Friday, July 14, 2006

PS Café

C says:

Thanks to A’s friend R, who managed to snag a reservation for Sunday night, we finally got a chance to try out the uber-hip PS Café at Harding Road. We’ve heard and read so much hype about it since it opened, but didn’t dare venture out to try it because (1) we figured we wouldn’t be able to get reservations, since we’re not people who know people, and (2) both of us were a bit worried about whether we could hold our own in the air-kissy “muah muah” environment.

Well, PS Café managed to very pleasantly surprise us on all counts. The building and ambience were faultless – it occupies a lovely colonial bungalow in the Dempsey Road area, complete with high, airy ceilings and a full length glass wall on one side. Beyond the glass wall is an outdoor dining area, which supposedly overlooks a wonderful view of greenery from the glass wall. We were there for dinner so didn’t get to see very much.

Our fears of the place being all poseur and no substance were unfounded. Yes, there was your fair share of recognisable people amongst the clientele, most notably Jamie Yeo, as well as Chef Oscar and his wife Tracy from Buko Nero, but there was surprisingly not much of a pretentious vibe.

The food more than held its own, thereby ensuring that it doesn’t solely rely on hipness to survive – we were very impressed with everything that we ordered. For starters, A and I shared the Cream of Portobello Mushroom soup with Pesto Oil, which was the soup of the day, and a Roast Beef salad, which is a permanent item on the menu. The soup was very good – thick yet not excessively heavy, with a very pronounced mushroom flavour. The pesto oil that was drizzled on top gave it an interesting twist from regular mushroom soups.

The Roast Beef salad was brilliant. It was a starter but sizeable enough to have as a satisfying main course on days that you’re not all that hungry. The roast beef was rare and thinly sliced, and served with roasted root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, beetroot and eggplant (ok maybe eggplant’s not a root vegetable…), as well as rocket leaves and drizzled with an amazing creamy yet peppery dressing. While the meat alone wasn’t stellar, the combination of all the ingredients worked wonders.

A and I both had specials for our main courses. (The specials for the day are written on a huge chalk board) I had the Fillet Mignon, and A had the Lamb Tenderloin Mignon. I had a bite of A’s and it was pretty good. It was wrapped in bacon and served with a spinach puree. The lamb was tender and not too strong in flavour. However, we both agreed that my fillet mignon was the better of the two. It was served with a portion of gratin potatoes, some rocket leaves, topped with a single garlic prawn, and smothered with an absolutely incredible sauce. As you know, I’m not a big fan of sauces with my steaks because I’m a purist, but in this case I couldn’t get enough of the sauce. It was slightly creamy, tomato-ey and garlicky all at the same time, without any flavour overpowering the other. The steak itself was pretty good, but somehow lacked the sweetness and fine texture of the tenderloins that we get at Buko Nero. Although that’s probably less to do with the chefs’ skills, and more to do with their respective meat suppliers.

Against our better judgment, we shared a dessert, a Banana Cream Pie. This was pretty good but the caramel pie filling got way too sweet to handle after a while. The house special was mango and banana crumble served with vanilla ice cream, but we didn’t order that because of A’s mango aversion. I tried a bite from one of our friends and it was very good.

A minor hitch was the waiters, and in particular the bar. Our food arrived quicker than our drink orders did, and we had to remind them more than once about some of our drink orders. The place would be perfect if they could improve their drinks service and employ a few more savvy waiters. All in all though, I have only good things to say about this place, and we’ll definitely be going back.

A says:

Food very good. Bear in mind the starter portions are huge. Mains are more manageable. Desserts are quite big too. We definitely ate too much that night.

While the food servers were nice and efficient, the drinks took forever to come and we had to keep reminding the waiters to get them.

Overall, I’m very pleasantly surprised with the food and how the place isn’t as poser considering how high-class the crowd is. A bit easy to get lost finding the place at night so better be prepared.

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