this is quite a homely cafe – it feels like a neighborhood bistro you would sit down at with a beer and pizza in hand. open air and communal feeling, it serves up unfancy, decent food at weekday-able prices.
it’s what I think of as the cafe-cartel-gone-good menu – in that it’s an indiscriminate mix of what we in singapore term as ‘western’ food, which encompasses (nearly) everything that you non-rice-eaters eat.
you’ll see things like mushroom soup (quite good and fragrant with the smell of the fungi, without any of that dreaded gloppiness), pizza (of the thin-crusted variety, generous with the (supermarket-type pre-grated) cheese, as well as pastas and meats.
our favorite dish might have been these mushrooms, ordered as an afterthought, which were tender pieces encased in a crunchy breaded exterior. I prefer them with ketchup rather than that sauce they were doused in (cheese?), but it’s easy enough scraping one off and dipping into the other.
the pasta a la wine-and-clams were a little wetter than you’d ordinarily expect, but really quite good since the broth was well-flavored and properly seasoned.
they also do quite well with the cooked meats – my salmon was quite thoroughly cooked (I might have given it a minute less) but not dry for all of that, and sufficiently seasoned. you’ll likely want some sauce (ketchup? I LOVE KETCHUP) and a little lemon with it, however.
even the grilled chicken – something so ubiquitous it sometimes fades into the backdrop – had char marks that indicated the chef knows his work, and just enough sauce to bring interest.
it’s not large pieces of meat here – but the sides of salad and fries round a meal off nicely.
quite an easy meal – a little more than the western food you’d order at a hawker centre, but the feel of the place brings a little intimacy and relaxation that makes it worth it.
339 Upper Paya Lebar Road
tel +65 6280 0338
$$: 15-30 per person