Near Tiong Bahru MRT
Once again, I would like to first thank Annabelle and Janet for the warm invitation to the awesome Forty Hands cafe which has just been refurbished. They have also changed their brunch menu for this open.
You must be familiar of my lament that Singapore is lacking in good quality cafes. I came to that conclusion when Y who stayed in Melbourne for a few years told me that this cafe culture originated from Melbourne and cafe food over there is much fresher and creative. But I always wonder how can relatively cheaper cafe food be really that good? So, I got on the internet, google ‘good melbourne cafes’ and tada I get so many blog posts with wonderful pictures. Each and every restaurant has its own style and creativity while almost every food picture looks so tantalising and inviting. I would have spent most of my weekends going to cafes if and only if Sg has such a contingent of quality ones. And I am glad to say that forty hands falls this rare category of good quality cafes in Sg. So, lets begin with the delicious food that the hosts have fed us with.
Beautiful coffee art while the different gradients of brown make it look really appealing. Didn’t drink this as it belongs to another blogger, C.
My favourite salad! Muscle Mary Salad for $14. (Add $3 more if you want the sweet, juicy fragrantly grilled chicken breast). There are so many different ingredients in this huge plate of salad such as Quinoa, pumpkin, broccoli, figs, pickled beetroot, mixed greens, fresh mint, sunflower seeds, with some Greek yoghurt and honey-lemon dressing. Yes, you did not see wrongly, it’s the superfood quinoa that has all the essential amino acids that you need. It is also especially good for people down with arthritis. It has the texture of couscous but much more nutritious. All the greens tasted so good even with no sauces added as they complement each other’s taste and even better when eaten together with the creamy Greek yoghurt. If you need your meat proteins, you can conveniently add some grilled chicken in it for just $3. It came as a really pleasant surprise when this slab of fragrantly grilled chicken breast isn’t dry at all. This plate of impressive salad really proves that healthy food can be delicious as well!
The other salad that we had was the Julius Caesar Salad for $15. There are Grilled Romaine, honey Dijon chicken, poached egg, bacon tossed with homemade Caesar dressing. Chicken is again as fragrant and healthy while poached egg was well cooked. Very runny egg yolk that burst upon the slightest slice. I just find that the Caesar dressing used was perhaps a little heavy but if you are one who love to have your salad well coated with sauces, then this would be perfect for you.
To balance out the detox appetisers, it’s time for some sinful mains. This is the big bang for $15. You get to choose either organic beef or pork sausage, topped with bolognese, bacon, sour cream and scrambled eggs. To end it off with a slightly spicy touch, chilli flakes are sprinkled on top of them. It’s indeed a very proteinaceous bun. The fragrant bolognese and bacon toppings and creamy scrambled eggs give the sausage bun an extra oomph and makes it more satisfying. A really delicious hotdog bun here.
This is also one of my big favourites that day. It is Jamaican Pork for $13.50. Tightly wrapped in the toastie, we have Jerk-smoked pork, sweet mango, fragrant cheese topped with plum chutney and homemade tomato sauce. The cheese, mango and plum chutney in it made this a winner. Cheese was so stretchy that it gives a very good texture to this toastie as it allows you to savour on the marvelous taste for a longer time. It’s very interesting to have mango and plum chutney in it as they give the already aromatic pork a slightly sweet yet refreshing touch. Everything comes together to make this toastie really unique and intensely delicious.
Before we move on to the dessert, we had this last savoury kong bak bao (Asian sliders). $7.50 for a set of two and $10 for a set of three. The braised pork was really soft, moist and melts in your mouth immediately. They must have painstakingly braised it for really long hours. Bun was also soft and soothing when eaten together with the kong bak.
Alright since I was at kong bak bao, I shall start the dessert with tau sar pau first. Their version of tau sar pao or red bean paste bun for $2.50. Very fluffy and soft bun while red bean paste is really smooth and not overly sweet. Suits my taste buds and the more peculiar thing about this otherwise seemingly normal tau sar pau is that its red bean paste is very near to the thin layer of dough and is evenly spread across the whole bun (i.e. you don’t just get it right smack in the centre which is commonplace in most restaurants).
This is one of my most favourite desserts! Onde Onde cupcake for $3.50. It is a very dense cupcake that has a strong pandan fragrance to it. Fillings consist of sweet gula melaka (palm sugar) coconut shavings and that was delicious. It’s a very interesting take on cupcake by incorporating the elements of ondeh ondeh into it. Creative yet still very delicious.
Key Lime Pie for $7.50. The smooth lemon curd nestled on the crusty digestive biscuit makes it so yummy and appetising at the same time. Yeah appetising is the word for me as it makes me want to eat more of it till I finish everything, down to the last bit of meringue.
Lets not beat around the bush. This cafe is just really good and worth a revisit definitely. Unlike most other cafes, I have nothing but only compliments for the food served here. Though the caesar salad may be a slight miss for me, I wouldn’t consider it as one as others may like it. Food is subjective after all. The most impressive thing is the different styles that this cafe has successfully undertaken for its menu. From the healthy yet delicious Muscle Mary Salad, to the sinful intensively savoury big bang, to the creative dense and delicious fusion ondeh ondeh cupcake, this cafe is indeed a very vibrant one. Service here is also smiley though they are full at 4.30pm. I was very impressed with that and that says a lot about the cafe. Decor is also modern and the woody touch makes it relaxing.
Verdict: Needless to say, an excellent cafe!