Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Arbite @ Serangoon Gardens

When life gives you lazy Sundays, grab it by the reins and head down to somewhere with all-day brunch.
Somewhere... like Arbite.

Flat White, S$4.5

Lunch is, more often than not, our first meal on lazy Sundays. The immense effort expended just to haul our work-ridden bones out of bed in lieu of a long lazing session begets some lawful sinning, at the very least. Brunch, the Husband announced. So we put two and two together on Google search - "Brunch" + "Serangoon Gardens" and out popped Arbite into our hunger radar.

At first glance, it may be a little tricky to spot Arbite if you don't buzz around Serangoon Garden Way often;  the inconspicuously located staircase sandwiched between Guardian pharmacy and Sushi Tei leads you up to the cafe located on the second level. It may feel a little awkward when you first reach the top of the stairs just to be greeted by the sight of everyone eating and chatting merrily - it's like walking in on a clan gathering in their attic.

The interior decoration is succinct and functional, with deli tables and chairs arranged just one arm's length apart to optimise space. Well, at least you get to check out what the diners at the next table are having without being rude.

What we had:

Flat white (main picture): No complaints about the flat white. In fact, I was trying harder to decide if the barista had deliberated drawn a dove on my coffee than to figure out if the flat white was better here or at Nylon Coffee.

The Arbite Breakfast: The Husband does brunch like a mathematician, ensuring that brunch = breakfast portion + lunch portion. The Arbite Breakfast is humongous; it makes MacDonald's Big Breakfast look like condensed army field supply. A full chili sausage with scrambled eggs, roasted tomato, sauteed mushrooms, potato puffs, streaky bacon, baked beans, toast and arugula greens... sounds like many breakfasts converging on a single plate. The Husband gave it a higher rating than a similar all-day breakfast he had at The Coastal Settlement during our latest staycation.

Arbite Breakfast, S$16.9

Truffle fries: Unlike many other eateries that use shoestring fries for their truffle fries, Arbite decided to use pont neuf style fries, which are rough-cut fries which are much thicker (~ 1cm in thickness) than shoestring fries. Unfortunately, this did a disservice to the truffle fries, because the smell of the large amount of truffle oil absorbed by the thick fries was overwhelming to the point of nauseating. Unless you're sharing this with a large group, I would suggest skipping this, because the portion is scarily huge in order to justify the price tag.

Truffle fries, S$12.9

Apple Strudel Pancakes: I would have to admit that I overestimated my capacity when I ordered this, flippantly dismissing the 3 pancakes topped with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream. The pancakes were soft and fluffy but could pass off as something you can make at home. The surprise came from the apple strudel filling between each pancake - warm, comforting and complemented the pancake and ice-cream well.

Apple Strudel Pancakes, S$14.9

If you have a weak spot for alcoholic beverages but find beer and wine too heavy on the palate for brunch, cider's the way to go. Its light and smooth texture helps alleviate some of the greasiness from the bacon and fries, leaving a pleasant fruity aftertaste. However, Arbite didn't choose to refrigerate their alcoholic drinks, which totally baffled the Husband. You mean you actually expect your customers to buy into the practice of drinking their alcohol diluted with ice? For this, the Husband and I felt that Arbite could do better.

Thatchers Mixed Fruit Cider, S$14.5

The bugbear of every small establishment would be the training of young service staff, and this seems like little exception in Arbite's case. I stepped into the cafe feeling slightly unwelcomed, watching the service staff buzzing around instead getting me to a table. Oh well, the pains of being not even the very least attractive.

Eat where:
66A Serangoon Garden Way
Singapore 555962
Tel: 62870430

Opening hours:
Better to check out http://www.arbite.com.sg/find-s.php

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