Phoenix Park used to house the Ministry of Home Affairs...with its buildings full of secret and nationally sensitive information. But since the Ministry has moved into its spanking new premises in Novena (known as Phoenix Park II), the place vacated is a scattering of colonial buildings within beautiful foliage of the rain forest. Now the buildings are declassified, and house arty farty establishments.
Spruce, an Australian concept restaurant is one of the first such places to open. Beautifully renovated, and nestled with rustic timber flooring, right next to the trees, the restaurant is serene, calm, and unhurried...much like a typicaly Ozzie might be.
We dropped by one Sunday morning for breakfast.
First off...hot cakes...
I had originally thought I would be getting fluffy, buttermilk pancakes, thick, large, and a huge pile...with blueberry, butter, and lots of maple syrup....an image harking to the days when I visited Southlake (near Dallas) often to experience the huge breakfasts which make Americans what they are. I had also had equally good experiences with pancakes in Sydney, where the serving was somewhat smaller than in the US, but nonetheless just as good.
But I was served 3 pieces of what looked like McDonald's hot cakes...perhaps the name would have given it away, but I did not suspect that. The cakes were already drizzled, albeit a bit frugal, with some syrup, a sprinkling of a few fresh blueberries and what looked like blueberry sauce zig-zagging across my pancakes. The ensemble was finished with crushed cookies and what looked like half a banana.
Cutting into the cakes, and trying to scoop up what little blueberry compote there was, trying to balance a bit of the cookies...in the mouth, it tasted quite good. Certainly more than meets the eye...in fact, good enough for me to finish the entire plate. If only they were more generous with the blueberry and the syrup.
Kin had the English Breakie:
Typical English big fry up...comprising two eggs sunny side up, English styled sausage, bacon, stir fried fresh mushrooms, some baked beans, half a fried tomato and bread. The sausage was kind of average. The eggs were perfectly cooked. The mushrooms were a nice touch...not the button type you get in England, but what looked like oyster mushrooms. They were delicious. The bread is a type of country loaf and was thick, and gorgeous. Lightly toasted, it was wonderful with the eggs.
Edward had the Big Breakie:
Scrambled eggs, German style wurst sausage, bacon, grilled yellow and red bell peppers, half a grilled tomato, and the same gorgeous bread.
The coffee was also very good...here is a espresso macchiato.
Overall a very nice place...reasonably good food, relaxing. Good place to chill out.
320 Tanglin Road
Tel: 6836 5528
Weekdays: 10.30am - 10.30pm
Weekends: 8.30am - 10.30pm