We were at VivoCity again on Sunday, and after doing our shopping before the teeming masses arrived, we settled down for lunch at White Dog Café. The menu looked interesting and the décor was bright and cheery, but even at 1 pm it was deserted – we were the second table there – so it was with some apprehension that we decided to go in.
We were pleasantly surprised, and I still don’t know why it isn’t more crowded. The nearby restaurants like Sushi Tei had queues for tables, when there was ample seating here. I guess it looks unfamiliar and therefore a little intimidating.
We weren’t terribly hungry, so A had the Triple Mushroom Soup and a Turkey Sandwich, and I had the Foie Gras Burger and a side of Sauteed Mushrooms.
The mushroom soup was pretty generic but quite good all the same. Definitely wasn’t canned, because it was a proper mushroom puree chockfull of mushroom bits. At just $6, it’s definitely good quality at very good value. The accompanying garlic bread was good but tasted as though it had been soaked in butter – a bit too greasy for me.
A’s sandwich was huge, and very generous with the turkey slices. The turkey ham had a nice smoky flavour as well.
The sautéed mushrooms with garlic were again nothing spectacular – very buttery and garlicky slices of shitake and button mushrooms, but again, at just $4 for a very generous helping and including some mesclun salad, I’m not about to complain.
I was a bit worried at my choice of the Foie Gras burger (it’s part of the Appetizers, not a main) in a joint like this, but decided to try my luck. I’m glad I did, this was the highlight of the meal for me. It was very well plated, with some interesting uses of ingredients. The burger bun was actually a deep fried Chinese man tou, and it was topped with some enoki mushrooms, and a generous slice of pan fried foie gras. It was served with some rocket salad and a balsamic glaze. However, I didn’t like the raspberry coulis that also accompanied it. It was too sweet and overpowering, and I ended up avoiding it so that every mouthful didn’t just taste like raspberry. Other than that, the bun was deliciously crisp, and the foie gras, though probably just duck liver, was crispy outside and creamy inside. It may have been an appetizer but it was more than enough for me as a main.
The one downside to this place is that they don’t serve ice water, but oh well, it’s a small complaint in an otherwise fairly impressive place given the prices. Maybe next time when I’m hungrier I’ll try their wagyu burger. It only costs $28 so let’s see how good it is.
This place is really one of those half laidback café, half fancy restaurant places like PS. I’d quite like it except it doesn’t have the ambience, and the staff seemed over-trained but under-practised – as in they know what they’re supposed to do, but because the place is so new, they aren’t quite used to things yet.
Food-wise though, it’s pretty good. While the prices aren’t low, the portion sizes make it very worth it. A note of caution though, the appetizers are big enough to qualify as small mains so I wouldn’t order both.
Oh, and the biggest drawback about the place – no free iced water! Very bad for a heavy H2O person like me. The flat white also not good. Maybe I’ll go for a smoothie or a shake the next time.
White Dog Cafe
I was also there recently. Agree about the under-practised staff. Maybe it's just becoz it's new. I'll definitely go back because I liked the food. And hopefully things will be running smoother.
I was also there this weekend. Looks like everybody's at vivocity nowadays. Bumped into so many people! I thought the staff at white dog cafe did a fine job. Courteous and prompt. And delicious food. No issues with the service at all.
I was a bit annoyed about them not serving water though.
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