Cafe Melba

December 24, 2016 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Cafe Melba
90 Goodman Road
#01-56 Goodman Arts Centre Block N

1 Stars Avenue
#03-01 Mediapolis


http://www.cafemelba.com.sg/


Peach Melba
Peach Melba (SGD $12)



Tasty Australian Asian Food, Chill Vibes

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 5
Value for Money: 6
Spent about SGD $40 per person.


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A casual dining Australian Asian dining concept by Tadcaster Hospitality, Cafe Melba blends influences from Melbourne, Australia, with influences from Southeast Asia. Their 1st outlet opened in July 2012 in Goodman Arts Centre, and Cafe Melba has done well enough to open a 2nd outlet in May 2016 in Mediapolis. Located in out-of-the-way areas in the East and West of Singapore, they're well known as a relaxing, family-friendly haunt which serves tasty food. Personally, I would return again, despite the expensive prices.

Ambience at Cafe Melba is casual and relaxed, with a welcoming, homely vibe. The quirky, eye catching texured walls and curious lampshades provide interesting focal points, while warm mood lighting complement the warm wooden furniture of the place. The creative use of space impresses, from the open kitchen and bar, to the clever layout which allows for both private corners and large group seating. Love the look and feel of the place.

Service at Cafe Melba, in their Mediapolis outlet, is lacking. Not sure if we visited on a bad day, but staff seemed generally unconcerned with customers and unfriendly. They didn't check if we needed assistance with ordering via tablet, there was no confirmation of orders, and no chance for any enquiries on the menu. We were not informed of any ongoing promotions. Really odd, because this isn't the type of service I usually experience at the Goodman Arts Centre outlet.

Service at Cafe Melba, in their Goodman Arts Centre outlet, is good. Staff are proactive and friendly, quickly greeting and seating guests. They offer assistance with the tablet menu, and will share advice on dishes if asked, being able to describe them well. I note their rather efficient at clearing away empty / dirty tables when guests leave, and I also like that they assist to change cutlery after the main course. Stark difference comparing service standards here and at the Mediapolis outlet.

Food at Cafe Melba is distinctly fusion, with heavy Australian, British, Italian, Malaysian, and Singaporean influence. Generally, dishes are decently tasty and well executed, with only a few misses. Otherwise, they're consistent in serving good quality dishes. The menu is extensive, with a series of monthly specials to cater to returning diners. Portions are large for individuals, and are best shared for best value for money. Prices are more expensive than most cafes, comparable to a restaurant or bistro. Budget about SGD $40 per person for a full meal here, with drinks.


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Cafe Melba Signage
Cafe Melba Signage


Cafe Melba Exterior


Cafe Melba Interior


Seating & Kitchen


Lamp Shadow


Oven


Cafe Melba Facade
Cafe Melba Facade


Seating Outdoors


Seating Indoors



I like the Hot Chocolate (SGD $7) here. Unlike the typical Australian versions, the beverage here is medium thick in texture, instead of thin and light. With a deep, robust flavour of chocolate, and a nice frothy foam head, this warm beverage is sweet and soothing. Nicely balanced. Good!

Hot Chocolate (SGD $7)


Hot Chocolate



A glass of fresh, house made Lemonade (SGD $8). Strongly sour and sharp, with a zesty twang and a hint of sweet. Has a good kick and some fizz. Refreshing, yet strong. May not appeal to everyone though.

Lemonade (SGD $8)



The Beer San Miguel Pale Pilsen (SGD $7) is a Filipino pale lager, brewed by San Miguel Brewery in Mandaluyong, within the Metro Manila region of the Philippines. It has a bright, straw golden colour with a medium-thick foam head; and aromas of grass, wheat, malt, and hay. The body is smooth, crisp, and refreshing, 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)



The Beer Asahi Super Dry (SGD $12.50) is a Japanese pale lager, brewed by Asahi Breweries in Tokyo, within the Kanto region of Japan. This bright, clear golden yellow brew has a tame aroma of hops, grass, corn, and apples, with a smooth, refreshing, medium body and medium carbonation. Taste is floral bitter sweet, with notes of wheat, rice, malted barley, and lemon citrus, with a super dry, crisp finish. Very drinkable.

Beer Asahi Super Dry (SGD $12.50)



The classic British English Cocktail Pimm's Cup (SGD $15) is a refreshing, cooling blend of cucumber, lemon, Pimm's No. 1 Cup gin based fruit liqueur, lemonade, ginger ale, and garnished with lemon and mint leaves. It is a staple drink at Wimbledon tennis tournaments.

Cocktail Pimm's Cup (SGD $15)


Cocktail Pimm's Cup
Cocktail Pimm's Cup



The Cocktail Chocotini Martini (SGD $16) is a rich dessert cocktail, a blend of vodka, chocolate liqueur, sugar syrup, and Baileys Irish Cream, garnished with chocolate sauce. Thick, luscious texture, creamy and smooth, the sweet floral notes of chocolate is intoxicating. This unassuming cocktail has a high alcohol content within its sublime body, though you almost can't taste it, akin to a ninja. Good!

Cocktail Chocotini Martini (SGD $16)


Cocktail Chocotini Martini



The Sweet Potato Fries (SGD $11) here are simple, straightforward, and good. Warm, slightly crisp outside, slightly fluffy inside, with a rich savoury sweet flavour, contrasted by a hint of salty flavour. Decent enough side dish, good enough for sharing. Worth ordering!

Sweet Potato Fries (SGD $11)


Sweet Potato Fries



The Potato & Leek Homemade Soup (SGD $13) is simple, straightforward, and comforting. Thick and rich in flavour from the waxy potatoes and leeks, the smooth texture is contrasted by salty bacon bits and crunchy scallions, which lend a burst of flavour and freshness respectively. Perfumed slightly with truffle oil, giving it a lovely earthy tone. Worth ordering!

Potato & Leek Homemade Soup (SGD $13)


Potato & Leek Homemade Soup



The Omelette & Dark Rye Bread (SGD $15) features a large egg omelette, filled with ingredients of your choice, served with a crisp, home baked dark rye bread that is fragrant with a solid yeasty flavour. I got mine with ham, shiitake mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese. These ingredients lend a salty savoury earthy cheesy taste to the dish, and makes it incredibly filling and satisfiying. The egg omelette, with its warm, soft, fluffy texture, and sweet savoury flavour, pairs really well. Nice option as a breakfast or brunch choice. Good!

Omelette & Dark Rye Bread (SGD $15)


Omelette & Dark Rye Bread


Omelette & Dark Rye Bread



The Full Breakfast (SGD $25) is a filling dish where every component ingredient is well executed. Crisp, home baked white bread toast, juicy sweet cherry tomatoes, tender earthy sauteed wild button mushrooms, crisp salty fatty bacon strips, sweet savoury baked beans, and a juicy meaty savoury salty pork sausage, bursting with flavour. A choice of eggs; I like the creamy scrambled eggs, with its fluffy soft texture. A slight fusion twist with the vegetable rosti, featuring crisp potato cakes studded with carrots and peas, with a hint of garam masala spice. Good!

Full Breakfast (SGD $25)


Full Breakfast


Full Breakfast



The classic British English breakfast of Eggs Benedict (SGD $20) is straightforward and executed well here. Crisp but thin toasted English muffins are topped with crisp savoury strips of streaky bacon, a perfectly poached egg, and creamy hollandaise sauce, served with a salad of wild rocket leaves / arugula and cherry tomatoes on the side. Love that the egg is nicely runny, though the muffin isn't porous enough to soak up the yolk. Decent enough as a dish.

Eggs Benedict (SGD $20)


Eggs Benedict


Eggs Benedict



On first bite of the Chicken Parmigiana (SGD $22), I realised immediately that this is nothing like the typical dish. It's more savoury instead of sweet savoury. Still a pretty good dish though, the lightly breaded chicken, coated in gooey mozzarella cheese, is tender and juicy, surprising us with its excellent execution of texture. The home made tomato sauce is rather weak, though the sides of fresh garden salad and fluffy potato wedges were good. Worth ordering!

Chicken Parmigiana (SGD $22)


Chicken Parmigiana


Chicken Parmigiana



The Aussies love a good fish and chips as much as the Brits, so it's no surprise the Battered Atlantic Cod Fish & Chips (SGD $24) here is among their best sellers. A large fillet of Atlantic cod fish, coated in a thin, light, flour batter that is so crisp, shattering satisfiyingly. Within is a meaty, sweet savoury cod fish, flaky and bordering firm and tender. Served with thick cut chips, tartar sauce, and lemon wedges. A blast of nostalgia in the taste of the fish, because this is the exact same fish used in both Birds Eye Fish Fingers and McDonald's Filet-O-Fish burger, though the quality here is much better. Good!

Battered Atlantic Cod Fish & Chips (SGD $24)


Battered Atlantic Cod Fish & Chips
Battered Atlantic Cod Fish & Chips


Battered Atlantic Cod Fish & Chips



The Club Sandwich With Sweet Potato Fries (SGD $26) surprised me because it was better than I expected, above average in quality. Thick slices of crisp, buttered white bread toast, sandwiches layers of crunchy lettuce, juicy tomatoes, tender smoked chicken, sweet honey ham, bright sun-dried tomato pesto, and creamy guacamole. Bite through the layers of the Club Sandwich, and you get a mouthful of sweet, savoury, tangy, smoky, crunchy, chewy, and tender. The Sweet Potato Fries have a fluffy texture, with a good earthy sweet flavour, and I loved dipping it in the bright sharp herbal basil pesto mayonnaise. Really filling dish, best shared. Good!

Club Sandwich With Sweet Potato Fries (SGD $26)


Sweet Potato Fries


Club Sandwich



As indicated by its name, the Weekend Roast Pork (SGD $30) is only available on Saturdays and Sundays. Features 5 thick slices of moist, tender, fatty roast pork, savoury and meaty. The crisp skin is delightfully salty and crunches loudly. Served with a medley of roast vegetables, including sweet potato chips, pearl onions, potato wedges, brussel sprouts, and pumpkin, all of which have a lovely sweet savoury smoky flavour. The classic British English side dish of yorkshire pudding features as well, this is crisp and airy outside, with the doughy inside having a nice chewy texture. A duo of sauce completes this hearty, filling meal; a sweet apple sauce, and a creamy bearnaise sauce. Good!

Weekend Roast Pork (SGD $30)


Weekend Roast Pork


Weekend Roast Pork


Weekend Roast Pork



The Crayfish Linguine (SGD $27) was both a hit and miss. The disappointing part was the overly firm texture of the crayfish, and its ugly presentation, although we liked that the portion was generous and large. The delightful part was the al-dente linguine pasta noodles, robust from being infused with a sweet savoury seafood stock, garnished with bell peppers / capsicum, wild rocket leaves / arugula, and shavings of sharp parmesan cheese. This was delicious and rather addictive, the bold crustacean flavour is really enticing.

Crayfish Linguine (SGD $27)


Crayfish Linguine



The Pizza Chili Crab (SGD $18 / $22 / $35) features a thin, crisp, wood fired baked pizza crust, topped with chunks of deshelled snow crab, sharp coriander, yummy egg, gooey mozzarella, and a mildly spicy tomato sauce. It does have that chili crab taste, though the overall flavour profile is more sweet instead of savoury, and it lacks that spicy kick of chili heat. But we find it to be palatable and inoffensive, delivering the taste it promises - chili crab. Not bad, but could be better.

Pizza Chili Crab (SGD $18 / $22 / $35)


Pizza Chili Crab



The Pizza Three Little Pigs (SGD $18 / $22 / $35) has the same, thin crisp pizza base, which is absolutely addictive with its crunchy texture. Topped with tomato sauce, salty home cured bacon, sweet savoury honey ham, smoky pork pepperoni, and gooey mozzarella. This signature pizza will please meat lover's with its robust, layered meaty taste. Highly recommended!

Pizza Three Little Pigs (SGD $18 / $22 / $35)


Pizza Three Little Pigs



The Chocolate Lava Cake (SGD $14) looked like it might be a dud, but it actually surprised us. Despite being rather flat, the cake texture is moist and soft, with a rich, decadent chocolate flavour. A thick molten center means the luscious chocolate doesn't flow out, rather, it oozes out really slowly. Incredibly good. The same can't be said of the pairing of raspberry sorbet, which was unusually sweet instead of tart and sour, but still edible enough. Still, I would order this again just for the molten chocolate cake. Good!

Chocolate Lava Cake (SGD $14)


Chocolate Lava Cake


Chocolate Lava Cake



The classic British English dessert of Peach Melba (SGD $12) here is among the better versions around. While the recipe remains traditional, featuring a whole peach, coated in raspberry sauce, and served with vanilla ice cream, the presentation is modern and the plating looks artistic and attractive. Delicious too, layers of fruity sweet and sour, well-balanced. Love the addition of seasonal berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries), and the garnish of shaved almonds and biscuit crumble, which lend a crunchy texture, a wonderful contrast against the soft, juicy, milky base textures of this dessert. Highly recommended!

This dessert was invented in 1892, by French Chef Auguste Escoffier, at the Savoy Hotel in London, in the Greater London region of England in the United Kingdom. This was to honour Australian soprano Nellie Melba, who was performing at the time.

Peach Melba (SGD $12)


Peach Melba



The Strawberry Shortcake (SGD $9) looks homemade, owing to its uneven layering. The soft, fluffy shortcake tastes rather flat on its own, and the texture borders on dry. However, this dessert cake is saved by the generous layers of rich cream, sour sweet strawberry sauce, and fresh juicy strawberry slices, making this delightful to eat. Doesn't feel heavy or cloying, instead, the lightness makes this really pleasant to eat. Crushed pistachio nuts lend an earthy, nutty flavour, that contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the dessert. Worth ordering!

Strawberry Shortcake (SGD $9)


Strawberry Shortcake



The Granny's Apple Crumble (SGD $12) is large, and must be shared. This classic British English dessert has a crumbly, crunchy crust made from all-purpose flour, sugar, water, and shaved almonds, which covers a layer of sweet, caramelised apple chunks, spiced with cinnamon. Full, intense, sweet fruity flavours here. However, I did feel the crust could have been more crisp in texture. A quenelle of creamy vanilla ice cream completes this rich, decadent dessert. Worth ordering!

Granny's Apple Crumble (SGD $12)


Granny's Apple Crumble


Granny's Apple Crumble



The Kaya Tart (SGD $14) is delicious with a creamy thick curd of gula melaka / palm sugar and pandan / screwpine leaf, sweet and rich with notes of toffee. Garnished with buttered bread croutons which lend a nice crunch to texture, and lime zest which gives it a bright, sharp sour burst of flavour. However, the buttery pastry tart shell was unusually firm, and difficult to cut through.

Kaya Tart (SGD $14)


Kaya Tart


Kaya Tart



The Homemade Eggnog Tart (SGD $14) is a festive Australian and American dessert favourite. A buttery pastry tart shell, that is unusually firm, holds a creamy, sweet, rich filling of eggnog, made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped eggs, and brandy. Garnished with raspberries, crunchy nutty sweet almond tuile, nutmeg powder, and a fruity sweet sour raspberry sorbet. Loved every bite of this decadent dessert, really brings out the Christmas mood. Highly recommended!

Homemade Eggnog Tart (SGD $14)


Homemade Eggnog Tart


Homemade Eggnog Tart



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