This bright and hot Sunday afternoon, three friends and I decided to explore the Jalan Besar area and visit as many cafes as our stomachs can hold.
The first cafe we went to was AEIOU. We arrived at about 1:30 pm. Thankfully even though it was lunch hour, it wasn’t too crowded and we were able to get a table easily. My friends were quite taken with the interesting retro decor. There were some new additions from the last time I was there but the general feel remained pretty much the same.
I ordered the Avocado Coffee as I really liked it. The menu listed another interesting coffee pairing with lemongrass. I didn’t like the taste of lemongrass and therefore I never did muster up the courage to try it. If you tried it, pls let me know what it tasted like.
This time, it came with only one cup of espresso. I remembered that the last time I was here, the avocado came with two cups of espresso. Despite being one cup less, this drink was still big enough that the four of us could share it. Everyone liked it and one friend even gave it five ⭐
Being really hungry (some of us didn’t eat breakfast), we also ordered two main courses and a side.
The first main course was Salmon and Seafood Pasta. The pasta was a little overcooked and it seemed to be cut up as each strand was shorter than normal. Luckily the salmon and seafood (prawn and squid) were cooked perfectly so it’s not a complete loss. I thought the tomato sauce for the pasta was quite tasty although it tended to be a little salty.
The other main course was the French Roast Chicken which had a waiting time of 20 mins. The chicken was tender and moist. The meat was flavorful and I could see why it was one of the cafe’s specialty. The chicken came with roasted vegetables like baby potatoes, carrots and bell peppers. There were two sauces; a generic brown sauce and a mustard-based sauce. All of us preferred the mustard-based sauce which was sweet with a slight tangyness.
We also ordered a plate of Root Vegetables Fries which consisted of potatoes, sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes and yam. Of the four types of root vegetables, I liked the sweet potato and purple sweet potato most. The potato was a little undercooked and there was still a hard center. It came with a sweetish, garlicky chilli sauce that was quite tasty.
Address: 111 King George’s Ave, Singapore 208559
Next we went to Babette for desserts. I wanted to try the Matcha Lava Cake which was Babette’s specialty. I read some good reviews about it so I was looking forward to it.
Unfortunately, the lava cake did not turn out well at all. Visually the cake looked a bit shriveled up like the surface of a mandarin orange, which was the first indication that something was off. Taste-wise, it wasn’t good either as there was what my friend called a “burnt egg” taste. Maybe it’s the cook’s off day.
When we cut into it, there was a tiny bit in the center that was still a bit liquid but it was nowhere as flowing as a real lava cake should be. It felt quite sad that even the dessert which the restaurant claimed was their specialty (it was described as “legendary” in the menu) was so bad.
On the bright side, the vanilla ice-cream and red bean that accompanied the cake were not bad but perhaps because it wasn’t made by the restaurant.
We also had a Tofu Cheesecake which felt more like a cheese mousse. The cheese was very soft and wasn’t too bad but perhaps it overpowered the rest of the ingredients as we could not taste the earl grey jelly. The poached pear still remained a bit crunchy.
Lastly we tried the flavored beers – yuzu and passionfruit. Most of us preferred the passionfruit flavor as the yuzu could be a little sour.
Address: 165 Tyrwhitt Road, #01-03 Parc Sovereign Hotel, Singapore 207569
Chye Seng Huat Hardware
Our last stop was at Chye Seng Huat Hardware for coffee. The coffee was good as usual. Someone tried the cold brew which looked like a stout. According to the person drinking it, the cold brew was smooth but rather light, as if it was diluted with some water. I still preferred my Espresso with Milk (essentially a latte but that’s what they called it in the menu) as I find the cold brew a bit acidic.
Someone also felt a bit peckish so we had a Salmon Rosti. It came with a poached egg and sour cream. The rosti tended to fall apart easily and was a bit oily, but it was quite tasty. The smoked salmon was unnaturally pink and was quite salty, too salty to eat on its own.
The poached egg was cooked perfectly. All of us were delighted by the runny yolk and out came the cameras.