A and I had dinner at this very interesting place in Plaza Singapura on Tuesday night. The café is called Tea Cosy, and it’s nestled inside a shop called Eclectic Attic, selling all sorts of collectibles, antiques and flea market finds – from vintage clothes and accessories to furniture and knick-knacks.
At first glance, the shop just looks like a vintage furniture store. We happened to chance upon it only because we parked on that level, and saw a menu scribbled on a white board outside the store on our way from the carpark. That’s when we peered inside the store and realised that they had place settings at the tables. We took a seat at one of the tables, and realised that everything is for sale – from the decorations on the table to the wooden benches that we were sitting on, and even down to the crockery, I think.
The place is really quaint because no two tables are alike, although it feels really strange eating on the very furniture that they are trying to sell. There was a funky-looking table with a chair that looked like a wagon, but unfortunately it was taken.
The a la carte menu is centred on tea and desserts, but there’s a fairly good choice of hot dishes too, like grilled dory, minute steak, garlic prawns and even foie gras. Prices for the hot mains are in the region of early $20s. There’s also a daily set menu that’s available for both lunch and dinner. For $15.95, you get a soup/salad, a sandwich/pasta, and a ‘surprise’ dessert which consisted of a tiny square of cake.
In addition to the mushroom soup that we chose for our starter, A and I also shared a starter from the a la carte menu – the grilled mushrooms with parmesan cheese and sundried tomatoes. The menu said there would be a 15 minute wait, but these ended up coming even before our soup.
There was a mixture of shitake and button mushrooms. Surprisingly, even though I’m a bigger fan of buttons than shitakes, this dish worked better with the shitakes; maybe because shitakes have a stronger flavour in general. The mushrooms are drizzled with a buttery parmesan cheese combi and baked till the cheese is melted and golden. Unlike A, I’m not a big fan of sundried tomatoes but I do admit that they did add some kick to the mushrooms.
The mushroom soup isn’t really worth mentioning – it was quite thin, not particularly flavourful, and seemed to have a faint aroma of coriander/cilantro/kng chye. Enough said.
A’s main was an open-faced sandwich with smoked salmon. This was totally up his alley – it was like being back in Scandinavia again, heh. The smoked salmon was served on hamburger buns, and was accompanied with an interesting coleslaw of carrots and broccoli.
I chose the duck pasta with sundried tomato sauce. Actually, I didn’t notice the sundried tomato sauce when I ordered it – I just saw “duck” and “pasta” and decided to order it. The sundried tomato sauce turned out to be a light cream sauce with diced sundried tomatoes. I ended up leaving most of the tomatoes behind and A polished them off. They were quite generous with the shredded duck, although the duck flavour was particularly strong. It was quite spicy too, thanks to chilli flakes that I found in the sauce.
I can’t get over how surreal it was to have dinner inside a furniture store. Still, it was a pleasant experience, and some of their tea-time offerings look pretty good, like hot scones and a selection of tea cakes. This may be a nice place to chill out after shopping – it’ll probably be nice to plonk yourself there with a good book and have a tea and some scones.
Interesting ambience, but the seats next to the window (which is really most of them) can leave you with a bit of a fish tank feel.
Service was very good, but that’s not saying much since we were pretty much the only ones there.
Food was better than expected but nothing really great. I do like how the menu selection isn’t all that boring. Considering the dining choices at PS are pretty generic, if I had to eat there, this would be one of my preferred choices.
#05-10 Plaza Singapura
Opening hours: 11 am to 9.30 pm