the plain, craig road

good, homely little cafe along craig road, nearish the chinatown area.

this place has been around for ages, and might be called an institution: it’s small and cramped, it’s barely furnished, and the menu is small – all characteristics that fulfill the requirements of what it is to be a cafe in our modern age. but while some places go off the mark and irritate you with their too-cool-for-school ‘tude, this one maintains a pretty relaxed, chilled vibe that doesn’t annoy.

there doesn’t really seem to be much to say about this place – it’s a cafe, and it fulfills its functions well. the coffee is decent (or at least the brew that went into my affogato was strong but not tannic), and if you can find seats, it makes for a decent place for a chat with friends (except that if you’re sitting at the back, the lack of air-conditioning makes for sweltering conversation).

there is a tiny menu that includes eggs and soldiers (if you’re the sort that knows this as set A, this place is going to be overpriced for you) as well as cute little bowls of bircher muesli (such a rarity in this country – done here a little on the small and sweet side, but otherwise inoffensive).

communal sitting is the name of the game – unless you’re in a big enough crowd that you can edge strangers out – which I feel is optimistic in asia, where we whip out our phones to avoid eye contact and speak softly and impersonally when amongst strangers.

but, cute cafe and really rather cosy, and there’s bircher muesli. I’ll probably be back.

The Plain
#01-01, 50 Craig Road
Singapore 089688
tel +65 6423 9918
$$: 50-15 per person (depends on whether you’re eating)

rabbit carrot gun, katong

to follow on the brunch theme (does one post a theme make?), I’ve finally made my way to rabbit carrot gun – which is as strange and awkward (and can I say, unuseful) a name as an eatery could have – doesn’t really tell you anything apart from the fact that their owners are are probably modern types having an inside joke.

it’s a corner cafe in katong serving up fancified british, at prices the people of that fair isle would likely balk at – dominated by katong-type yuppies and expatriates all sitting al fresco in the heat (no one else but the too-cool and foreign would brave it – generalisation, yes, but stereotypes exist for a reason).

my bowl of homemade muesli served with yogurt and berry compote was decent, if small and unfilling. it was the french toast that really surprised us – thick bread that held its structure despite soaking enough egg-and-milk for a custardy inside, served with proper maple syrup and berry compote – it was delicious, and well-worth an order.

if you’re in the area for brunch, the food is pretty decent. which is to say I might come back again (although not travel specifically for) – but the prices are somewhat prohibitive (even for what is supposed to be an overpriced meal), and I like air-conditioning with my food.

Rabbit Carrot Gun
47 – 49 East Coast Road
Singapore 428768
tel +65 6348 8568
$$.5: 30 per person

bircher muesli (an experiment with kiwi)

I’ve already shown you guys two techniques I use for my daily breakfast: a hot cereal of grains, and a cold bircher variation – I’ve eaten either of these two nearly everyday for the last few years, and it truly makes my morning. I may enjoy going out for breakfasts and brunch, but it’s these comforting bowls of oats that I wake hungry for – also why I sometimes pay exorbitantly for a bowl of muesli outside.

this is an update on the cold bircher recipe – and really, a result of indulging myself to a spot of photography in the brilliant night-light on the back porch. I almost prefer this to sunlight – it gives me brilliant white balance and great colour. on to the recipe!

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