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Friday, 21 August 2015

Lunch at The Oven Cafe Bistro @ Tai Seng

1 Irving Place #01-22 The Commerz @ Irving, Singapore 369546
Tel:  9006 9012

Today's selected lunch venue was The Oven Cafe Bistro located at the newly-turned hipster Tai Seng. Yes, the located at the same row where I last visited Carol Mel Cafe, netting in the lunch crowds and weekend cafe-hoppers.

The Oven Cafe Bistro is owned and operated by the hospitable James Loh, who is very involved in the process of food preparation and serving of guests himself; not abashed to call himself the true "one-man show".

The cafe was small, but appeared more spacious because of the "Spartan design" (to quote my lawyer dining companion), with white walls, tables with strong lines and a minimalistic selection of paintings on the wall. They serve homely Western food here, mainly pizzas and pastas.

I had a Cappuccino (SGD$2.50) - the price was a steal, but don't expect too much from the quality, because I watched the coffee creation process - straight from the coffee machine. No complaints for me though - since I was merely looking for a caffeine boost that day.

We started with Mushroom Soup (SGD$5.00) which was James' recommendation. The soup had a good texture - not too thick but not diluted either, gliding past the palate smoothly down the throat; there were teeny weeny bits of chopped mushrooms to give the soup a nice bite, and there was the right note of mushroomy aroma. The only drawback was the sapid garlic taste that kept threatening to obliterate the mushroom flavour, and lingered in the mouth thereafter.

Sorry, maybe I'm just not a fan of garlic when I am outside of home.

Next came the mains.   The friend had the Chicken Spaghetti with Arrabiata Sauce (SGD$11.00), another recommendation. The chicken chop was well-executed, with a slightly crusty exterior flanking chunky, succulent chicken meat. The spicy tomato sauce was flavourful; though the pasta could have been a little less soft.

I had the Bratwurst Pizza (SGD$9.00) which came in a crispy thin crust, sausages and cheese, baked to a lovely golden brown. The ingredients were simple, but the pizza tasted good - the balance of cheese and sausages accentuated each other; the pizza was not overly-dry, it retained a little moist at the top where it mattered. The crust was crispy, with a solid bite to it.

Overall, this was a simple but hearty meal, enjoyed with great hospitality in a relaxed setting at very affordable price. Those working nearby can certainly get their pizza and pasta fix as often as they like now.   Thank you James!

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