Michelin-starred Alma’s Haikal Johari opens French-inspired bistro, Alkove, in Kovan

By Azhar Aziz November 21, 2022
Michelin-starred Alma’s Haikal Johari opens French-inspired bistro, Alkove, in Kovan
Interior design of Alkove (left), baklava croissant (top right) and smoked duck tartine (bottom right). Photo: Alkove

There’s a new French-inspired bistro in town, and it’s opened by none other than chef Haikal Johari of Michelin-starred restaurant Alma.

Alkove, which was launched on Nov 16, is Haikal’s first foray into the casual dining scene. In 2018, he launched a now-defunct fine-dining restaurant named Backyard Kitchen at Jalan Kayu.

Speaking to HungryGoWhere, a spokesperson for the cafe said Haikal would run Alkove while continuing his role as executive chef of Alma.

The name Alkove is a play on the words “alcove”, which refers to a cosy nook in the wall of a room, and “Kovan Road”, where it’s located. The eatery offers quality French fare — inspired by Haikal’s expertise in French cuisine — served within a casual setting.

Step inside the 40-seat bistro and you will find a soothing interior with muted pastel shades, recessed arches, wood furnishings and a terrazzo bar. The set-up offers a cosy, intimate setting for guests to dine and have meaningful conversations.

Alkove baklava croissant
The baklava croissant. Photo: Alkove

At Alkove, early risers will be met with the warm, yeasty aroma from the freshly baked bread and viennoiseries. 

Its le petit dejeuner (French for breakfast) menu boasts specially created items such as the baklava croissant (S$5.80) and cardamom kouign-amann (S$5.80). Fresh loaves of sourdough, baguette and pain de mie (French for white bread) are available for both dine-in and takeaways.

Alkove croque monsieur
The croque monsieur. Photo: Alkove

There are several sandwiches on offer, but a standout is the croque monsieur (S$16.90). A classic sandwich loved by the French, this dish comprises a generous serving of thinly sliced Bayonne ham sandwiched between two pieces of warm brioche and melted, oozing comte cheese.

Alkove smoked duck tartine
The smoked duck tartine. Photo: Alkove

Alkove also serves tartines for its brunch fare, such as the smoked duck tartine (S$18.90). This multisensory dish features succulent smoked duck served atop toasted aromatic sourdough, accompanied by soft and creamy brie and buttery foie gras pate. The thinly sliced green apple scattered on top lends a refreshing sweet-and-sour note to the dish.

You can pair your tartine with its range of coffee, tea or cold-pressed juices. The coffee menu was created in collaboration with the renowned Cata Coffee, while the teas were curated by Ette Tea.

Alkove wagyu onglet steak frites.
The wagyu onglet steak frites. Photo: Alkove

Come lunchtime, guests can indulge in hearty dishes such as the chicken vin blanc (S$25) and wagyu onglet steak frites (S$32). 

The onglet cut, which hangs beneath the diaphragm of the animal close to its flank, is traditionally more flavourful and tender, making it a popular choice in French cuisine. The dish is served with beef jus, watercress and fries.

Do note that Alkove is not a Muslim-friendly eatery, as it serves pork. 

Alkove is on the GrabFood delivery service. You can also book a ride to its store.


Simon Plaza, 01-10, 2 Kovan Road
Nearest MRT station: Kovan
Open: Wednesday to Monday (8am to 6pm)

Simon Plaza, 01-10, 2 Kovan Road
Nearest MRT station: Kovan
Open: Wednesday to Monday (8am to 6pm)

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Azhar Aziz


Azhar loves to connect with people through his work and stories. After spending almost a decade in the tech start-up scene, he is now ready to share his passion for all things food.

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