Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Strangers' Reunion ... where strangers and friends alike unite for coffee

In the week that Strangers' Reunion open it's doors to both friends and strangers alike, I was frequenting Kampong Bahru Road. Not poking my head into those bars and pubs along the stretch that's for sure. I was down at Chef Icon to pick up some goodies to chase away confinement blues. Then it's back again to Chef Icon to order their cakes and another day to collect the cakes for my little Julien's Full Month favors. For a couple of these occasions, I dropped by at No. 49 for Highlander's cafe latte before walking along the five foot way to Chef Icon at No. 5 ....

.... I must be blind. All these while I walked past Strangers' Reunion at No. 37 and thought this weather beaten door would open up to yet another new pub or bar that mark this stretch of Kampong Bahru Road.

If I was curious enough to look at this piece of note stuck loosely on the glass panels at the entrance, I would have guessed it's Ryan Kieran Tan cupping coffee behind these doors. It took Amasou Umasou's tip off to lead me to 3 "strange" trips to Strangers' Reunion. Any coffee maniac would want coffee to be cupped by the best. Me included.

On my first visit, I ordered the Piccolo Latte, a smaller portion of Cafe Latte cupped with Papa Palheta's Terra Firma beans. Somehow, the piccolo latte wasn't as bitter as the same one I had in Loysel's Toy and appeared a bit flat. Ryan explained to me that probably their piccolo latte was cupped with a ristretto and not an espresso. A ristretto is a "shorter" shot of espresso that helps cut down caffeine, bitterness and yet keeping the shot bolder and fuller. Some folks find the Terra Firma a bit "boring" after a while. On my second visit, I came back again for their piccolo latte. This time it was cupped with a 50% Bali and 50% Brazil blend as Ryan was experimenting to get his own blend for his cafe. I find this blend more perky and refreshing than the Terra Firma. Though the blends have different characters, the brewing still  result in a well balanced cup of piccolo latte. 

During lunch time today, I came back for their stronger coffee on the menu, the Magic which has 2 ristretto shots  with a thick milk foam on top. Even though it was 2 shots of ristretto, the cupping was perfect as my double orders of Magic came totally balanced. Having perfectly cupped coffee was a bliss and you can expect nothing less from the Singapore's reigning champion barista.

Coffee was nothing short of stellar with Ryan helming the Synesso espresso machine but cakes in the house seemed to have some hits and misses. 

Here's the Banana Bread which I would archive as a miss as I've eaten softer, more moist version at  Kith Cafe. This one in Strangers' Reunion was a bit on the dry side. 

I dig into the Red Velvet that the charming looking lady behind the counter recommended. It was fluffy but again dry. To be fair, I'm not even sure if I'm the right person to comment about Cup Cakes because I'm just not a fan. 

Earl Grey Tea Cake ... Strong tinge of Earl Grey. I have to try this cake some other time as its flavor was played down by the whiskey cake that's coming next.

I didn't catch what's the name of this cake but it was decadent. There's chocolate mousse and ganache infused with a good amount of whiskey. Good strong stuff. If you order some other cakes as well, eat the other cakes first before you attempt this one. You just don't one to spoil the enjoyment of the other cakes as this will overpower the rest. ..... Update : Kind folks from Strangers' Reunion tell me this is their Chocolate Whiskey Cake

Inside Strangers' Reunion this Monday at 1.30pm. There's Ryan at the far end cupping my piccolo latte and the charming lady who recommended me my cakes. I felt strange that I'm the only one sipping coffee in here when during my last visit, the place was packed. Well it's Strangers' Reunion so it's OK to feel strange :)

Received tip off that this table right at the far end of the cafe was made with the wooden crate that came with the Synesso espresso machine.

The assortment of wooden tables and chairs gave the cafe it's character.

More wooden tables and chairs. Take your pick!

Opening Hours.

37 Kampong Bahru Road
Tel : +65 9368 3610

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