Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cafe Cartel (Plaza Singapura)

If you have bought the Groupon for Cafe Cartel, be ready to brace yourself for long queues. The number of Groupons bought so far (12631 at time of publishing blog post) is a good indication on how long you would have to queue. Go as early as possible. When we went at 6pm, there were still many seats around. By 7pm, there was a long queue snaking outside the restaurant. 

The two things that I really associate with Cafe Cartel is: 1) Free bread and 2) Half price cakes after 9 pm (or is it 9.30 pm?). So it's rather sad that free bread is no longer served. 

I decided to go for the Seafood Fiesta ($15.50). Rather neat plating. I took a bite of the rice and declared it good. It was flavourful rice mixed with some fruits such as strawberries and apples. The salad was ordinary. 

The seafood was an utter miss though. The deep fried prawns were over deep-fried and resulted in the bread crumb layer being bitter and the prawn being hard. The scallops were obviously the frozen kind you buy from supermarkets so I can't say anything about that. The fish was salty. 

The worst part of the meal was finding a strand of brown hair (I do not have brown hair) stuck in my rice. I always look at my food when I eat and I think that's a good habit because I have spotted plastic bits, metal wires, those silvery kind of ribbon in my food before. I left that part of the rice totally untouched. 

If you are looking for something more worth your buck, you might want to try the St Louis Pork Ribs. You can choose the sauce and I think the honey glaze is pretty good. The pork rib is also meaty and while I found it a little dry, my friend was okay with it.

I won't say that the food here is great for sure. Service is pretty average. In any case, the service, the concept and the food at Cartel Bistro (112 Katong) just seemed a lot better.

Cafe Cartel
Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road


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