STRANGERS’ REUNION Cafe at 37 Kampong Bahru Road

Updated: 30 May 2014

Strangers’ Reunion has expanded and moved to a bigger space (just beside the old unit). This is a much welcomed change considering the previous space was a little squeezy… cozy, but squeezy.

I was very pleased with the expanded food menu plus the QUALITY of the food. We had the Eggs on Toast (S$10.50), Smashed Avocado on Focaccia (S$13.90), and the Parma Ham Benedict (S$19.90). All 3 were really good except that the Smash Avocado on Focaccia was a little heavy and best shared.

Smashed Avocado on Focaccia
Smashed Avocado on Focaccia
Pharma Ham Benedict
Parma Ham Benedict

For coffee, try Magic (S$5.50), a double ristretto with milk. They claim to be the first to introduce this in Singapore and this cuppa has the “magical ratio of coffee to milk”. It was truly magical. (Sorry, no picture… we were so anxious to sip it that we forgot to take a pic… haha…). But here’s a pic of my Hot Chocolate (S$5.50)… boring…

Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate

The expanded menu also included light bites like Spam Fries (S$10.90), Truffled Sweet Potato Chips (S$12.90) and Magic Mushrooms (S$15)… err… nope, not that kind of magic mushrooms; as well as ButterMilk Waffles (S$11.90 – S$14.90). I didn’t get to try any of these, but it definitely sounded interesting. Next time I guess.


Strangers' ReunionI have visited Strangers’ Reunion a few times and this quaint little cafe has not failed to charm me with its decor, personable service and most importantly, their coffee.

Strangers' Reunion

This joint boasts of being the home to a two-time Singapore national barista champion as well as the second runner-up in the World latte art championship.  The latte art looked impressive though nothing really unique. Having said that, not many cafes in Singapore bother about latte art so this was quite refreshing. Beyond the aesthetics, the Cappuccino (S$4.90) was aromatic, rich and smooth. Thumbs up!

Latte and Mocha
Latte and Mocha

For food, I tried the Eggs Benedict (S$15), the Strawberry Flan (S$7.50) and a special “limited edition” Guinness cupcake ($4). The Eggs Benedict was tastier than it looked. But for the price paid, I had much better ones elsewhere. The flan and the cupcake were okay, nothing to scream about.

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict
Strawberry Flan
Strawberry Flan
Guinness Cupcake
Guinness Cupcake

On a separate occasion, I also ordered their Red Velvet Cupcake and a Sandwich.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Red Velvet Cupcakes

My conclusion is… come for coffee and the cozy ambiance. The food is very edible but definitely not the star of the show. And I want to mention again that their service has so far been exceptionally good. It is such a rarity these days considering our service industry in Singapore is so starved of good service professionals.

Strangers’ Reunion
33/35/37 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore 169354
(Shophouse along the road, opposite Singapore General Hospital)

Opens 9am – 10pm (Monday,Wednesday – Sunday, closed on Tuesdays)

&MADE by Bruno Menard in Pacific Plaza

&Made by Bruno Menard is a great addition to Pacific Plaza, a mall at the start of Orchard road that has lost most of its buzz. It is probably better known now for hair salons and yoga, and music blasting from That CD Shop.  But now there is &Made… thank goodness.

The restaurant is small, chic and warm. Yes, warm as in temperature. We believe it is the fault of the low hanging bulbs. Looks good but feels warm and stuffy. The seats nearer to the kitchen counter is a lot cooler.

The friendly waiter recommended The 3  Little Pigs burger S$23. He said it was the best seller. I tried the Kimchi burger previously and I thought it was just okay. But this piggy didn’t disappoint! Upgrade to truffle fries for S$3.

The 3 Little Pigs Burger

You have to try a Toastoo. It was highly recommended by a friend. I was told the best seller is the Farmer S$15. However, I was more in a fishy mood so I went for the Viking S$17. Crispy toasted crepe with warm and creamy fillings. I thought the broccoli was a nice companion to the salmon and the cream cheese helped to balance the stronger salmon taste. A dash of lemon juice made it perfect.

Viking Toastoo

Dessert was the Lollipop Waffle S$9. I was sold purely by its name. It is served with caramel, white and dark chocolate sauces. Indulgent! Nothing special about the waffle besides its shape. I thought it was too small a portion for its price. But if you want a light dessert, this will be it.

Lollipop Waffle

Oh, I forgot to mention the lovely drinks. I tried a Banana & Honey Shake S$9 and a Lychee, Raspberry & Rose Smoothie S$9. 100/100 points, especially for the Banana & Honey Shake – you could distinctly taste the banana and the honey.

Banana & Honey Shake and Lychee, Raspberry & Rose Smoothie

I’m definitely coming back.

&Made by Bruno Menard
#01-04/05/06 Pacific Plaza
9 Scotts Road
Singapore 228210
Opens 10am – 10pm (Sun – Thurs), 10am – midnight (Fri & Sat).
Tel: 6732-9808

NANA’S GREEN TEA in Jcube Mall (Updated 23 Dec 2012: Jcube outlet has closed, visit their new Plaza Singapura outlet)

Nana’s Green Tea is a big green tea/dessert chain in Japan. I had the privilege to meet their CEO (Nanaha Group) many many months back, when he was in Singapore, exploring the possibility of opening an outlet here. I didn’t hear from him since then, so I was pleasantly surprise when I saw a new Nana’s Green Tea outlet when I visited Jcube mall.

I wasn’t quite in the mood for a green tea drink, but my sweet tooth called out to the ice cream sundaes and desserts that Nana’s was offering. We got a Berry Parfait (S$12.80) and a Macha and White Pearl Parfait (S$11.80). Hmmm… a little bit expensive, especially for a rather ordinary looking soft-serve ice cream sundae. But once I dug into it, mixed the toppings and tasted it, I felt it was worth every cent. The flavours and texture of the ice cream and toppings blended very well together, and left me wanting more. If not for my growing waistline, I would have had another.

Macha and White Pearl Parfait & Berry Parfait

We also tried the Banana Chocolate Crepe (S$9.40). Good but not great. It’s a comfort food, so I would order it again.

Banana Chocolate Crepe

Nana’s has quite an extensive menu. From a wide range of Drinks – green tea, roasted green tea (Hoji-Cha), Azuki red beans and coffee, to Parfaits, Crepes, and even savory Galettes.

Nana’s Green Tea

Jcube (Updated 23 Dec 2012: This shop has closed)
Jurong East Central 1
Singapore 609731

The Atrium @ Orchard, Plaza Singapura #03-80/82
60B Orchard Road
Singapore 238839
Opens 11am – 10pm (Last Order 9.30pm)

DRIPS BAKERY CAFE at Tiong Bahru Estate

I visited a charming little bakery and cafe in Tiong Bahru recently. Amidst the old shop-houses, Drips Bakery Cafe stood out with its bright, modern yet homely interior. We were greeted by young and somewhat good-looking staff, which I guess made the experience a little bit more pleasant. You can call me shallow but it works. Heh.

I was entertaining overseas guests and the ambiance was conducive enough for a casual business chit chat. The person at the table beside me was even doing a presentation of his company’s services (I think… I wasn’t eavesdropping) to this pretty and well-dressed lady. Yes, such sightings do add to the “decor”.

We ordered a Mango & Raspberry Tart (S$7.80) and a slice of Chocolate Truffle Cake (S$7.80) as well as drinks – Latte (S$4.80), Long Black (S$4.50) and a refreshing Drips Ice Shaken Lemon Tea (S$5). Whatever shakes works for me! Ok, private joke…haha. Beyond pastries, Drips also serve a savory range of salads, sandwiches and quiches.

Mango Raspberry Tart, Chocolate Truffle Cake and Iced Shaken Lemon Tea

The Chocolate Truffle Cake was rich and best shared, while the tart is easily consumed by one mildly hungry person. The tart’s pastry base was crunchy and not soggy, which was a big plus point for me. I’ve tried too many tarts, even from good and reputable pastry shops, with semi-soggy pastry bases.  So this was a pleasant surprise for me.

Drips Bakery Cafe
Tiong Bahru Estate
82 Tiong Poh Road #01-05
Singapore 160082

Opens 11am – 9.30pm (Sun – Thurs), 11am – 11pm (Fri & Sat). Closed every Tues.

RUMAH RASA Indonesian Restaurant in Bay Hotel Singapore


Bay Hotel Singapore located at the gateway to Sentosa, is home to Rumah Rasa, a pan-Indonesian restaurant serving exotic and authentic Indonesian fare in a chic minimalistic wood-accented environment.

Chef Sharifah, who helms the restaurant, brings together her experience in Raffles Hotel and St. Regis Hotel, to offer the beautiful flavors of Indonesia using fresh seasonal produce. She makes the rempah paste from scratch, and laboriously prepares her belado, a chilli-based sauce, with a variety of fresh chillis, chilli padis, garlic, red shallots, calamasi and tomatoes.

Rumah Rasa’s menu serves your traditional Indonesian dishes. You get your usual suspects like Sayur Lodeh (S$8), Tahu Telur Surabaya (S$8), Ayam (Chicken) Panggang Berkakak Jakarta (S$14), Beef Rendang Sumatra (S$14), Udang (Prawn) Petai Belado (S$18) and Ikan (Fish) Bakar Rumah Rasa (S$28) and lots more. One unique item is the Paru Belado (S$8) which is crispy beef lungs served with chopped chilli and onions. It tastes a lot better than it sounds. Chef Sharifah explained that the beef lungs are sliced very thinly in order to make it crispy and removing the typically chewy texture of the meat. It was my first time trying lungs, but definitely not my last.

To compliment the savoury meal, try the refreshing Ais Serai (S$6), a homemade lemongrass juice or the bubbly Soda Gembira (S$6) which is a modified “Bandung” – rose syrup and evaporated milk with soda water.

For desserts, a must-try would be the Es Chendol (S$6), a concoction of fresh coconut milk, kidney beans, grass jelly and the biggest atap seeds I have ever seen. For a slightly heavier option, go for the Banana Fritters (S$8) served with Vanilla ice cream. The bananas were sweet and the batter made to perfection.  With drizzles of chocolate sauce plus the creamy Vanilla ice cream, it is an indulgent way to end a great meal.

Lunch: 11.30am – 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.30pm – 10.30pm

Rama Rasa
level 1, Bay Hotel Singapore
50 Telok Blangah Road
For reservations, call +65 6818 6681

LITTLE FISH SHOP in Nex Mall at Serangoon Central

The Little Fish Shop isn’t a shop selling aquarium fishes but a seafood restaurant in the suburban mall Nex. Cute name.

My friend works around the area and he said this fishy place is probably one of the more presentable restaurants for a proper western meal with his corporate associates. So it’s business-friendly. It is after all managed by the popular Greenwood Fish Market and Bistro.

My close friend had to bear with my photo taking every time a dish appeared. “Can you please just eat?!” he quipped. Heh.

If you’ve read some of my other posts, you might notice I’m quite a sotong person. We ordered calamari (S$9.95). Crispy batter and fresh calamari, with a dash of lemon. Pass. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

Fried Calamari

Another pleaser was the Littleneck Shellfish/Clams in White Wine Sauce (S$12.95). I’m not totally sure if this is the exact same clam as “La La” (local name of clams found in most hawkers)… but tasted similar. Anyway, these fresh clams were tender with the right amount of chewiness, and most importantly, it was not mushy. The sauce was fragrant and flavourful.

Littleneck Shellfish in White Wine Sauce

I wasn’t feeling too adventurous so I had the Prawn Aglio Olio (S$19.95) as my main. The only thing that could go wrong with Aglio Olio is the pasta. The rest isn’t rocket science – olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Ok, I know you can list a bunch of other things that could go wrong but you get my point. My spaghetti was al dente. Perfect.

Prawn Aglio Olio

I really enjoyed the meal.  It’s probably the company too. Nothing beats having comfort food with a close friend. Reminds me of the movie Eat, Pray, Love.

The Little Fish Shop
NEX @ Serangoon Central
23 Serangoon Central #04-15/16
Singapore 556083

Opens 11.30am – 10.30pm daily

WILD HONEY in Mandarin Gallery

When Mandarin Gallery first opened their doors a few years ago, I remember being one of the first few customers of Wild Honey and somewhat surprised that they only served all-day breakfast sets. I thought they were very brave to be so focused on the type of food they wanted to offer. I recalled having a Japanese set breakfast then and was impressed by its presentation and taste. It was pretty good. However, I haven’t been back since.

I’m glad the concept took off well and Wild Honey already has their second outlet in Scotts Square. More importantly, they have a good following of regulars that almost guarantees a full-house on weekends.

I finally visited Wild Honey for my second time and I was blown away by how extensive their menu had grown. I chose the Norwegian Benedict (S$26) which consisted of grilled asparagus, avocado and poached egg, wrapped with smoked salmon and topped with Hollandaise sauce and salmon pearls, on top a whole wheat brioche. That’s quite a mouthful, literally. The asparagus and avocado gave it a good bite and also balanced the saltiness of the salmon and salmon pearls, as well as the tangy Hollandaise sauce.

Norwegian Benedict

My overseas friend had the Scandinavian set (S$26) which consisted of a grilled salmon fillet on top crisp potato rosti and grilled asparagus, drizzled with Hollandaise sauce. Check out the blood red tomatoes! The dish looked great and my friend was all thumbs up for it.

Scandinavian Set

Wild Honey
Mandarin Gallery #03-02
333A Orchard Road
Singapore 238897

Opens 9am – 10.30pm (Mon – Fri), 8am – 10.30pm (Sat & Sun)

ICE CREAM CHEFS at Upper Thomson

Just a stone’s throw away from my home, there is a fairly new ice cream shop called Ice Cream Chefs. Modeled closely to the likes of “Cold Stone”, Ice Cream Chef allows you to choose your flavours, toppings, and mixes them on a cold slab in front of you. The difference is that they feature more local and innovative flavours and have a warm and casual ambiance.

I wanted to try something really different so I choose 2 flavours – the Taro (Yam) and Kaya Lotee (Bread) ice cream, topped with almond flakes. My friends cringed at the mention of the combo, but I thought it would go quite well, considering Kaya and Taro are both quite “Asian”. Thankfully, I was correct. It blended very well together… in fact, I think it blended too well. I was hoping to get 2 complementing yet different tastes, so you get a plethora of tastes in your mouth but what the combo delivered was at best a 1.3

Kaya Lotee Ice Cream + Taro Ice Cream + Almond Flakes

My friend tried an even more interesting combination – Durian + Almond Jelly. Firstly, the durian ice cream here is good… powerfully intense. I thought the durian would overpower the taste of the Almond Jelly, but our good ol’ traditional jelly dessert gave a good fight, resulting in a concoction where both flavours were strong, distinct and yet oddly complementary. Bravo to Dennis!

Durian Decadence Ice Cream + Almond Jelly Ice Cream

Ice Cream Chefs
No. 12 Jalan Kuras (Upper Thomson)
Singapore 577727

Opens 12pm – 11pm (Sun – Thurs), 12pm – 12am (Fri, Sat & Eve of Public Holidays)

GENKI SUSHI in Orchard Central

I wasn’t really in a mood for Japanese and had my eyes on a nice warm Quiznos sandwich, but my friends convinced me to detour into Genki Sushi. No regrets. The quality of the sushi here was surprisingly good though it would have been perfect if they had a wider range of sushi.

The dessert mochi looked awful but once you bite into it, you will remember never to judge the book by its cover. Ok, I guess for food, you are entitled to judge but make this an exception. If I weren’t stuffed with sushi, I would have gone for a second helping. The ice cream sundae was good though nothing to shout about.

What made the dining exceptionally interesting is that ordering was entirely done on a iPad, and the ordered food was delivered to your table/booth in a cute train. It will thrill your kids for sure! For the rest of us who do not have kids, this is a reminder of the push for productivity here in Singapore and the demise of personal service. Then again, I’m not in a 5-star restaurant so I was perfectly comfortable to DIY. The iPad ordering application was intuitive and easy to use. Just a click here and there and within minutes, your food arrives. This is probably a better method compared to the conveyor belt system because your sushi is only  prepared upon ordering so it’s fresh.

Ordering With iPad

What impressed me most was that you could view your bill and see how much you’ve spent so far. And even find out which items have already been served and which were still pending.

Viewing Bill On iPad

My friends and I are definitely coming back.

Genki Sushi
#03-32 Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
Singapore 238896
Tel: +65 6238-0900

Opens 11.30am – 9.30pm (Sun-Thurs), 11.30am – 10pm (Fri, Sat & Public Holidays)

4FINGERS Crispy Chicken in ION Orchard

4Fingers serves one of the best fried chicken wings in town. It is described as Korean themed cuisine from the streets of New York City. The wings come in 2 flavours – Soy Garlic and Spicy. Both are equally good though the Spicy version is stronger in taste and savorier. I personally prefer Spicy. The wings are extraordinarily crispy and they are fried upon ordering so you get it piping hot. The wait used to be 10 – 15mins (after ordering) but I suspect they have fine-tuned their processes so that you get it much quicker now.

4Fingers Crispy Chicken

There is only 1 long bench with 8 seats in the outlet. I was told it was not meant to be a sitting area but a waiting area. However, over time, many customers who needed a quick bite, would use the bench for eating. If you can’t find a seat in the outlet, you can consume it at the tables/seats provided by ION, which are behind the various food outlets/kiosks.

These fiery wings aren’t cheap. Also, the wings are not big or chunky but small compared to those we get at most snack corners. But as the saying goes, good things come in small packages.

I tried the Calamari too. It was not bad but nothing to shout about. Save your money and go for another round of chicken wings.

Crispy Calamari

ION Orchard #B4-06A
2 Orchard Turn
Singapore 238801

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