Cafe-spotting is always a welcome sign, especially when it is a themed one which makes it eye-catching by default. Enchanted Cafe – Secret Garden is a cafe located near the taxi stand at Bukit Timah Plaza which becomes extremely convenient for those who are looking for grab-to-go brews and beverages. The signage at the entrance states Mosanco Enchanted Cafe which has been around for some years on Rangoon Road in Singapore.
The Bukit Timah Plaza outlet is fairly small with 8 tables segregated between inner and outdoor seating. The cafe is quite popular among students looking for a group study venue and for those who like a nice ambiance for a quick catchup with friends.
For a cafe, the menu has an ample selection varying from beverages of all types to small bites to meals. Since I had visited during late afternoon, I chose coffee and sides to enjoy the ambiance which was enhanced by the slight drizzle outside.
For those looking to sip a simple cup of joe, the Hot Mocha does not fail you. The caffeine hits you gently with an apt balance with the milk. It was nice to couple it with the Butter Croissant.
The classic Butter Croissant was very good – golden and crunchy top with soft and flaky layers inside. Definitely worth trying this item and it was nice to see that it was a big croissant.
In the other caffeinated beverages, the Rose Chocolate Latte caught my attention. Even though I was slightly apprehensive before trying it, I must say I really enjoyed this warm drink. The gentle touch of rose did not overpower the taste of latte and the barista art added to the visual appeal of this cup.
There is nothing not to like in a bowl of fries topped with motherload of cheese! These fries were crisp and made to perfection and the gooey nature of eating them will remind you of nachos. Definitely recommended.
For the variety of selection in their menu, for their unique coffees and teas and for their good food, the Enchanted Cafe – Secret Garden is definitely worth a visit. For those staying in Bukit Timah, this can be your quick stop after your NTUC shopping 🙂
In a Nutshell
Cuisine Type: Cafe Food
Nearest MRT: Beauty World
Address: 1 Jalan Anak Bukit #L1-CA1, Bukit Timah Plaza, 588996
When a sprawling dining space that resembles an indoor garden opens on Orchard Road, it is bound to attract attention. This garden themed cafe / communal dining spot, Picnic is filled with real potted plants and an AstroTurf covered garden area that will make you feel like you are having a picnic in the park. The outdoor element of a picnic is brought in with the usage of a lighting system that undergoes changes according to the time of the day. In terms of dining, the place has food trucks serving international cuisines, an illuminated bar and a dessert counter. The food ordering will remind you of Marché with the use of buzzers and for checkout, payment is made easy with the use of self-service kiosks.
Picnic dessert counter
The Orders Since we scouted for vegetarian options, I am sharing the stalls in which I managed to find them conveniently.
1. Basic Kneads Basic Kneads is the stall serving soups and sandwiches. We noticed 3 vegetarian soup choices: Tomato, Mushroom, Potato and Leek. Soups act as a nice way to start a meal and we decided to try them instantly. We ordered the ‘Tomato Soup’ which was a rustic rendition of the dish. The bold red color coupled with the pulpy texture created a soup that was delicious and well-seasoned.
Tomato Soup at $9
Next we ordered the ‘Mushroom Soup’ which was a visual delight. Once could stare at the contrast of the soup color with the well-drizzled cream pattern and almost feel like not spoiling the appeal. The soup was rich, indulgent and full of earthy flavours. It is a recommended dish if you are a fan of mushrooms.
Mushroom Soup at $9
2. Rosti Haus The Swiss potato dish, rosti, has an exclusive food truck serving the classic and other versions of the dish. It is an eternal favourite for most and the stall seemed to be quite popular. We ordered the ‘Plain Rosti’ which was the only vegetarian option. The shredded Idaho potato strands were nicely fried and crispy and was a good dish. But there was a clear disconnect in the quantity served to the price for this dish.
Plain Rosti at $11
3. Flour and Water A popular stall that served classic Italian pastas and pizzas. Since we did not want to try the usual Margherita Pizza, we opted to try the pasta. We ordered the ‘Vodka Rigatoni’ which is one of the best pastas that I have eaten in Singapore.It was ridiculously flavorful – rich, spicy and delicious. For those who are apprehensive to try a bit of alcohol in their pasta can be rest assured that you can hardly taste it. It is flambéed in vodka in front of you just for the final touch. Every aspect was good about this pasta – highly recommended.
Vodka Rigatoni at $16
4. Tikka Taco You hear food trucks and you instantly think of Tacos. Tikka Taco is one such attempt at offering unique combinations combining Indian and Mexican flavours in some and Korean flavours in others. We ordered the ‘Spinach Pesto’ taco which was different and tasted good. There were pine nuts in the filling which lent the crunch to the dish.
Spinach Pesto Taco
5. Desserts Their dessert counter offers everything from cupcakes to cheesecakes to pastries. They also have a crepe station and we tried the ‘Chocolate Crepe’ which made for a luscious dinner dessert.
Overall, Picnic is a fun themed addition to the multi-cuisine concept in Orchard. There are around 12-15 stalls, so there might be more vegetarian foods which we plan to check next time. Also to be noted is they have meal sets during lunch time and their dishes are priced lower by around $3-$4 even on an À la carte basis. They also offer sharing platters in which you can combine dishes from different trucks. Its a good place to chill along with a large group of friends. Definitely worth a visit to this picturesque place.
Nestled in the calm neighborhood of Kembangan is a fun cafe called Fresh Fruits Lab, a laboratory themed joint serving Western cuisine with a fruity twist. And yes, it is as exotic as it sounds – science themed decor with burettes, pipettes, magnifying glasses to read the menu, test tubes and colorful diagrams! We went for a weekend brunch and the restaurant was full! It definitely looks like they have regular customers. They have high tea, a la carte, brunch and even supper menus. It is around a 10 min walk from the MRT but the different dining experience made the travel worthwhile. Also worth mentioning is their periodic table drawn with symbols of fruits which was very innovative and unique.
Fresh fruits lab
FFL periodic table
The Orders To begin with, they serve complimentary juices filled in test tubes. This helps you try out different flavours and then order according to your preference. Water is served in beakers and juices in conical flasks and thus they stay consistent to their theme.
For me, tomato soup is a familiar and beloved comfort food. FFL offers the ‘Roasted Roma Soup’ which is a herbed stew made with Roma tomatoes, zucchini and croutons. The colour was dark and looked like a thicker version of homemade pasta sauce but the taste was good. There was slight sweetness in the soup which was nice.
Roasted Roma soup at $8
Brunch and pancakes go hand-in-hand. The ‘Fruity Berries’ pancake was fluffy and moist made from a seasonal berry batter. It also had apple compote and strawberries drizzled with maple syrup. The fruity twist along with sizable portions made it a good order.
Fruity berries pancakes at $11
For brunch, a ‘Frittata’ works as a ready-to-go egg dish that is somewhere between a quiche and omelette. The folding and flipping technique in the dish made with eggs, potatoes and mushrooms was done in a compact manner. It was served with fruity salad and toasted multigrain buns. Highly recommended. (if you eat eggs)
Frittata at $15
For a refreshing feel, try any of the fruit juices or sodas from their beverage section. The notable ones are ‘Strawberry Soda’ and Three to Tango which were rightly marked as the Lab Bestsellers. They were bursting with flavour and topped off with real fruits.
Strawberry soda at $6
We ordered the ‘Lychee Cake’ to try a unique dessert. The layers were drenched with lychee syrup and it became a sugar overload after a few bits. The texture was almost like a marshmallow and it was a bit too sweet for my liking. They have many cakes on their display counter, so maybe I’ll try something else the next time.
Lychee cake at $6.5
For the vegetarians, there are some more soup and salad options. The staff are friendly and attend to your needs immediately. They also have ongoing lunch promotions with a menu change every fortnight. For a different dining experience, for chilling out on the weekends, for striking a chemistry with your special someone and for its good food, FFL is worth a visit.
In a Nutshell
Cuisine Type: Western
Nearest MRT: Kembangan
Address: 351 Changi Road, Lor Mazuki, Singapore 419818
With Batman vs Superman not hitting the mark, a lot of expectations are pinned on Captain America: Civil War for the superhero crowd storming the theaters. Nevertheless, we always look forward to this genre for the larger-than-life characters to infuse entertainment into our daily routine. Hence, I finally decided to visit Hungry Heroes, a superhero themed cafe situated at Tessensohn Road in Little India. Located in an unassuming alley, the cafe lights shone bright through the dark night. They have a cool logo that looked quite interesting. There are fewer options for vegetarians on the menu but my fascination to explore a different dining ambiance led me to this place.
This two floor cafe has the decor nailed to the T. Large figurines adorn the walls – most of the superheroes are from the owner’s personal collection. There is a huge chandelier made with tiny superheroes stuck together. The place is a delight for fans of superhero memorabilia – there’s a lot to look at and admire. Needless to say, this cafe is quite a hit with children and a good option if you want to throw a birthday party for large groups. The placemats were newspaper style and quite hilarious to read. They helped in bringing the superhero world to the forefront on the table.
Hungry Heroes decor
The Orders As a refreshing summer salad, we ordered the ‘Super Corn-y’ salad which was fresh corn shucked from the cob and served along with a tangy twist. The charred effect on the cob was definitely a hit and the tomatoes and onions lent balance to the salad.
Super Corny at $5
As a complete no-brainer, I had to try their (only) vegetarian burger offering called ‘Mario’s Lifeline’. Neatly stacked with layers of vegetables on the breaded and fried portobello mushroom, this burger was damn good! I was glad the the mushroom patty had a crisp bread covering which gave the necessary bite to the burger. Having said that, I really wish F&B outlets think of using ingredients like beetroot, chickpeas, zucchini etc. instead of the traditional mushroom offering everywhere. (Just a thought!) The fries and the side salad were well made.
Mario’sl Lifeline at $21
As a fun accompaniment to the burger, we ordered the ‘Colossal Coke Float’ which was a refreshingly bubbly ice cream float. Imagine a mammoth 1 liter mug on the table – that quantity is obviously to be shared 🙂 The vanilla ice cream was delicious and as it melted and blended with the coke, the drink became more tasty!]
Colossal Coke Float at $10
Along with the food menu, they have an extensive drink selection in the form of beers, ciders and wines. Happy hours ends at 8pm, so if you are in the weekend mood, place an early beverage order.
Red wine glass at $10
Advance reservations are recommended for this place. A special mention to service staff who clearly knew that I had vegetarian food requirements (as I had mentioned during reservation) and they were helpful, provided guidance and followed up when I actually visited the restaurant. For their superhero memorabilia, for their unique implementation of the themed cafe concept right from decor to the menu, for their service and good food, Hungry Heroes is worth a visit!