Sunday, March 18, 2007

P.S. check out this CAFE...

We finally made it to P.S. Cafe for Sunday brunch, after months of talking 'bout it. Perhaps the delay was a good thing. The initial buzz resulting from the hype of its opening is probably over. Everyone had warned us about the difficulty of getting a table for brunch - no reservations allowed - and all had their theory on the best time to arrive: "Make sure you're the first in line", "Go later at about 11, before/after the church-going crowd has been fed and watered", and so on. we arrived at about 10 a.m. and managed to get a table straightaway. We even managed to get moved to a table outside after a while. (Note: a queue was starting to build when we left at about 12.30 p.m.)

Sitting outside was a good thing because the indoor area, though cosy, was noisy and busy. There was something about the acoustics that amplified everyone's voices, the clatter of utensils and the angry buzz of the coffee machines. The area outdoors was much kinder on our senses. The ample greenery and the warm breeze (ok, the breeze was from the fan overhead) were quite soothing; it was quite easy to imagine sitting there, lulled, for hours on end. Think: holiday in Bali...

place setting

As for the food, we are big fans of the original Blood Brothers Cafe in Paragon Shopping Centre - laksa pesto, chicken tau kwa burger, mango banana crumble, anyone? - so we were looking forward to more such innovative touches in the P.S. Cafe menu.

skinny latte

poached eggs portobello (except HM had hers modified to scrambled eggs)

the big breakfast sandwich, with homemade baked beans

french fries, with kaffir lime aioli (hidden by basket) and barbeque sauce

moroccan mint tea (left) and lemongrass tea (right)

carrot cake

In general the food was scrumptious. The big breakfast sandwiches were good solid eating - fried egg, bacon, tomatos, and greens tucked inside toast - hearty breakfasts for those too lazy to use utensils on a Sunday morning. For more gourmet palates, the poached egg portobello would have been more their thing - poached eggs on a stack of bacon, potatoes and grilled portebello mushrooms, with spinach and tomatoes slathered with pesto. But none of it was to die for, except for maybe the french fries.

These had clearly had the royal treatment - plunged in ice cold water, deepfried twice at two different temperatures, whatever - because they were truly a treat, crunchy on the outside and oh so soft on the inside. The accompanying kaffir lime aioli was about the only thing that had the Blood Bros cafe trademark asian fusion touch.

Still, I think in terms of the overall brunch experience, I prefer P.S. Cafe to Graze which was far too pretentious. To be fair, P.S. Cafe did have its share of poseurs* too, however these were outnumbered by the number of families. The decor at P.S. Cafe was also more downhome in a retro 70s way, than the minimalist look-we're-so-cool feel of Graze. In all, P.S. Cafe had a warmer, more cheerful vibe to it, that was more conducive for a relaxing morning.

Warning: the P.S. Cafe experience doesn't come cheap. It charges $18 to $24 for brunch mains (compared to Graze's $14 to $18) so it does burn a hole in the pocket, ouch! The portions were however substantial so smaller eaters and/or kiam kannas can probably spend less by sharing mains.

*Major digression: What is it with some women? Why do they feel that they need to simper, flick their hair, kiss air, put one manicured (preferably diamond-encrusted) hand on their man's arm while leaning forward to make a point, just because they are in an upmarket setting? And these are like 25 year olds, not full-fledged tais tais bankrolled by Indonesian billionaires. I'm not saying we need to behave like louts (those are just as bad, just as attention-seeking) but relax lah. Nothing reeks of the nouveau riche quite like poseur behaviour. Then again, I suppose one must start practising somehow, somewhere, and who or what would the rest of us gawk at for brunchtime entertainment otherwise? End of rant.



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