Cafe Calle Real Tasting Session

February 21, 2016 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Cafe Calle Real Tasting Session
6 Changi Business Park Avenue 1
#01-37 UE BizHub East


Opening Hours:
Mon: 11am - 2pm
Tue - Sat: 11am - 9pm
Closed Sun



http://callereal.com.sg/

https://www.facebook.com/CalleRealRestaurant/

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from Come Let’s Eat Initiative, Embassy of the Philippines in Singapore, Burrple Singapore, and The 4 Moose.



Lechon De Carajay (SGD $14.80)



Spanish Inspired, Modern Fusion Filipino Cuisine

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 8
Value for Money: 8
Budget about SGD $19 ++ per person.


.....


While Cafe Calle Real has only been in their current location for about 1 year, their history actually stretches back to July 2006, having moved from Lucky Plaza, to Joo Chiat, before finally settling here in UE BizHub East. Cafe Calle Real is known for its modern Filipino cuisine; while predominantly Filipino, it also incorporates elements of Spanish and Chinese cuisine.

We attended as part of the Come Let’s Eat Initiative, which strives to promote a more harmonious society in Singapore, by connecting Singaporeans with foreign cultures, through a shared food experience. In this tasting session at Cafe Calle Real, we were fortunate to be hosted by representatives from the Embassy of the Philippines in Singapore, along with Head Chef Joefre, Chef Rose, and celebrity actress, singer, and fashion designer Pamela Wildheart.

Cafe Calle Real Signage


Us, Source Credits



Ambience at Cafe Calle Real is colourful and cheerful. Sturdy wooden and metal furnishings, laid out in communal dining style, are in vibrant summer colours, without being garish or tacky. The ample natural light makes the place brightly lit, and the atmosphere can be noisy and bustling with laughter during peak periods. Cafe Calle Real can even set up a buffet line to accomodate events!

Cafe Calle Real Exterior


Cafe Calle Real Interior


Art



Service at Cafe Calle Real is good. Staff are friendly, polite, and welcoming, greetings diners and having them quickly seated. They display good product knowledge, able to describe how dishes are created. Food is served incredibly quickly, and looking at a full table packed with delicious food is just delightful. I like that staff come around occasionally to check if they're able to clear empty / dirty plates, and will also accede to requests for a change of serving plates.

Seating


Seating



Food at Cafe Calle Real is modern Filipino cuisine. Having previously visited the Philippines, and tasted the cuisines of both Manila and Cebu, I notice Filipinos prefer strong flavours, centered around savoury, sweet, salty, and sour, with an emphasis on contrast of flavours and counterpoints. At Cafe Calle Real, dishes taste less intense in flavour than normal, making it enjoyable for a wider variety of people. In terms of execution, small elements of Chinese, Indian, or Spanish cuisine have been incorporated into the traditional Filipino dishes. Portions are designed for communal dining, much too large for an individual, and sharing between at least 2 or 3 people is best. Prices are comparable to other cafes, budget about SGD $19 per person for a meal here.

Cafe Calle Real Menu



The Beer San Miguel Pale Pilsen (SGD $7.80) is a common Filipino alcoholic beverage. It has a bright, straw golden colour with a medium-thick foam head; a smooth, crisp, refreshing body with tastes of malt, grain, corn, and lemon. Pleasant and light drink with little bitterness and soft carbonation.

Beer San Miguel Pale Pilsen (SGD $7.80)



Inspired by Chinese cuisine, the Lumpiang Sariwah (SGD $4.80) is essentially a vegetarian spring roll. A thin egg roll is stuffed with strips of potato, turnip, string beans, chickpeas (instead of mung beans), and lettuce (a modern ingredient). What makes the dish taste great is the thick, sweet savoury sauce, made from brown sugar, soy sauce, chicken stock, garlic, and crushed peanuts. The contrast of fresh, bright flavours from the spring roll, and the deep, robust flavour of the sauce, makes this dish memorable.

Lumpiang Sariwah (SGD $4.80)



Loved the Lechon De Carajay (SGD $14.80), more commonly known as Lechon Kawali, with its extremely crispy skin and moist, tender meat! Chef says the pork is air-dried for 3 hours, smoked for 1 hour, then roasted for another 2 hours. This results in the skin being taunt, cracking beautifully, yet retains moisture in the meat, making it soft and succulent. Paired with a robust sweet liver sauce, this was easily among the best dishes I tried here. Highly recommended!

Lechon De Carajay (SGD $14.80)



The Kare-Kare (SGD $18.80) is a type of Filipino stew, made of oxtail and beef stomach, along with eggplant / aubergine, string beans, and kai-lan / Chinese kale / Chinese broccoli (a modern ingredient). A thick, savoury sweet peanut sauce is liberally poured over the top, making this dish rich and flavourful! I find the peanut sauce to be milder in flavour than the traditional versions I've tasted, yet the lightness is rather appealing, making it easy to eat. Paired with an intense dried shrimp paste, which you mix in yourself, this creates a new depth of flavour for the dish. Excellent!

Kare-Kare (SGD $18.80)



The Crispy Pata (SGD $28.80) is a famous Filipino dish of deep fried pork knuckle. Incredibly decadent, the meat of the pork is rendered tender by slow simmering in water. The skin is then rubbed with spices and seasoning, including vinegar, and then deep fried. The version here has very crisp skin, with a large amount of fat, but I find the meat isn't as tender as it should be, still being rather tough in texture. This dish is commonly served with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and chopped onions, and goes great with beer!

Crispy Pata (SGD $28.80)



The Chopsuey (SGD $12.80) here features a decent mix of vegetables, including cabbage, snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, baby corn, bell peppers / capsicums, button mushrooms, along with squid rings and deshelled prawns. The entire dish is a modern interpretation, as our Filipino hosts tell us snow peas, broccoli, and cauliflower are considered luxury vegetables in the Philippines. Also, the dish has been cooked till the vegetables are soft and tender, which is how the Chinese prefer it, but the Filipino people actually prefer the vegetables to be firm and crunchy in texture. Still, it's a rather tasty dish.

Chopsuey (SGD $12.80)



The Rellenong Bangus (SGD $18.80) was a standout dish, among the better dishes we tried here. A medium sized milkfish, considered the national fish of the Philippines, is carefully deboned completely. The mild, gentle tasting fish flesh is mixed with green peas and raisins, then carefully laid back to resemble a whole fish, before being deep fried. The result is crisp, savoury fish skin, with aromatic, savoury salty sweet fish meat, milky and grainy in texture. Succulent and delicious, totally unstoppable. Highly recommended!

Rellenong Bangus (SGD $18.80)



It's said, "Sell the sizzle", and that's completely true with the Sizzling Pork Sisig (SGD $12.80). A noisy, sizzling hot plate, filled with egg, minced pork, minced beef, onions, bell peppers / capsicums, coated in pineapple juice, is mixed at the table, releasing a fragrant aroma of meat. Totally appetizing, this savoury salty sweet dish is best paired with rice, and eaten when piping hot. Pure comfort food at its best. Good!

Sizzling Pork Sisig (SGD $12.80)



The Sinigang (SGD $18.80) here is pretty good, sticking close to the traditional version. Featuring thick, fatty, meaty slices of pork belly, along with tender string beans, tomatoes, eggplant / aubergine, kang kong / water spinach leaves, and slices of chili, in a sour savoury, thin and clear soup / broth that is big on flavour. The sourness makes it rather addictive!

Sinigang (SGD $18.80)



The Arroz Adobo (SGD $10.80) is an example of Fusion Spanish Filipino cuisine. Served in a paella pan, the savoury fried rice is topped with tender chunks of fatty pork belly and chicken meat, done adobo style, which is a process of slowly cooked meat which has been marinated in vinegar, crushed garlic, bay leaves, soy sauce, and pepper. The result is pork and chicken which is savoury salty in taste, with incredibly tender, fall apart texture. While I like this dish, it falls short because it lacks the lovely crisp, burnt bits of rice which usually stick to the sides of the pan.

Arroz Adobo (SGD $10.80)



A good value for money lunch meal, the Tapsilog (SGD $9.80) features the classic Filipino savoury tapa / grilled cured beef, a fragrant garlic fried rice, a sunny side up egg, atchara / pickled papaya strips, cucumber, tomato, and vinegar as a condiment. A hearty, working-person meal, quick and filling!

Tapsilog (SGD $9.80)



The Brazo De Mercedez (SGD $3.50) is essentially a rolled meringue cake with a custard centre. The outer layer is a soft meringue cream made from pure egg whites, while the inner center is a soft custard made from pure egg yolks. This rich dessert cake is soft and sticky in texture, and intensely sweet and eggy in taste, totally decadent. Our Filipino hosts tell us the best time to eat this is not when it's freshly made, rather, it should be left to set for 1 or 2 days, until tiny beads of moisture have formed on the exterior. The version here is baked in-house, and is authentic and delicious!

Brazo De Mercedez (SGD $3.50)



The Leche Flan (SGD $2.50) is essentially a Creme Caramel, a soft custard pudding dessert coated with a sticky sweet caramel sauce. The Filipino people prefer this to be denser in texture and sweeter in taste, made with condensed milk and egg yolks, as opposed to the European style which is usually lighter and more airy in texture.

Leche Flan (SGD $2.50)



Overall, Cafe Calle Real offers a good dining experience, with comfortable ambience, friendly service, and decent tasting food. While not completely authentic, the food at Cafe Calle Real is a great introductory experience for non-Filipinos, and prices are affordable enough for everyday communal dining. Filipinos themselves will still enjoy the modern interpretation of dishes at Cafe Calle Real, as they strike a nice balance between the familiar and the new. I will return to Cafe Calle Real for more!


.....








.....


You Might Also Like