Strangers' Reunion was another recommendation of Izzy, where we popped by so late one mid-afternoon our brunch should really have been called lunch instead. The cafe made the news sometime back for being the most compassionate business ever (a staff of theirs was struck with cancer, and they not only retained his employment, they'd actually raised money to pay for his medical expenses), but I never got around to visiting them. Until now.
Reminscent of Melbourne's cafes, the brunch fare at Stranger's Reunion was terrific. The brunch menu may be a smidge limited, but inventive combinations, hearty flavours, and pretty plating made up for the lack of an extensive menu. Besides, I'd rather a small menu done well, than an extended-but-mediocre one.
All in all, we really liked Strangers Reunion, hipster vibe and teeny-bopper crowd notwithstanding. I mean, the influencer-wannabe couple next to us took so many gawdamn selfies I was almost tempted to make them sue me for confiscating their iPhone 7.
Service was a little choppy, but I think it's coz the servers were really young and inexperienced. Instructions for the kitchen to hold off all cilantro/coriander leaves/parsley was misconstrued as "no spice in food", so I had to explain that the former were herbs, which was not the same thing as spices. #TeachableMoment
The heady spice of the Smoked Chorizo & Melted Cheese Croquette ($18.50) and charred corn & capsicum salsa, was balanced against the refreshing cool of the purple cabbage slaw and fennel mayo. Add to the fray a perfectly poached egg, and you've got a winsome must-try.
A towering stack of Halloumi, Corn & Zucchini Fritters ($18.50), sauteed spinach, avocado, robustly spicy tomato relish, poached egg, and bacon was outstanding. Another must-order as well.
Izzy liked the Crabcake Reunion ($18.90), a breadcrumbed patty of mashed potato blended with sweet crabmeat, heaped with avocado, poached egg, ikura and glossed with an aburi-ed chive hollandaise, on a bed of asparagus ribbons. I wasn't as big a fan, and I think this would have been better served sans the fish roe, which briny intensity made the already-sweet crabmeat saccharine. In this regard, I much prefer the crabmeat dish at La Ristrettos.
The Caffe Latte ($4.90) was a little delicate, but the creamy frothiness was lovely. I think, this would have been a superb introduction to coffee for noobs, but for seasoned coffee-drinkers, this might be too weak.
33/35 Kampong Bahru Road
Open Wednesdays to Mondays from 9am to 10pm;
Closed on Tuesdays