Fronted by three-time and current Singapore National Barista Champion, and second runner-up at the World Latte Art Championships, Ryan Kieran Tan, coffee enthusiasts can almost always be assured of a well-executed latte art; one that is always an icing on the cake, at the very least.
Strangers’ Reunion has, for a prolonged period, been the talk of the town. I was slow in heeding fellow cafe-lovers’ advice to pay this café a visit, and possibly a little too slow too late, as it turned out to be one of the most disappointing café hunts I’ve had lately. Word has it that their standard has dropped after their renovation.
Service though, was top-notch from the first point of contact – the hotline. As I did not want to make a wasted trip, I called in to check if there would be seats available if I were to drop by in a short while. I was assured that it shouldn’t be an issue; almost with a ‘I’ll-unofficially-reserve-the-seats-for-you’ tone, despite having a no-reservations policy. We drove down, was promptly greeted and showed to our seats. Iced water was served, and I was most impressed that when I was scanning around the inside out of curiosity (as it was my first visit), a waitstaff walked over to ask if I had needed help (without having exchanged any eye contact). I felt really taken care of.
Magic ($5.50+) :: We placed our orders for food and drinks (brunch was out of the service time). A ‘magic’ ratio of double ristretto and milk, it turned out not too magical after all, unfortunately. While the coffee art was smooth, I wouldn’t say the same for the taste. It was lackluster and came across rather bland and light to the palate; not something I’d have to satiate an intense coffee craving.
Truffle Fries ($12.90+) :: Topped with freshly grated truffle and parmesan cheese, I was unimpressed with the truffle fries until I realized that the accompaniment was truffle aioli. The fries alone did not exactly have the most consistent and strongest taste of truffle, to which I held grudges against. But it was made up by the truffle aioli; every dip into it was a strong rush of truffle, and I was satisfied. Further, the portion came generous.
Duck Aglio Olio ($17.90+) :: While the spaghetti was surprisingly al-dente, it was overly oily. Flavors were spot on, but the smoked duck was nothing to rave about.
Buttermilk Waffles with Ice Cream ($12.90+) :: Upon service of the dessert, we were appalled as to how pathetically thin the banana slices (and well, strawberries) were (as evident). We were thinking, they could plausibly use a banana for a good 4 waffles. I thought it was pure stingy. The buttermilk waffles were lacking in intensity; I could barely make out that it was of buttermilk batter. Needless to say, nothing could be of a saving grace thereafter.
It wasn’t so much of a wrong-item episode, because well, I had the much-raved waffles and ‘Magic’. I wouldn’t exactly say it’s an eff-no from here on; I’d still give the space a redemption for its brunch items, and only brunch items.
—> Note #1: No GST. Only service charge is imposed.
What’s worth paying for:
Photos by Kathleen.
Address: 33 Kampong Bahru Road
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm (Wed – Mon); Closed on Tuesdays.