My two favourite 'F' words..... you got it right! Definitely food + fashion.
Headed down to Strangers' Reunion last Tuesday evening to try out the dishes on Strangers' Reunion's newly launched seasonal menu, and at the same time to browse through Klarra's Spring Summer 2015 Collection pop-up showcase.
A little about both Strangers' Reunion and Klarra, even though both needs no introduction, really –
A popular hotspot for all the cafe-hoppers, Strangers' Reunion is a Singapore-based cafe famous for its coffee and food. Co-founded by three-time Singapore Barista Champion Ryan Kieran and Mervin Pang, the cafe offers a menu of specialty coffee as well as all-day breakfasts, a variety of sides (truffle fries!), desserts and a full dinner menu with frequent seasonal changes.
Founded by local fashion icon and influencer Beatrice Tan, Klarra is a womenswear label catering to the modern independent women stylish and timeless classics. Klarra believes in design creativity and versatility, which is why you'll find in Klarra apparels with convertible and versatile designs (cues a playsuit that can be spiced up with a matching tulle skirt here).
As mentioned above, Strangers' Reunion has launched their new seasonal menu, which features a number of unique dishes not seen in other local cafes. In addition to the common cafe-hoppers favourite Eggs Benedict, Strangers' Reunion is introducing dishes that brings a mix of unique flavours and textures to our taste buds. Having tasted 10 out of 14 items on their new seasonal menu, it is my pleasure to share more about them with you in this entry.
P/S: I apologise in advance for the quality of the photos that really do not do any justice to the food!
Strangers' Reunion – Starters
Tossed with wasabi dressing, cherry tomatoes, potato slices, pickled white onions, pea sprouts and a poached egg, the Tuna Tataki Nicoise Salad is the perfect appetiser for someone who isn't a huge fan of salads. I personally am not a fan of the salads commonly served in cafes, and would usually not touch them at all if they were presented as a side on my order.
However, I really liked how Strangers' Reunion served pea sprouts because I really love pea sprouts! Anyway, I love the flavourful tuna slices as well because honestly I haven't tasted any other tuna alike, the soft yet delectable fresh taste of fish – and this is one of my favourite dishes out of all I've tried that evening.
Here's the other starter we had, the Beetroot Salad. I would prefer the Tuna Tataki Nicoise Salad mentioned above to this salad but honestly I think it's really subjective so maybe some of you may like this better! The beetroot salad is a much healthier choice, featuring fresh garden greens, avocado, artichoke, red turnip, tomatoes and more, which makes it a refreshing starter for a meal.
Strangers' Reunion – All Day Breakfasts
I found this dish, Beetroot Corn Fritters, really unique and intriguing because it tasted somewhat different from the norm. One of the elements in this dish was the 'za'atar spiced poached pear' which I guess was what made it unique. Za'atar is a spice mixture commonly used in Arab cuisine, which was why this dish differed from the more 'western' dishes we would commonly have in cafes. The taste would be what I call 'exotic' because of the spices and how it fuses aptly with the fritters.
What made this particular dish special is definitely the hazalnut béarnaise sauce drizzled on top of the would-have-been seemingly normal eggs Benedict. This House Smoked Salmon Benedict is definitely another one of my favourites of the lot, because the smoked salmon and eggs tasted wonderful with the sauce, which is pretty unique given that other eggs Benedict usually go together with hollandaise sauce. I usually don't enjoy smoked salmon but tasted surprisingly good - the 'smoked' taste isn't too overpowering as per other smoked salmon would be like, giving it a good mix of the natural fresh salmon taste with a little bit of 'smoked' taste.
My photo definitely did not do any justice to this God-sent dish! The Freshly Shaved Prosciutto Benedict easily tops my favourites list. I think what made this dish taste so good has something to do with the prosciutto ham. Pardon my lack of knowledge in food, but unlike the circular-shaped ham in other eggs Benedict I've had, this particular dish definitely upped my eggs Benedict standards. I don't think I'll be able to accept any other eggs Benedict anytime soon.... If I were to come back to Strangers' Reunion (soon I hope), this would definitely be one of my to-order dishes. Being a picky eater, when I recommend this dish, it simply means you really have to try it to believe it!
Another dish with my favourite pea sprouts! I love the Ocean Trout on Hash. The potato hash (they resemble and taste similar to rosti) is made in-house, and that is what makes it taste different from the usual frozen hash browns used commonly as a side in other cafes. I think the crunchiness of the trout has a really nice contrast with the soft potato hash in terms of texture, allowing them compliment each other well. I also like that the taste of the potato hash isn't too salty or anything, so the crispiness and fresh seafood taste of the trout still stands out.
Words can't explain how much I love steak, so having it for breakfast would be a total dream-come-true. Uniquely served with a sunny side up, cherry tomato, green apple fritters and my favourite pea sprouts, I love steak and definitely love it better when served with a sunny side up, because who doesn't? The Breakfast Steak is a MUST-TRY if you happen to pop by Strangers' Reunion, especially since it is rather affordable at SGD$23.90.
Strangers' Reunion – Desserts
Not quite a fan of desserts here because I don't have a sweet tooth and wouldn't be able to finish the entire dish by myself, but the Chocolate Panna Cotta is one sweet treat that would make me think twice about skipping desserts. This pudding-lookalike dish tastes like thick chocolate cream, and it goes really well with all the other elements including the berry compote, walnut-infused gold dust, dark chocolate sables as well as salted caramel. If you're looking for uncommon desserts to try, this dish is also a MUST TRY at Strangers' Reunion!
What a beautiful mix of colours on this plate - the Berry Ricotta Hotcakes by Strangers' Reunion is a huge hotcake topped with berries, sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well as vanilla ice cream, and it is really soft and fluffy! If not for being too full from all the mains we had, I would definitely have had more of this hotcake dessert. Not to mention, the berries were really sweet too!
I would think that these Berry Ricotta Hotcakes are one of their most popular desserts in Strangers' Reunion, and truth be told – I've been craving it ever since I tried it that day. The serving for this dish is huge so I'd recommend sharing it with at least 2 other people, unless you've got a sweet tooth and an empty stomach!
Lastly, we had the Banana Brulee Buttermilk Waffle with Walnut Crunch – of which we took many photos of and was surprised by how the ice cream didn't budge a single bit. I loved the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream as well as the caramel banana slices which complimented the otherwise plain waffle really well! Like the hotcakes, the serving for this waffle is huge so I'd recommend sharing it with at least 2 other people, unless you've got a sweet tooth and an empty stomach!
Aside from enjoying the dishes, I also browsed through Klarra's Spring Summer 2015 collection while waiting for the desserts to be served. The Klarra Spring Summer 2015 pop-up showcase is conveniently located right in Strangers' Reunion, which I thought was a pretty good idea since you get to eat and shop at the same time. Really, how often do you get to do that in Singapore! Especially while waiting for food that might take probably 5 to 10 minutes to serve, why not take the time to browse through clothes and lust over some of the beautiful pieces by Klarra?
What I love most about the homegrown womenswear label, Klarra, is that all their apparels just represent 'clean aesthetics' – every piece by Klarra is minimal, clean, yet comes with a unique touch. Since everything is designed and made by Klarra (or collaborated with other fashion icons), their apparel are all exclusive and unavailable in the market.
Personally, I feel that Beatrice, the founder of the label Klarra, takes a lot of pride not only in the designs but also in ensuring the quality of the apparels are of top-notch standard. I love that the fabric used for Klarra's apparels are all of high quality, and doesn't feel thin or flimsy to the touch, and the workmanship put into ensuring each piece holds together the ensemble of a clean, sleek and minimal representation by Klarra.
Klarra Spring Summer Collection 2015
This has got to be the most innovative and versatile set I have seen in the Singapore fashion industry. I really liked the idea of dressing down with just a simple playsuit and jazzing it up with a tulle skirt. While some playsuits may look really 'underdressed' for certain occasions and events, I find that this particular piece, the Kendaz Playsuit and Tulle Set from Klarra has a very 'classy' element with its satin fabric and dusty pink/blue tones. It would certainly make the perfect outfit if you've got a long day of errands to run, and a dinner date in the evening. Simply dress up your outfit with a light weight tulle skirt and you can easily be the most eye-catching girl of the night.
Evident from my Instagram account, I have recently jumped onto the culottes bandwagon and boy, am I seriously addicted. I own around 3 pairs now and certainly wouldn't mind owning more. To be frank, the first piece that caught my eye following the gorgeous playsuit (mentioned above) was the Todd Tailored Culottes in the color Seafoam. I know I'm usually in a monochromatic get-up, but this hell-of-a-gorgeous shade would certainly make me a convert. Other than having the most gorgeous shade of seafoam ever, I like that this pair of culottes is so clean and structured, yet looks comfy at the same time.
If you're a fan of lace, crochet, midi and maxi skirts, you certainly wouldn't want to miss out on Klarra's Spring-Summer Collection 2015, bringing you hues of colors, both pastal and vibrant. The collection will be available to the public at Strangers' Reunion from now till 17th March 2015.
Enjoy picking out your ensembles while waiting for your dishes from Strangers' Reunion – doesn't hurt to do a little window shopping along with food.