37 Kampong Bahru Road
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 9:00am – 11:00pm
Mocha and Cupcake
So, over the weekend, we finally made our way to Strangers’ Reunion to visit Andrew! The name says it all, really. Strangers stumble upon a cafe and bond over their shared love for good coffee. The cafe follows an interesting philosophy on socialisation, eschewing flashy publicity for a simple understated approach. Tucked away in a nondescript row of shophouses near Outram Road, the cafe is recognisable from the outside only by a set of brown, distressed wooden doors. Most of the patrons had heard of the place from someone else or had done a little research before coming in. Regardless, simple word of mouth is as potent a tool as a good cup of coffee, and the cafe does a brisk business within its cosy confines.
Andrew at the counterAndrew is a wizard in the kitchen. He was Glen’s housemate in London and was nice enough to cook us dinner whenever we were all home. (psst, what would we do without you? :))
Waffles, Ice Cream, Fresh Fruit
Glen and I are big, big, big fans of waffles and ice cream. It was with a connoisseur’s eye that we approached Strangers’ Reunion’s current offering. The batter was tweaked from a traditional Belgian waffles recipe and uses yoghurt as a substitute to milk. the result was a lighter, fluffier dough that crumbles beautifully in the mouth. It also helped that the waffle mold was a thick one, which gives the waffle more volume to wrap one’s voracious tongues around.
Ciabatta, Chicken Tandoori, Apple and Red Cabbage Slaw, Mint and Dill Greek YoghurtWe didn’t try the sandwiches, but Andrew was happy to let us take some photos of the preparation.
Baguette, Roasted Pork, Hoisin Sauce, Sliced Chilli, Spring OnionAny Singaporean worth his salt (and unrestrained by dietary requirements) knows the value and taste of mouth-wateringly good siobak. The roast pork here is hand-sourced every morning from the owner’s special contacts. We’re dying to have a go at this the next time. (24/07/12 edit: Came back, tried it. Every bit as succulent and melt-in-your-mouth tender as we imagined it to be.)
Cafe Latte in pretty cups and plattersThe owner of the cafe is Ryan Tan, a two-time Singapore Barista Championships winner. When we visited he was off in Austria to better his previous year’s rankings at the World Barista Championships, where he clocked in at 28th position before. (24/06/12 edit: He was 2nd runner-up in the Latte Art Category.) We’re not experts on coffee, but Glen liked the latte enough to declare he was ‘never going to look at a cup of Starbucks in the same way again’. If anything, you can admire the fine latte art, which makes for excellent pictures.
And then there was the dessert. The whiskey cake came well reviewed, and our personal taste test revealed a cake that was generous on chocolate and packed a good boozy punch. The chocolate layer on the top is similar in taste and texture to champagne Royce chocolates, with a fine, even consistency.
Red Velvet CupcakesAccording to Andrew, the cupcakes follow the same recipe as the Hummingbird Bakery’s signature dessert, but some changes in the icing were made. The original uses a diabetes-inducing amount of icing sugar for a hard-tip icing finish whereas the ones above use more cream cheese, for a creamier and less sweet taste. Although no changes were made to the cake base, they tasted lighter and drier than the originals. It’s a matter of preference on how one likes their cupcakes, but we enjoyed these immensely.
& the picture I took of Andrew and Glen!