, the two-month old establishment is a good old-fashioned family-run business, which Darren operates together with his mother and brother.
“I decided to open a juice shop to firstly create something that my whole family could be part of. And secondly, I saw an opportunity. Race Course Road is full of restaurants, but no juice shop. This place will serve as a cozy meeting point for some fruit after a meal or just as a place for friends and family to hang out and relax,” shared Darren.
The menu offers a wide range of the freshest tropical and seasonal fruit, all at competitive prices ranging from $1 to $5. You can have your fruit simply cut or as juices, ice blends, smoothies and milkshakes.
One of ERP’s specialties is the sweet volcano melon. Exclusively flown in from Indonesia, this melon is sweeter than the average rock or musk melon commonly available in supermarkets. In fact, Darren shares that it is the exact same breed as the Japanese melon known as Shizuoka or Yubari, which sells for a whopping $100 in Takashimaya. The volcano melon in ERP sells at a fraction of the price at $15 a piece.
We sampled some of the beverages at ERP and were pleasantly surprised by how they were not too sweet. Unlike many other juice shops, Darren does not add any sugar to his beverages. This allowed us to really fully appreciate the natural sugars and flavours of the fruit.
If you’re feeling hungry, ERP serves all-day breakfast comprising waffles, sunny-side up eggs, sausages and freshly brewed black coffee. You can even choose to order the waffles plain, drizzled with chocolate or with any fruit of your choice – we loved it with the mangoes! The waffles were a perfect balance of crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The secret to this is the homemade batter made from scratch and not a commercial store-bought mix. Though the food menu is limited to this at the moment, Darren has plans to expand the menu in the coming months so keep a lookout for their new offerings on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/eatripe.
We also loved the free WIFI and the ample plug points that lined the wall of the shop, making it a conducive space for you to use your laptop for extended periods of time without worrying about your battery running flat.
All in all, Eat Ripe Products is a cozy juice shop with loads of character. We highly recommend you come on down to Race Course road and experience it for yourself. Remember to say Hi to Darren or his mum and brother when you do!
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