Once again, we were deceived. We came here for lunch on Sunday after finding Ken’s Noodle House closed. I was under the impression that Canele was running the Esprit Café – indeed, the last time I came to recce the café a few months ago, it was definitely still under Canele’s management, because the signature Le Royale cake was display. Alas, a rude surprise was in store for us – the Esprit Café is now run by Aromas (other branches include one at Craig Place). The emptiness of the café should have been a dead giveaway…
So instead of chi chi sandwiches and salads bordering on pretension, the menu here is now very basic – no-frills bacon and tuna melt, and toasted BLT, smoked salmon and roast beef sandwiches. I was a tad disappointed because I was hoping for a slice of Le Royale.
Still, the sandwiches that we ended up having were passable. Nothing fancy nor particularly outstanding, but more than edible. A had the toasted smoked salmon sandwich, and I had the bacon melt.
Surprisingly, though mine looked much yummier with all the melted cheese, somehow it fell short; I’m not quite sure why. I think the individual ingredients of cheese and bacon just weren’t of particularly good quality, so the whole thing that tasted a bit ordinary, like a sandwich I could’ve made at home. The smoked salmon one was better – it didn’t try to be too fussy, and just had smoked salmon, some capers and lettuce, but somehow that simple combination worked.
Still, I don’t foresee us coming back here again, unless Ken’s isn’t open again, and we don’t fancy anything else in the vicinity.
This is my kind of place. Just sandwiches, desserts, milkshakes and coffee. Although honestly, for the price they charge I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you want a quiet, uncrowded place to eat in town.
Centrepoint extension, 3rd floor