2013-03-25 163 瀏覽
2pm. We had successfully avoided the lunchtime hustle. But this lovely, airy cafe did not lose its steady stream of customers. Some ordered a cup of coffee to go, others stayed longer for a bit of cake and coffee. We were the only ones gorging on lunch. Environment:Sits around 18-20. Floor-to-ceiling glass panes let in an ample amount of sunlight. The ceiling was very high. I realized that the tables are actually quite close to each other, but it didn't feel cramped because of all the white, lig
Environment: Sits around 18-20. Floor-to-ceiling glass panes let in an ample amount of sunlight. The ceiling was very high. I realized that the tables are actually quite close to each other, but it didn't feel cramped because of all the white, light, and high ceiling. great for relaxing with an ol' Joe.
Even if I were the most nitpicking customer in the world I would not be able to fault service at Cafeine. Service is everything in the restaurant biz which is, essentially, a service industry. The owner/manager/whoever he was manning everything completely won us over with his attentive attitude, friendly personality and heartwarming generosity. I'll call him Mr. X.
The menu: Compliments from the chef - Soup trio: Tomato with pesto, spiced pumpkin, mushroom with truffle oil (with a bit of grilled baguette) So this was a completely unexpected, scrumptious surprise. We asked about the contents of this soup while deciding but didn't order it in the end so Mr. X gave us a 'sample' of the dish instead. Tomato with basil in my opinion was the most outstanding. intense tomato sweetness, cut by the natural acidity a tomato has, paired perfectly with a bit of pesto. Spiced pumpkin was not just a pumpkin puree - there was a heat on the tongue - probably from black pepper or a bit of ginger powder; and also another kind of reddish spice which I can't identify! Very smooth, naturally sweet, feels thick but was not creamy (excellent). Mushroom with truffle oil was again, very smooth, but wasn't really fragrant/intense. Not creamy either, just quite thick. Went well with the 3 small slices of grilled baguette oh, note the sprinkling of black sesame. Not that it added anything to the flavour...
At this point the 3 of us were wandering around taking photos and Mr. X interjected, asking if we wanted a photo taken. With ourselves in it.
Roasted pumpkin - stuffed with hummus, chili, coriander, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin puree $58 This was a sheer delight - never would've I have thought that they would serve up an entire half of pumpkin! Half a baby pumpkin I suppose! It was very sweet, and the roasting added a nice smokey flavour. There were also cubes of pumpkin sitting inside the shelled-out pumpkin bowl, which were softer than the shell. (the whole thing is edible btw!). The scoop of hummus is well-seasoned and very smooth. Quite delicious but I think some of the traditional spices that go into hummus were missing...not that I mind.
Pesto, sun-dried tomato and feta linguine - with pan-fried chicken breast $72 The chicken fillet was very smooth and delicious. No deep-freeze chicken stench! Flavorsome, pan-fried with a bit of pepper and herbs. We discarded the skin, which was extremely fatty and oily, not thin and crisp. But it protected the meat well so that it didn't become dry. The bed of pasta was cooked in salt water and al dente. A few splotches of (home-made) pesto, salty feta cheese and intense sun-dried tomatoes completed the dish. I think the pasta had an interesting flavour - might not be the regular pasta we get at supermarkets. Not sure.
Delicious grilled sandwich - with feta, spinach, sundried tomato and pesto $58 Super delicious and satisfying - the surface of the sandwich was like pita bread, but the inside was fluffy like foccacia. Pressed and grilled . The flavours are basically the same as that of the pasta dish, just that the carb is of a different sort. It was oily, olive oil, fragrant, and very delicious. I could've finished all of this alone.
Compliments from the chef - banana walnut bread (w/ a drizzle of honey and a dollop of butter) So nice of Mr. X! The loaf was bready, as opposed to cakey, in terms of texture. I prefer banana cake. The walnut added a nice crunch but I think they were slightly stale. The small dollop of butter sitting on top was an accessory - like a dancing doll - which I discarded. There was a small drizzle of honey next to each block of bread, which added necessary sweetness to the bread. They went well together.
Mini raspberry almond tart $18 Very economical, and just the right size of a dessert to end the lovely, calorie-loaded meal. The raspberry was quite tart, and it sunk into the middle of the tart, but the sweet, cakey ground almond body balanced out the tartness well. There was also some sweet + tart raspberry sauce. The texture was different from cake. More substantial, and crumbly.
J's coffee which I'll leave for J to write about How beautiful! Never seen this pattern anywhere else.
Cafeine doesn't hold itself out as an Italian 'restaurant' as such - the names gives people the impression that it's more like a cafe - but honestly, the ingredients used and the flavours created remind me strongly of a decent Italian restaurant. So you could come here for more that 'just a quick bite'. I will definitely return to try the other salads and toasties. All the best, Mr. X!