Visited on 13 Nov 2014
Post by Mu Yao
Oh, I know. Another one of those "hipster" places at Tanjong Pagar again. Those places with All-day breakfasts, and with a branding identity that have now seem to be a dime-and-dozen (still, it's well-conceived by local design firm Roots). They tout themselves as a confluence between retail, food and art, and all about "redefining the local supermarket experience".
Okay, can. Let's see how it fares with aunty muyao then.
Stepping in, we couldn't help but noticed the wall of interesting hipster homeware that lined the brushed concrete walls. And naturally, everything came at hipster prices. It's a little bit of a bizzare concept, but if you ever do find yourself in the CBD wanting to get a designer casserole dish, I guess this is an interesting place to pop-by. Maybe for the odd colleague that is leaving for another company and you need a farewell gift urgently. Yeah. Freddy seems interested anyway.
But otherwise, it also serves to spruce up the ambience. Along with pieces of pop-art with people of the same sex kissing. Aunty Mu Yao shakes head, and proceeds to place fancy hipster boy Amos to censor the art. (Also, copyright)
A sneak peek at the menu here. They claim to do "simple things well", and being hipster, they charge hipster prices. Everything here is "market-fresh, seasonal produce", and led by chef-owner Joseph Yeo (who was previously with the Les Amis group), it's comforting to know that your food is cooked by someone who knows what he's doing. I mean, 16 years of experience, confirm can cook eggs on toast well right?
Uncle Kenji makes an appearance here, as he peruses the menu intently. He finally places his camera aside after snapping many instagrammable moments on his Fujifilm camera. Note the spiderman hand gesture.
The place is nice and quiet on a Thursday evening. Seating is nice, warm and comfortable, and can accommodate up to 8 people on a nice round table. Ambience was peaceful and cosy, a great retreat from the hustle and bustle of the CBD.
A quick check on HungryGoWhere actually revealed certain issues with the speed of service. Maybe it's because I was with friends, but I didn't find this much of an issue — I think we waited something like 10 minutes. But hey, I don't know about you but I certainly don't mind waiting for food when I know it's prepared fresh to order. Good things come to those who wait.
We ordered the highly acclaimed Truffle Fries with Kelp and Parmesan ($12) to share. The truffle taste was pretty okay, although personally I would have preferred a bit stronger. It was slightly on the oily side, but I think it tasted pretty good in general. At first, I thought the black bits was truffle, but it was actually bits of kelp. I had no idea what it added to the taste, mainly because the taste of the truffle was so strong, but the parmesan really helped as well. I liked the salty nuttiness of the cheese — it complemented the truffle taste really well.
I ordered the Eggs Royale ($17) — poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, spinach, smoked salmon perched on buttered brioche. Sounds like the stuff that makes a pretty decadent hipster breakfast — and it was. The smoked salmon was not too salty, and thick enough, unlike the tissue-thin slices that you get at some kiam siap restaurants. The eggs were done well, although I could have preferred it to be slightly runnier (but I'm just nitpicking). I'm not sure about the hollandaise sauce though, because it tasted on slightly too sour for me. I would have preferred a more buttery and salty taste, but I perhaps understand the chef's intention to provide a different flavour dimension to complement the rich, full-bodied nature of the contents on this plate. The soft spinach was a welcome addition to meld everything together in terms of texture. Great dish, just let down by the hollandaise that was slightly too tart.
I actually really liked Kenji's Bacon Pudding ($16) — I had wanted to order that actually. Two savoury bacon puddings — if you ever had Yorkshire puddings, you'll definitely be a fan of this. The saltiness of the bacon melded smoothly in a medley of textures from a certain eggy fluffiness in the inside, and the flaky crust of the outside. United by the poached eggs with hollandaise sauce, I found this dish to be the highlight of the night.
Our dear Amos decided to order the Lamb and Couscous salad ($17), being the healthy hipster that he is (look at his shirt earlier). With lamb chunks, cous cous, spinach, garlic bits and mint dressing, the relatively fluffy cous cous stood out for me, with a slight buttery taste. The lamb was moist and stood out on a crunchy bed of greens, all coming together with a sprightly mint dressing. Yes, the love affair in putting lamb and mint together is well justified here. But that being said, it does get a little sian after a while eating this. It reminded me of the wonderfully fresh salads I had in New Zealand.
Of course, being a SPRMRKT, they have beers in a fridge. And eclectic taste of flavoured fruit beers abound, costing somewhere around $9 or so. That's awfully hipster, and it was enough for me to decide not to order it.
If you're looking for a nice, cosy place to eat fresh and well in the CBD, SPRMRKT is a great place to be. Hipster (*cough* pretentious *cough*) credentials aside, the quality of the food is undeniable and fairly reasonable considering its location at Tanjong Pagar.
This supermarket passes the aunty test. I just had one thing to say.
"Got discount card or not?"
2 McCallum Street
Mondays & Tuesdays: 8AM to 9PM
Wednesdays to Fridays: 8AM to 11PM
Weekends: 9AM to 6PM
Tel: +65 6221 2105