*Note to Readers: This review is from my frequent guest author, CY.
Last Friday, I was treated to a really nice home-style dinner at Cafe Epicurious. Cafe Epicurious is the siste rcafe to the restaurant Epicurious at Quayside. Unlike the restaurant counterpart, Cafe Epicurious gives their patrons a cosy and homely environment to dine in.
Opened only in November 2009, they are serve a menu that ranges from local dishes to Thai-style cooking to Western cuisines. Since it was my first time there, Sharon, the co-owner, recommended me to take up the 3 course set-dinner for 2. Of course, I went there with a friend.
The set dinner came with a platter for starter, 2 main courses and a dessert platter to end the dinner. And I like the idea of communal sharing of food which is what the set dinner is all about.
The Epicurious platter started off the dinner. The platter consisted of 4 different mini dishes – Ah Ma’s Deep Fried Curry Chicken Wing, Beef Meat balls with Tomato-Basil Sauce, Devil Shrimp with Garlic and Chilli and Melted Cheese and sweet Onion Quesadilla.
I was very intrigued by the Chicken Wings so it was the first thing I attacked. The curry taste wasn’t overwhelming and it was just nicely spiced to perfection. It wasn’t too spicy as well. It was definitely something different from the usual buffalo wings that would usually be served as a starter.
The Devil Shrimps reminded me of the Portuguese Peri-Peri Sauce. The Garlic and Chilli combination is the staple to a Peri Peri Sauce recipe, and it went really well with Shrimps. The shrimps were crunchy and fresh, but it was abit too salty for me.
The Beef Meat balls would probably be the best choice to start your dinner with. The Tomato-Basil sauce was very appetizing and there were cubes of Tomatoes to give the sauce texture. The meat balls on the other hand, were on the dry side, although the were very well seasoned.
Next up, was the melted cheese and sweet onion Quesadilla. A Quesadilla is a Mexican dish made generally from melted cheese and Tortilla. The crispy tortilla combined with the spongy melted cheese to give the whole dish a very unique texture. The onions hiding within the cheese gave a subtle sweetness.
If I were to describe the platter in a sentence, The Epicurious Platter gives diners a taste of different countries in that very porcelain plate.
There were 4 different mains to choose from – Seafood Risotto, Lamb Shank, Angus Beef and Roasted Chicken. My friend ordered the the Angus Beef. I decided to be abit adventurous and ordered the Lamb Shank.
The main courses were next up. Both main courses were presented together, not separated.
This is a rather exotic dish actually, The Lamb Shank Tagine. The Lamb is slowly braised with Moroccan Spices, butter squash, quince and figs to give that very unique flavor. The tender meat falls off the bone, yet firm enough to give some texture. I have personally never tried Moroccan-styled dishes before, so I couldn’t anticipate how it would taste.
But, this turned out quite well for me, albeit, it would definitely not be the first choice the next time round I visit due to the somewhat gamey lamb taste notes. Again, this was all boiled down to each individual’s personal preference.
For every meal, there is a highlight. This Braised Angus Beef Short Ribs is the highlight that night. 2 big cubes of Angus Beef that has been slowly braised in Red Wine – the end result, a mounth watering flaky texture. The meat was juicy and tender and the red wine sauce complimented the beef harmonously.
This was so good that I gobbled this up in less than a minute.
As the set dinner is for 2 person or more, sharing has become part of the whole experience of this dinner. The sides of tossed salad and mashed potatoes came in one big portion for me and my friend to share. These two side dishes did not offer much excitement and thus, were easily forgotten.
To end off the dinner, we had a Dessert Platter. Served up on this platter were big slices of Devil’s Chocolate and Raspberry Ripple cake, 2 slices of Sticky Date Pudding drizzle with caramel sauce and a wedge of Lemon and Lime Tart.
The Lemon and Lime tart was light and refreshing. The light citrusy taste definitely agreed with my tastebuds. It was probably the most suitable dessert to end off the heavy dinner we had. The sticky date pudding was nicely done, and it not too sweet. But then again, I could probably do without this.
I personally love the Chocolate and Raspberry cake. The tart taste of the raspberry cream cheese went really well with the smooth bitterness of the chocolate cake. By the way, Sharon mentioned that the cake is baked flourless!!! So there is absolutely no carbs in this, but I can’t say the same for the raspberry cream cheese though.
Cafe Epicurious does sell their desserts individually. Apart from the ones served in the platter, they have little cakes like madelines and cupcakes, all handmade by their chefs.
Cafe Epicurious is definitely a nice have your meals or to just savor the desserts. The prices are very reasonable, considering the quality of the food that you are getting. Even though its situated slightly away from town, it definitely warrants a visit.
392 The Rail Mall, Upper Bukit Timah Road