It was a rainy night, we could not really remember when was the last time it rained in the hours of evening in the last couple of weeks, causing an inconvenience to everyone going back home after a hard day’s work. Imagine your feet wet from the puddles on the streets, but arriving at a place with warm lighting and the promise of a movie screening under the stars after dinner, another diner’s cute golden retriever greeted me at the door, the homely and laid back decorations and – the smell of delicious food.
Sure I was glad to step into Café Melba! An infusion of influences from Melbourne (MELB) and Asia (A) with interpretations of Australasian dishes, the café also serves gourmet coffees, and tea from TWG.
This evening, though, we are here to try out the Halloween Set Dinner, which is smartly complimented in the dishes by FIJI Water. If you don’t know what this means it only means you should read on.
Before we started on our dinner, the friendly people at FIJI Water gave me my very first
wine water tasting! Before this I only know there are tap water, bottled water and very expensive bottled water. Admit it, you thought the same as me or have never really bothered to remember any. Well fear not my glutton readers, I will now pass onto you some water knowledge which I have discovered.
“Water from underground.”
An aquifer is built directly above the source of water from underground, where a completely sealed delivery system will then draw the water up and placed directly to the, in this case, FIJI’s iconic square bottles. Simply put, until you unscrew the cap of your bottle, the water is never mixed with our 21st century polluted air or touched by human hands.
“Water from above the ground.”
Like Artesian Water, Mineral (or Spring) Water contains various minerals such as salts. They are water from a mineral spring. The key difference of Artesian and Mineral Waters is as you may have guessed, Artesian Water never leave the confines of the underground whereas Mineral Water is found above the grounds.
Distilled Water has gone through a rigorous filtration process to strip off of any contaminants, unfortunately, together with any natural minerals as well. It can be used for appliances (steam irons). Some of us may remember using them in the labs during our Chemistry classes as well.
Wild Mushroom Soup with Truffle Oil :: Nothing too crazy or technical to stomach before the proper dinner. So when my soup is served, I lost no time to guide a spoonful in my mouth. Some people prefer their soup to be loaded with chunks of ingredients but I am not one of them so this soup sits perfectly with me with its generous bits of the mushroom. It contains 4 different kinds of mushrooms, mind you! Finish it while it’s still hot.
Oven-baked Sea Bass :: A slight pang of disappointment came over me when I saw the main course offered was either steak or sea bass. Where is my usual go-to grilled steak or chicken!? I need my meat, those nicely grilled meat, but I had to choose so I went with the sea creature. Nobody likes to be told, “I told you so!” but when I put that sea bass into my mouth it felt like the universe (or the chef, really) telling me “I told you so (it will be good)!” via his cooking and I don’t even care because it was great.
The skin of the sea bass was nicely oh so nicely crispy and the meat itself tender. It is served with FIJI Water and smoked tomato consommé, which gives a really light taste to compliment with the fish. For people who do not really like tomato don’t worry, the taste is not overpowering at all so go ahead and give yourself an adventure and try it.
Beef Rendang :: I also had the Beef Rendang and was pleasantly surprised that it was not the usual dry kind of beef I so far had the unfortunate luck to taste elsewhere. It was not too spicy as well. I have already planned to go back and bring a few friends along to try the sea bass but now I find myself torn. Maybe I should have the beef the next time!
It is not a myth that some of us always have room for desserts after a hearty meal, supporting the fact that we have a ‘separate stomach’ for the sweet stuffs.
It is the truth.
Peach Melba :: It is made up of vanilla ice cream, raspberry purée and toasted almonds. I love the touch of having the almonds in it. Toasted almonds in ice cream are underrated.
How about having a 3-course set dinner while watching a movie at the alfresco dinning area under the stars? No? Okay then maybe a picnic basket with popcorn, nachos, chips, mini sliders or fish & chips with drinks AND FLOORMAT with free seating on the field? Pardon my excitement but I have many a times have to go dig up my mat whenever we go hang out at Marina Barrage or the beach once every Leap Year. Wait, do I own a mat or was it my friend’s all along? Each of the Gourmet Picnic Basket $50++ comes with a floormat comfortable for two to enjoy the movie of the night. There are 2 screenings every Thursdays, first at 7PM with a more children friendly film (Wallace & Gromit, Monster House, Hotel Transylvania) and then another at 9PM (Gremlins 2, The Craft, Army of Darkness).
Located in Goodman Arts Centre, I have found another nice place to hang out at in Café Melba. It is a nice place away from the hustle and bustle of town area to wind down your day to with good food and laughters.
—> Note #1: Bouncy castles available on Sundays!
—> Note #2: Call 2 days in advance to reserve your picnic baskets.
—> Note #3: Movie screening is rain or shine event.
—> Note #4: It’s an animal-friendly establishment so bring along your furry mates!
Special gratitude to Kherray, Nic, LeRoy and the FoodNews team, the FIJI Water team and the Café Melba team for the hospitality and hosting the invited tasting.
Words and Photos by Kathleen.
Address: 90 Goodman Road, Goodman Arts Centre, Block N, #01-56
Telephone: 6440 6068
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Weekdays); 8.30am – 10pm (Weekends & PH)