Have you heard of the “Seven Year Itch” or “七年之痒”? Well, it is said that on average, all human body cells would have completed an entire cycle of metabolic reaction after 7 years, making one a rejuvenated person.
Strangers’ Reunion, being one of the pioneer ‘hipster’ café in the local food scene, celebrates this 7-year milestone on 28 March 2019, and it is only time that they inject some new blood into their all-day brunch menu. Be ready to excite your taste buds with their redefined café dining concept!
Stepping into the café immediately sets me into a chill mode as I am welcomed by the cool hues of white and grey, neutralised by the wooden furniture and fittings of earth tones. Snuggle up on the cushy sofa and lounge seating, or make yourself comfortable at their spacious wooden/glass-surfaced tables – you choose!
If you’re a coffee lover, you just can’t give their cuppas a miss! Helmed by award-winning baristas with a dedication towards the use of quality coffee beans roasted in-house, you’re bound to get your cup of strong aromatic coffee, be it espresso-based cuppas or filter brews ($6.90++ per brew). Fret not if you are going easy on caffeine – you can opt for their Sea Salt Chocolate ($6.90++).
Served chilled, this creamy concoction carries a distinctive sea salt taste amidst the smooth chocolate that boasts of citrusy notes, which perfectly cuts the sweetness and richness. To me, it was reminiscent of the orange-flavoured Van Houten chocolate which I loved when I was a kid! It was truly a decadent indulgence that I enjoyed!
Itching for a nibble? Give their Salmon Skin Chips ($11.90++) a try as Strangers’ Reunion has given this raw ingredient a whole new lease of life by making them a star on the table! Featuring sizeable salmon skin deep-fried to the perfect crisp, topped with coffee-smoked salmon puree, avocado coulis and sesame aioli, this dish just screams umami. I simply couldn’t stop munching!
Their Snapper Ceviche ($13.90++) will fit the bill if you’re looking for a light and refreshing starter. A mix of firm cubes of snapper cured in lime juice, creamy avocado, aromatic cilantro, crunchy red onions and shaved fennel, this will surely whet your appetite.
I shall not be selfish and share that their Roasted Cauliflower Salad ($14.50++) was the crowd pleaser, as well as my favourite starter! Never would I have imagined this unassuming vegetable to be able to pull it off as a premium ingredient on a plate so nicely!
You’ll get to enjoy cauliflower done two ways – one being charred to yield caramelised florets with deep hazelnut notes, while the other is pickled in rice wine vinegar with black pepper and bay leaves. While both renditions were remarkable, I was really impressed by the smoky flavours of the former!
Laid on a bed of creamy pine nut labneh, grapes, pomegranate, toasted pine nuts, mint leaves and homemade honey mustard, this is an epitome of a harmonious mix of flavours and textures.
For the health junkies who want some meat, their Pan Roasted Chicken Breast ($21.90++) would be a smart choice. The meat is first sous-vided before pan-roasting, which explains the incredible tenderness with an aromatic char.
Below this elegant piece of meat drenched in their house-made jerk sauce is a succotash of sweet corn, red peppers and onions, which bore a resemblance to Mexican cuisine. The accompanying baked sweet potatoes will surely keep your tummy full!
It is upcycling game strong with their Pork and Broccoli ($21.90++)! Both the name and looks of the dish may look unassuming but this was a pleasant surprise – a case of under-promise and over-deliver.
Far from the impression that broccoli stems are extremely tough and unpleasant, these are steamed and slow-roasted to impart a highly manageable good bite while locking in its natural sweetness.
The star of the dish has got to be the pork collar ends! Being a less popular cut as it has a tougher texture, these are sous-vided before roasting, resulting in a huge pinkish chunk of meat with slits of juicy fats that is pull-apart tender. Laid on some broccoli puree, drizzled with coffee shoyu glaze and burnt onion jus, everything was on point for this dish for me.
Since coffee is their staple, you just can’t go wrong with their Strangers Coffee Smoked Salmon on Toast ($18.90++). Do not be put off by the slight brown colour of that house-cured salmon, which is a result of it being cold-smoked with spent coffee grounds and hickory wood.
Coupled with an espresso-infused crème fraiche slathered generously on toasted sourdough bread, topped with perfectly-executed sous vide soft-poached egg and accompanied by some refreshing greens, this classic brunch item is certainly a delight.
End on a sweet note with their Buttermilk Waffles with Hazelnut Praline & Almond Crumble ($14.50++). Their popular fluffy buttermilk waffles that has an exterior crisp is spiced up with some hazelnut praline in the batter.
Topped with a drizzle of homemade hazelnut sauce, buttery almond crumble that provides a good crunch, chocolate shavings and a luscious scoop of vanilla ice cream, this undoubtedly makes a gratifying sweet treat. I do wish the nutty flavours of the hazelnut praline would be more pronounced though.
With such an extensive hybrid of new and old items on their menu, I guess it is time for a Reunion here, with friends or Strangers alike.
33/35 Kampung Bahru Road, Singapore 169355
Tel: +65 6222 4869
Daily: 9AM– 6PM
Words and images by @serenetomato
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