This isn’t necessarily a justifiable picture reflecting that of the outstanding ambience of the cafe – especially when dusk is imminent. Housing up to approximately 120 patrons, the cleverly dimly-lit cafe, made me, for one, felt cozy and welcomed when I stepped in. Actually, I do believe I’m not the only one who felt the same way (after this friend of mine who insisted on wanting to have Nando’s Chicken for dinner instead, complimented on the ambience too). It was a silent consent that it was a good start to our highly-anticipated (because no one had tried it before) meal.
The concept and design of the cafe sure lived up to the standard of an Arts’ School’s cafe. You can see cut-outs of magazine pages, with words like ‘Oasis of Calm’ and ‘Propaganda Agenda’ taking up the huge fonts on the wall and pillars – how appropriate. You can choose to have your seat by the bar, at the sofa area, or at the proper dining area – the genial waitpersons would lead you to whatever floats your boat.
I was frantically flipping through the pages to set my fingers on the dish I had already pre-set my mind on – Duo Lamb Chop. But very disappointingly, I couldn’t find it, even though I remembered vividly seeing it on its official website (and now that I’ve checked – it IS there. They just need to do a much-needed update on their website’s menu, because it’s at least 50% different, just so you don’t fall for it like I did). After finally convinced that there isn’t going to be any lamb, I flipped between the pages titled ‘Salad In A Jar’ and ‘Main Courses’ to hopefully make up for it.
Cajun Dory :: I settled for Cajun Dory; I’ve always loved Dory fish. If you’re not one who can take spiciness, fret not – even though it looks like it can potentially burn your tongue (for non-spicy eaters), it actually isn’t as bad as you think. In fact, it can get sweeter than you think. The fish itself is done just right – soft, and it splits into pieces just by a slight push of your tongue. The only thing I don’t like about this is its sides (or the lack thereof) – broccoli. Nope. Hard and dry. Dry and tasteless. My stomach wasn’t anywhere near full after finishing that course though.
Fiery Chicken Thigh :: Oh hey, try this first. Tender is the word. All of us took a bit, and all of us fell in love with it. Spicy it is, but I love it that way. My friend who had this course went ga-ga over the herb butter rice too. lol. Most, if not all of us, agreed that this would be the course we’d order the next time we come (together with other groups of friends of ours – it’s so good we’re going to start spreading the words).
Mixed Seafood Spaghetti :: Other dishes we tried include Mixed Seafood Spaghetti, which wasn’t as good as the rest. It was below average (PastaMania can definitely do better), so I wouldn’t really encourage ordering of pasta (the rule for myself is not to order pasta in restaurants/cafes not well known for it, because it’d usually suck/just be average. Well unless the variety of the main courses fail, then I may take a chance).
Chili Beef + Sausage :: And then there’s this dish, with the big, juicy, thick – sausage. lol. I got a bite of the sausage, it was easy to the teeth, very different from usual ones I’ve tried (harder and a little more chewy – depends on which you like). My friend commented that Superdog’s chili beef’s nicer than this. So – I don’t usually eat beef, I wouldn’t know.
4 Cheese Pizza (Vegetarian) :: Before even taking a bite, I could smell the creamy and buttery fragrance of the cheese. Just have to put it out there – I LOVE CHEESE. Mozzarella cheese. Blue cheese. Feta cheese. Cheddar cheese. If you are as much a cheese lover as I am – please do try this. There are 8 pieces to 1, so if need be, order this as a side like we did. The only negative point I have to the pizza is its thin-crust. It was a little too hard for our liking, and at some point, it disturbs the salty and sweet cheesy taste.
Warm Duck Salad | Udon & Prawn Salad :: They are the reason I was there in the first place. Saw the picture of the Salad In A Jar, and I fell in love without second thought. It was love at first sight. lol. Although there were only like 6 pieces of roasted duck meat brushed with honey inside the Warm Duck Salad, each and every piece of it was worth it. I couldn’t bear to swallow what was in my mouth. And the mandarin orange in it made the salad taste funky, in a good way – you know, it’s not just green-ness and leafiness. Occasionally, when you need a change in taste, just pop an orange into your mouth – it’s good.
The Udon & Prawn Salad was more average. I’d pick the warm duck salad over the udon and prawn, although I must say that it’s a unique creation, very nice.
After filling our stomachs up with the appetizers, main courses, and sides, we decided to order some drinks while chillin’ out at the sofa area, right in front of the performance stage (yeah because it was comfortable lying around, doing nothing, and catching up).
Somehow, just somehow, each of the 3 cocktails we got tasted like cough mixture. Mine tasted more like fever mixture, I gotta say, but still. I am absolutely clueless, if it was just us or.. I’ve always got a thing for cocktails, but that night was meh. That glass of German Beer won our hearts at the end of the night, lol.
By the way, the cocktails cost $15++ each, and $12++ for the beer.
Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable night at 15 Minutes. If you know you’re happy then you spend more money. We spent some $40 per person over the 3-4 hours there, so yeah. This gets 3 stars (✰✰✰) for its generally well-liked food and awesome ambience to hang out and chill out on any other night.
—> NOTE #1: Live performances are only on Wednesdays (starting 7.30PM), Saturdays and Sundays (starting 8.30PM).
—> NOTE #2: They have the usual order-and-payment system. Both can be done from your table through the waitpersons.
Address: 1 McNally Street
Telephone: 6333 5915
Photos by Charisse. It’d definitely have been better with a proper camera, bear with it!