Typically abuzz with coffee seekers and hipster cafe-goers, Curious Palette – the sister cafe of Strangers’ Reunion has made the leap to embark on its new menu offerings, and have included a selection of modern sophisticated Asian-inspired dishes made with high quality.
Specially designed by Magic Square alumnus Chef Desmond Shen and the Strangers’ Reunion team, the new Curious Palette‘s menu focuses fresh, bold flavours and the innovative use of ingredients to present a varied selection of flavours that will please everybody.
Curious Palette is often referred to as a cafe, likely due to its rustic chic aesthetics and cool vibes that scream hipster, but in a good way. Unlike its sister establishments, Curious Palette is a full-fledge cafe-restaurant and it offers different menus throughout the day.
You can expect an all-day selection of starters and sweets available from 9am to 10pm, lunch is served at noon and dinner starts from 6pm till close. If you’re feeling a typical brunch, Curious Palette‘s brunch menu runs early from 9am to 3pm, and popular breakfast items like avocado toast, buttermilk waffle and ricotta hotcake still remain on the menu.
Curious Palette rolls out more sophisticated creations in its latest menu revamp and the first thing that struck me about its new offerings is to find not only one, but three cleverly made vegetable dishes.
First up, Chef Desmond’s Burnt Leek ($10.90) highlights the subtle, gentle leek and giving it a new lease of life. The humble leek is marinated in brown butter and lemon juice, then roasted over charcoal fire until charred and tender. The burnt leek is dressed in a tangy buttermilk sauce working in perfect harmony with the spring onion oil, which added balance to the sweet charred leek. Superbly good!
Turning the simple cauliflower into a vibrant snack or starter – the Cauliflower ($11.90) is made up of battered and fried cauliflower florets, then tossed with curry powder, lemon emulsion and drizzled with housemade fish sauce caramel. It’s so fragrant and addictive, cauliflower has never tasted so good!
Though not the most photogenic, the Sugarloaf ($12.90) sure is delicious and not your usual cabbage pick from the economic rice stall. The roasted sugarloaf cabbage is sweet tasting and served with a good mix of toasted nuts, seeds, buckwheat, fried curry leaves, seaweed butter emulsion and a perfectly-poached egg for an instant hit. A great starter choice, but I wish there was a secondary part of this dish that could soak up the sauce. Perhaps, some bread or even a bed of rice if I may ask.
Moving on to the mains, one of my favourites on the menu, this divine bowl of Mentai Belacan Pasta ($18.90) is bursting with orange-hue colours and delicious flavours. It comes with a trio of charcoal grilled tiger prawns, sakura ebi, chilli powder and al dente pasta tossed in a heady sauce prepared with prawn and shallot oil, butter and belacan. Order this if you love pasta, but want it with a fresh local spin.
Curious Palette’s take on a Korean favourite. Akin to the Korean ssam, this rendition uses sous vide beef short ribs seasoned in an aromatic mix of soy sauce, mirin, burnt onions and apple juice, then finished with burnt soy and browned butter. To serve and enjoy, simply cut the short ribs into thick strips and wrap the meat in fresh lettuce with pickles and yuzukosho (spicy citrus paste).
A Japanese-inspired fried cutlet-style sandwich, Skate Katsu Sando; made with panko crusted skate brined in dashi, covered with homemade green sambal between the soft pillowy bread and served with a side salad and yuzukosho dressing that provide just the zing you need to get through the crispy fish sandwich.
Have a soft spot for something sweet, but need a change from the usual waffles and cakes. Try the Kaya & Coffee Toast ($9.50), the cafe’s inventive take on the classic breakfast item. You get two toasted white bread buttered generously with kaya made with gula melaka and a thick slice of coffee butter. Dip the kaya toast in the accompanying sous vide egg and espresso shoyu for the best enjoyment.
Location: 64 Prinsep Street Singapore 188667
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun 9am to 10pm, Closed on Tue
Tel: +65 6238 1068