Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lunch at Bark Cafe

Yesterday, I had my lunch at the Bark Cafe along Upper Changi Road North, just next to the Changi Chapel Museum. They've been there a while now but it's my first visit, and I must say, overall, I enjoyed the food. Here are some pics to share.

Your standard Caesar Salad - so long as the ingredients are fresh, I'm not fussy on this. I eat my salad "kosong", ie, with no dressing. It puzzled me that the waiter offered us a chilli sauce with this.

Escargot - flavourful and beautifully baked but it would have been better to have some bread pieces to soak up all those cheesy goodness instead of having to use a spoon.

The Mojito was way too sweet for me - looks like I have to try to make my own. For a mint-adverse person, I actually found the mint way too mild. The sugar drowned everything. Too bad.

Now, with all my duck encounters, I almost feel anyone who wants to cook duck for me must be worthy of it! I have high expectations of any duck dish and will be anal and critical if they're not cooked to perfection. This is their roasted black pepper duck breast. First impression: looks like Chinese roast pork (char siew) so I was not particularly excited. I'm looking for a golden brown, not dark brown skin. On skin crisp, I rate it 7/10. While it was crispy, it lacked the extra crunch I was anticipating as I sank my teeth into it.

In the midst of my conversation on the sorry state of education in Singapore, I ran an entire taste review at the back of my head. On my first few bites, I could taste only black pepper and nothing else. It could have been pork or chicken, it wouldn't matter. The black pepper was overpowering and I wanted to taste duck, since that was what I had ordered. But the taste grew quickly on me, and I found myself forking non-stop one piece after another - I suspect the subtle plum sauce kept me going. An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins, so they say.

The mash potato was lumpy - not sure if that's the intent of the chef. So that was forgettable for me, especially after that irresistible pommes mousseline I had in Mozaic, Bali.

I chose an Apple Crumble for my dessert as I found out recently through my research that it has half the sugar content and double the apples when compared to an Apple Cake. I've also just bought myself a sauce bottle to do this chocolate zic-zag so I can do pretentious food at home as well.

Our bill came up to S$97.00 - I think it's relatively fair compared with many bistros where we've condoned their practice of blatant daylight robbery. I have my usual gripe on the lack of passion of the service staff at good restaurants, but overall, I would come back here to eat again.

Now, I was in the Changi area to visit Food and Hotel Asia, Asia's largest international food exhibition and conference. But the massive jam and utter traffic chaos outside the Expo Halls put me off and I made a quick about turn - I am allergic to crowds.

I already had a good day - good friend, good food, good conversation - and was happy to go back home to find more poppy seed recipes.

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