Suprette – An American-inspired Cafe with a Kickass Burger

26 11 2014

Nothing has been said about Suprette for a while now and it only resurfaced recently when a friend mentioned that her brother owns a stake in the joint and it was her favourite go-to place for weekend brunch. While I did take her comments with a pinch of salt given the potential conflict of interest, she was also someone whom I could reasonably trust with food recommendations. Hence, I made it a point to schedule a weekend brunch here to catch up with some buddies from back in university.

Housed in a Kam Leng Hotel, a boutique hotel that preserves the nostalgic setting of old school Singapore, Suprette couldn’t have been more different, exuding very young friendly hip vibes. The staff were also extremely approachable and motivated.

If you are in the mood for a hearty breakfast, try out the Shakshuka ($19++) of middle eastern origin, where you get a dish of poached eggs in spicy tomato sauce, feta cheese, lamb sausage and crusty bread. Personally, I would think that it’s hard to go wrong with this dish, given that the execution seems pretty straightforward. Oddly enough, what I really liked from this dish was the bread. They didn’t lie about it being crusty and you will surely need it to tone down the tangy tomato-based stew. The cafe is pretty flexible, so there’s pretty much free reign to swap the lamb sausage to chicken or pork sausage instead.

The Suprette Burger ($20++) comes highly recommended by many local food bloggers and it’s easy to see why. First, the doneness of the beef patty is cooked to your liking. Opting for medium rare, you can see based on the pictures that they got that right, with the patty retaining a healthy pink hue. Second, the patty is juicy and doesn’t fall apart easily when prodded. Most importantly, the burger fares well on the taste-test, with extra flavor from the visible green herbs in the patty. The fries are also executed well, with a nice garlicky aroma. Add-ons are available to make the burger less humble. For us, we got the Mushrooms and Bacon ($3++ each). Was eyeing the Foie Gras add-on ($12++) but guess that’s for another day.

The Chicken Pot Pie ($15++) wasn’t bad but didn’t receive as much praise as the other dishes, since it wasn’t very much differentiated from a generic Chicken Pie. Still, it deserves a premium for being freshly baked, so do expect a 20 minutes wait.

The coffee here are good as well, in the $4-$5++ range.

Overall, Suprette definitely gets my stamp of approval. The cafe see constant turnover but was never packed, service was great and portions are extremely generous, which was why the staff advised us to just get three items to share between the four of us.

Suprette

383 Jalan Besar, Singapore 209001

Tel: +65 6298 8962

Website: http://www.suprette.com

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Stranger’s Reunion – A Lively Cafe

31 08 2013

I first heard of Stranger’s Reunion from ZH last year but never got the chance to drop by (actually I did once without checking opening hours and it happened to be closed). One year down and the once humble cafe has since expanded; now taking up two shop units at its flagship location to cater to the strong demand, as well as opening a second outlet called Strangers’ @ Work at Collyer Quay, with a 3rd outlet in the works.

Stranger’s Reunion wouldn’t be the ideal place if you are looking for a quiet cafe to catch up on reading as the place does get pretty lively, which is exactly what cafe owner cum 3-time National Barista Champion Ryan Tan has been gunning for. The concept of Stranger’s Reunion is predicated upon “old friends catching up”, where cafe goers bump into old acquaintances they haven’t seen in a while.

I was here with some old friends I have known half my life (I’m only 24). We had partied the night before (Zouk’s National Day Mambo) and decided to meet up the next day to grab some coffee and a late breakfast/lunch after sleeping in.

C had the Eggs on Toast ($8++), with choice of eggs cooked either scrambled or poached and choice of English Muffins or Olive Bread or Ciabatta. C opted for the Scrambled eggs on English Muffins. Wouldn’t recommend ordering this as it’s a little plain for my liking and there’s more exciting items available on the menu.

I had the Baked Eggs in Shakshuka with Salami, Goat’s Cheese, Dukkah & Toast ($19.50++), which was rather reminiscent of my favourite brunch item at Cafe Epicurious; Baked Eggs with Toast Soldiers, though the ones here are somewhat less cheesy with stronger hints of tomato in its place. I loved the accompanying bread as it was crisp on the outside yet soft and airy on the inside.

The Truffle Fries with Truffle Aioli & Parmesan Cheese ($12.90++) was very decent as well, hovering around Barracks Cafe and PS Cafe standards, which I find above average relative to others I have tried.

SS had the Buttermilk Waffles with Artisan Greek Yoghurt & Fresh Fruit ($11.50++). There was nothing spectacular about it in my view and on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the crispy-type waffles and 1 being the chewy doughy type, this would lie somewhere around 3-4.

The featured coffee of the day was one from Panama. While the coffee was unique from the usual non-gourmet coffees I’m used to having, I believe what took to me most was the fact that the staff took the time to thoroughly explain where the coffee came from and what was so special about it, even despite the full house. We were given 3 choices of how we would like to have our coffee done and we opted for one cup being made by aeropress and another by syphon (using a vacuum coffee maker, pic shown below). We felt that the syphon method gave a cleaner less bitter taste and both C and myself preferred it over the aeropress.

Overall, I think Stranger’s Reunion is a place worth visiting for their gourmet coffees, light bites, people watching (yes their clientele comprises a young and good looking bunch) and of course, increasing the odds into bumping into old friends.

Stranger’s Reunion

37 Kampong Bahru Road

Tel: +65 6222 4869





Savour 2013 – Nespresso Mixologist Session Preview

28 03 2013

Savour 2013, one of Singapore’s most highly anticipated annual food events, will be held from 11-14 April. As a presenting partner and sponsor, Nespresso will be holding classes again this year, which Savour participants can sign up for during the event. If you had participated in their class sessions during Savour 2012, you would have been introduced to concepts like what makes a good espresso, proper espresso etiquette and the differences between the different Nespresso capsule flavours.

From the recent preview session that I attended, it’s fair to say that this year’s Nespresso class sessions promise to be equally educational and fun, with a focus on letting participants gain first-hand experience on concocting an array of espresso-based derivative drinks. Below is what I went through for the preview and what potential participants can expect to see at Savour 2013.

The folks from Nespresso kindly prepared some canapes before we officially kicked off the class. Though they weren’t the highlight of the preview, snapping food pictures just comes so naturally for me.

Before we started off with the hands-on concoctions, we had a brief refresher on espresso etiquette and the ritual to appreciate a good cup of espresso.

We were then given a demonstration with explanation on how to create 3 different drinks (a Rose Flavoured Cappuccino, a Coconut Flavoured Mocha and an alcoholic Caipiroska Coffee Cocktail) and were given free reign to recreate these drinks under the friendly supervision of our hosts.

Our workstations

Our workstations

Cappuccino a la Rose aka Cappuccino Bandung

Layered Coconut Mocha

Caipiroska Coffee Cocktail

My general feel is that while Singaporeans guzzle coffee as much as they do water, only a minority of us truly appreciate it. So do take the opportunity to sign up for this class or any other classes offered at Savour, especially since there’s complimentary access to them (on a first come first serve basis)!





Toast Box Present “Lim Kopi for a Cause”

3 09 2012

This year, Toast Box embarks in its second year in partnership with ABLE – Abilities beyond Limitations and Expectations Ltd, a charity organization that strives to enable and empower the physically challenged community to be reintegrated into the main stream society in Singapore.

By donating 30 cents for every promotional set sold in the months of August and September, Toast Box’s “LIM KOPI for a Cause” Campaign hopes to generate S$20,000 of funds that will go towards financing ABLE’s assistance programs, beneficiaries with acquired or congenital physical (motor) disabilities as well as their families and caregivers.

Toast Box fans can contribute by delighting in any of Toast Box’s new offerings as below, all of which are priced at a promotional rate during this period:

  • French Toast Butter Kaya / New Hebi Hiam Thick Toast + Kopi @ $3.00 (U.P. $3.50)
  • French Toast Butter Kaya / New Hebi Hiam Thick Toast + Kumquat Jelly @ $4.00 (U.P. $4.50)
  • Curry Chicken + Kumquat Jelly @ $6.30 (UP $7.30)

New Hebi Hiam Thick Toast + Kumquat Jelly @ $4.00

French Toast Butter Kaya + Kumquat Jelly @ $4.00

Curry Chicken + Kumquat Jelly @ $6.30

Apart from the above set meals, Toast Box will also donate $2 to ABLE for every Coffee Brew Set sold in August and September.  The set includes: 1 Toast Box Coffee Brew (a convenient hand-held coffee making apparatus) and 250g of Toast Box Coffee Powder.

Coffee Brew Set with 250g Coffee Powder @ $25

I personally love Toast Box and if I can do my part for charity over their kopi and toast, that’s just awesome.





Kith Cafe @ Park Mall – More Offerings, Better Location

29 08 2012

My previous visit to Kith Cafe at Robertson Quay didn’t leave much of an impression and the cafe felt rather cramped. This has all changed with the opening of a new branch at Park Mall, whose menu offers a wider range compared to their Robertson Quay outlet, with the inclusion of more types of pastas, salads and sandwiches. There’s even interesting chioces like Foie Gras with Fruit Brioche ($18++)!

I don’t think of Kith Cafe as a pasta place but from what I read on Chubby Hubby, the chef here is ex-Da Paolo, which should put minds at ease as to the quality of the pastas.

The Smoke Duck Breast Sandwich ($12++), made from Green Apple, Japanese Cucumber, Spring Onion and Balsamic Reduction in Sourdough was pretty good. I swear the balsamic reduction tastes more like hoisin sauce though, making this taste like a peking duck sandwich, sans the crisp duck skin.

The Big Breakfast ($15++) was awesome as well, in fact it’s one of the better ones I have had. It came with 2 Eggs, Bacon, Smoked Bratwurst, Sauteed Mushroom, a couple slices of Toast with a side of jam. The scrambled eggs was done exceptionally well here, though I wouldn’t say it beats the affordable ones at Australian Dairy Company in Hong Kong. Love the sausage too, it’s the type I like, the kind that provides quite a bit of bite. The bacon wasn’t too salty as well, which was much appreciated.

Had an affordable cup of Cappuccino ($4++), though it was nothing spectacular. To sidetrack a bit, I guess all the hype about Chye Seng Huat Hardware is well founded. Coffee and food there were delish on my recent trip there last weekend!

I used to make Toasties at home too! It’s not difficult at all once you dump everything in the toastie maker. Kith Cafe does it decently too, the Ham, Pineapple & Cheddar Toastie ($6.50++) proved to be a simple but delightful combination.

Overall, I’m rather fond of this new outlet. It’s location is convenient and the food is very decent. If not for the never ending line of cafes on my to-go list, I would definitely be back at Kith in a jiffy.

Kith Cafe

9 Penang Road, #01-01E Park Mall

Tel: +65 6338 8611





Nespresso Boutique @ Ion Orchard – Espresso Tasting

25 03 2012

*This tasting was sponsored by Nespresso

There’s been heated debate going on about whether bloggers should accept tasting invitations. One camp argues that an element of bias will be present for invited meals, ruining the creditability of a blog. That’s why I salute the bloggers who choose to stay objective and blog on their experiences in the guise of a full-paying customer. Yet, I find myself still getting excited whenever I receive such invitations, largely because they signal that there are some people around who appreciate the efforts of my late night blogging, which just makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy inside.

So apart from the fact that I need that ego boost as a pick me up sometimes, there are other perks in accepting invitations for workshops and tastings (apart from just the free food that most people tend to associate tastings with). Firstly, its the chance to mingle and befriend other like-minded souls who are equally if not more crazily obsessed with food. Secondly, it’s the chance to interact with industry professionals like chefs, barristas and restaurant staff, where you actually get to learn more about certain aspects of dining that you were previously ignorant about.

I attended a Nespresso Tasting today and am pleased to have fulfilled the above mentioned perks, meeting bloggers from The Silver Chef, sgdessert, Superadrianme and DaintyFlair, in addition to learning more about Espresso appreciation. Nespresso is one of the sponsors of Savour 2012 and this invitation was part of their publicizing efforts. They will be down over next weekend during the Savour 2012 event to host an Espresso appreciation class as well should you be interested to attend.

We were first given a tutorial on what makes a good Espresso and one defining element is the presence of a generous layer of “Crema” or what is seen as the hazelnut coloured froth on the surface of your Espresso. The Crema is formed by a mixture of air and liquid and helps to liberate aromas above the cup after extraction, but once it stabilises, it helps to preserve the aromatic richness present in the Espresso instead. To get the perfect Crema, the water must be hot enough, the water pressure high enough and the coffee fresh and grounded finely enough.

Some interest takeaways I learnt today was that the caffeine present in an Espresso is only about half of that present is a standard 240ml mug of drip coffee and that the intensity (bitterness) of a coffee is defined by its degree of roasting (the longer the roast, the more bitter and intense flavour you get) and has no correlation to the amount of caffeine that is present inside.

I have always associated “Grand Crus” with wines but Nespresso also calls its 16 varieties of coffee as “Grand Cru“, possibly because a coffee’s flavour and tones can be just as complex and varied as wines.

Of the 16 types, 3 are Pure Origin Espressos (meaning the beans are sourced from a single location), 7 are Espresso Blends (meaning beans from several locations are mixed to create a unique flavour), 3 are Lungos (Coffees that are meant to be enjoyed in a large cup instead of a 40ml Espresso shot) and 3 Decaffeinated (consisting 2 Espresso flavours and 1 Lungo). Of the 16, I managed to sample 4 different types of Espressos and 1 Limited Edition Espresso that is no longer on sale.

Our planned tasting was to consist of the 3 Pure Origin Espressos, each with its own unique aroma.

We started off with the mildest Espresso of the lot, Dulsao do Brasil. It is supposed to taste of honey, malt and cereals but apart from being rather smooth and not as bitter as I’d imagine, I had some trouble detecting the sweet undertones. A piece of advice we were given was to slurp our espressos as we do our ramens, so as to allow the espresso to splash with around your tongue and provide a burst of flavour.

For our second Espresso, we tried the fruity Rosabaya de Colombia. In describing coffees, NEVER use the term sour unless you are describing coffee that has turned bad. The appropriate term to use is citrus-sy. I was able to detect light winey tinges in this Espresso, so I was quite happy that my palate wasn’t a total flop after all.

In relation to citrus-sy coffees, one of the bloggers asked how do we differentiate good citrus coffees from bad sour coffee. Given that question, we were given another Espresso Blend to try called Cosi. This was a very light Espresso Blend that wasn’t very bitter. What I discovered about this blend is that I didn’t detect the lemony tones until after swallowing the coffee. So it was more of an aftertaste. For spoilt sour coffees, you will be sure to notice right away once it touches your tastebuds. This was probably my favourite of the 4 coffees, probably because I found the citrus-sy flavours unique and easily discernible.

I’m not one for “Kopi Gao” but if you are, you might want to try the Indriya from India, one of the most intense and bitter Espressos that Nespresso has to offer to kick start your morning. As per the Cosi, I only discovered the intensiveness of the Indriya during the aftertaste, where I was taken by surprise with a bitter blast of flavour, causing my face to cringe. I was not the only one though, as I was keeping my eye on the guest seated next to me who had similar reactions.

I also took a look at the various Nespresso machines on sale. The latest model is the Nespresso Pixie, which is better than previous models because of its compactness and certain extra features such as an auto power-off function to save electricity and a light indicator to signal the current level of water in the machine and when it is time to top up with more water.

Truthfully, I always stick to my lattes and cappuccinos, and have often steered clear of espressos, scared that the bitterness will overwhelm me so I was pleased that this tasting gave me a chance to discover the depths of Espresso appreciation that I have yet to unravel.

Special thanks to Nespresso and Crowd PR for hosting the Espresso tasting.

Nespresso Boutique

2 Orchard Turn, #01-14 Ion Orchard





Soho7 Cafe & Bistro – SMU Students can finally say Nay to Koufu and Kopitiam

3 05 2011

SMU students are a really sad bunch when it comes to mealtimes. Normally, it’s a choice between the overpriced and crappy Koufu at the school basement, the Kopitiam opposite school or the student-run cafes. So when an affordable cafe serving more than decent food opens shop just opposite Timbre, it’s definitely a cause for celebration and joy for us deprived students.

With a seating capacity of around 20 pax, it’s not a big place and is rather hidden from public eye but when I was there on a Sunday afternoon, business was brisk and I have no doubt that once summer is over and term starts again, Soho7 will be swarmed with students.

Priced between $3 to $6 depending on the type and size of caffeine boosters chosen, it’s a cheaper alternative to the larger coffee chains. Yet quality is supposedly uncompromised, as Soho7 roasts their coffee beans every 2 or 3 days for a fresher and more fragrant brew.

On the left is their signature burger, the Soho7 Best Ever Burger ($9.70) is more or less their basic Delish Burger ($7) with additional toppings of Egg, Bacon and Swiss Cheese. Now that I mention it, I think they might have missed out on the egg for my burger! Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the burger, especially because of the bacon and BBQ sauce which tastes really home-made. And on the right is the PattyMelt Burger ($7.70) which is a Delish Burger with melted Swiss Cheese. I do recommend sticking to the Soho7 Best Ever Burger though, as the bacon is a crucial ingredient in elevating the taste factor.

Apart from the burger menu, Soho7 also offers an all-day breakfast menu. The Tassie Benedict ($14.70) consists of 2 poached eggs, smoked salmon, spinach, toast smothered by Hollandaise Sauce. For the eggs, it was ever so slightly overpoached with the yolk not as runny as it should be. I do love the toast, and the creamy Hollandaise though not very rich, made up for it with sheer volume. It’s a pretty decent Salmon Benedict, and I feel it’d be best shared with a friend to avoid the risk of any “gelat-ness”.

On a side note, there’s a cool camera shop a few shops away from Soho7. Do visit it too because it’s really quite interesting with many cool looking cameras.

Anyway, a mutual friend of mine and Soho7’s boss told me that Soho7 is planning to set up another outlet to replace the 7-11 shop in the basement of SMU / Bras Besar MRT. Let’s all wait in anticipation for that, shall we?

Bon Appetit!

SOHO7 CAFE & BISTRO

36 ARMENIAN STREET, #01-08

TEL: +65 6634 5779








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