Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Owl Cafe

C says:

Homegrown coffee company Owl, a subsidiary of the Super coffee group, has opened a cafe in Star Vista showcasing their coffee and tea beverages, as well as Straits-Asian fare with (at times) a modern twist.

Their menu consists of typical local cafe food like kaya toast and mee siam, as well as slightly more interesting offerings. Think laksa spaghetti with tiger prawns, or soft shell crab with nasi kuning. We tried the soft shell chilli crab spaghetti, which surprisingly packed quite a spicy punch.

The assam chicken wings were pretty messy, but very tasty. The still-tender wings were smothered in a thick, almost rendang-like sauce, which was again (pleasantly) spicier than I expected.

Because we ordered the wings to share, I decided on a lighter main – their bakwan kepiting (pork and crabmeat ball) soup. I like that you have the option to have this with rice, macaroni or tung hoon. I chose tung hoon, of course, and it was a very pleasant counterpoint to the other dishes that we had.
One of their signature drinks is the kopi luwak – civet cat coffee, but at $18.90 we decided to pass. We did try their charcoal roasted coffee ($8.90), which comes with their coffee caviar (little coffee-flavoured pearls in gula melaka syrup). It was a decent enough cup of coffee but certainly not worth $8.90. I reckon their regular gula melaka coffee would be more than good enough.

A says:

The food's about the same standard as PappaRich but the coffee is way better. The question for me is how the kaya toast tastes. Will update once we try. And we'll definitely be back at least once more.

Update: The regular coffee is decent, the regular kaya toast is great, but the portion is small, and the chocolate banana toast is horrible because the banana tastes like rubber, and the ice cream is tainted from being stored with the durian.

Owl Cafe
1 Vista Exchange Green
#02-10 & 11, Star Vista
Tel: 6694-3537

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Two Blur Guys

C says:

Two Blur Guys is an unassuming little burger joint at Orchid Hotel in Tanjong Pagar. According to their website, the said guys decided to open the place when they felt that there was a lack of places in Singapore serving good burgers, pastries and beer for take-out. Apparently the burgers on the menu were conceived with the help of their friend, chef Jimmy Chok. 

A had been hankering to come here for ages, after hearing good reviews from his friends. After a few thwarted attempts when they were closed by the time we arrived, we finally succeeded on Good Friday. We ordered the Prime Beef Burger and the Duck Rillette Burger to share.

The Prime Beef Burger, at $12.50, was decent. The standard one comes with gruyere cheese, the Prime with Portobello mushroom is $16.50, and you can add bacon for an additional $4. The burger was quite nicely done (we asked for medium rare), though maybe a bit lacking in beefy flavour.

The Duck Rillette one ($10.50) was much better. It wasn’t so much a burger, as a duck rillette sandwich, with the rillette in the shape of a patty, and between burger buns. This made it a bit hard to cut/eat, since any pressure applied would just squish the rillette out the sides of the burger, but besides the mess, it was very very tasty.
The basic burgers aren’t huge, so it’s probably better if you don’t come starving.

A says:

Considering the hype over the burger here, the reglar beef burger was rather disappointing. The price is decent but the portion is small (by atetoomuch standards). The duck rillette burger however was awesome. Especially considering the price. I'll definitely be back for that.  

Two Blur Guys
Orchid Hotel
1 Tras Link #01-13
Tel: 6636-4183
Mondays to Saturdays: 11am to 9.30pm

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Jewel Cafe & Bar

C says:

We’re always thrilled when old favourites do well enough amidst stiff competition to open up new branches, that are sometimes even better than the original outlet. Kith is one of them, and now Jewel Coffee too.
We’ve always been a fan of Jewel at Shenton Way – their coffee is good, and more importantly (for us), so is their food. Their chicken wings with kicap manis are to-die-for, and I love their mushroom medley linguine as well. Their second outlet, Jewel Cafe & Bar, is more of a proper eatery with a full menu, complete with a drinks/cocktail menu too.

Loads of things on the menu called out to us, and after a very painful process of elimination, we chose the Shio-Koji Octopoke to start with, and one item each from the pasta and burger sections. The Octopoke had diced octopus seasoned with shio koji, mixed with ginger flower and a wasabi sauce. This was a good palate awakener – bright and fresh, and tart without being too sour.

No mushroom medley on the menu here, but there’s a Roma Carbonara, which I assume is the traditional Roman-style carbonara which doesn’t use cream. Just egg, bacon and cheese. This was a truly awesome carbonara. Every bite was infused with smoky bacon flavour, and the sauce was really light yet tasty. I could easily polish off the entire plate on my own next time.

They have a selection of very tantalizing-sounding burgers. This time, we decided to try the Port and Blue Cheese one. This was also a winner – the patty was a juicy medium-rare and quite flavourful, and the port-infused onions weren’t overpoweringly sweet. I could do a bit more blue cheese though. They use buttery brioche buns for the burger, and for the first time I actually found myself eating all of the bun as well.

For dessert, we tried the pan-seared watermelon steaks with balsamic syrup, basil and pineapple sorbet, and apple crumble with vanilla ice cream. Both were really good. The sorbet was excellent, and while I would have liked the watermelon to have been a bit more charred, the whole flavour combination worked really well. The crumble was slightly deconstructed, and paired with a lovely burnt caramel that saved it from being too predictably sweet.
There are so many more things that I want to try, from more burgers and pasta to some of their sinful-sounding sides. I foresee us venturing to Rangoon pretty often in the coming weeks.

A says:

Except for the lack of parking, this place is awesome. Service is casual and relaxed while the menu is right up my alley. A definite contender for best finds of the year.

Jewel Cafe & Bar
129 Rangoon Road
Tel: 6298-9216
Opening hours: 8 am - 10 pm
Closed Mondays