SPR MRKT, short for supermarket, is a bistro at McCallum Street that also sells gourmet ingredients and lifestyle products. It's co-owned by A's friend's sister and the chef, Joseph Yeo, whose previous experience includes Les Amis and recently Waku Ghin. Their pastry chef makes all the cakes, bread and pastries in-house. Read their story in greater detail here.
They firmly believe in only serving the freshest of ingredients and not wasting food. That's why, even though they have a fairly extensive menu, only selected items are available on any given day (2 soups, 3 mains and 2 desserts). The only downside is that if we can only come on Fridays, then we'll only ever try the same dishes.
Friday's menu included a brilliant beef broth with oxtail ravioli. This was an intensely umami beef soup with potato, carrot and amazing ravioli filled with shredded oxtail. It's worth noting that because it's located in the CBD, all their dishes are designed for takeaways, hence the paper soup containers and bento boxes.
Because we'd ordered the beef soup, we passed on the beef lasagne and ordered the mushroom and emmenthal cheese egg sandwich (you can choose between baguette and croissant) and the pork chop. The sandwich was good - light croissant with creamy egg, swiss cheese and sauteed mushrooms. Go for the croissant if you're not hungry, and the more substantial baguette if you are.
The smoked pork chop with crispy mustard crust was awesome. The pork was lean yet still amazingly tender - when we raved about it to the chef, he said it could be because they don't use frozen pork. Maybe he's being modest - I'm sure his cooking skills have a lot to do with it too. The mustard crust was crisp and not overpowering, and even the fries and salad were good.
When you come, don't pass on the desserts, because their pastry chef's skills are something else. Friday's dessert is supposed to be caramelised banana tart but not tonight because apparently their banana supply wasn't up to scratch. Instead there was pear tart, which was really good.
The star of the night was the bread pudding with vanilla sauce. They make individual muffin-sized portions, ensuring lots of browned, crisp edges. Instead of bread, I think they use their in-house pain au chocolat to make the pudding. The result is an awesome, really light pudding studded with chocolate, served with a warm vanilla sauce. Amazing.
They're apparently introducing new menu items in a month or so, though they'll still be sticking to limited items each day. Guess we'll have to mess with our routine at times, so that we get to sample their other non-Friday offerings.
Mega-awesome! Not exactly cheap for a little café but not the most expensive I've been to. You do get fantastic food, and you’d probably be paying a lot more for the same quality at a proper restaurant. And the bread pudding dessert is a mmmm…must-try. The coffee has an interesting flavor too. Must remember to ask where it’s from the next time we go. And we’ll definitely be back. Highly recommended!
2 McCallum Street
Mondays to Fridays: 8am — 9pm
Saturdays: 9am — 4pm (Brunch)
Saturdays: 9am — 4pm (Brunch)