Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is one of the larger chains coffee shops in town. Known for their coffees and teas, and snacks, they decided to go into the foray of full meals. They went a big way, hiring an executive chef, and branding these restaurant styled CBTL as Beanstro...a play on their name and bistro. Each of the Beanstro outlets have a dedicated kitchen to prepare and cook the food onsite.
I was invited by Vincent Chang, CBTL's Senior Director of Business Development and Controller for a tasting. I understand Vincent is a fan of this blog, and contacted one of his suppliers who is a good friend of mine to arrange this tasting.
I went to the tasting with my friend who made the arrangement and another. Our party of four tasted this meal...quite a lot of food.
We started with calamari
Quite nice. Calamari rings, breaded and deep fried.
Followed by a cheese appetizer
I found the cheese to be very mild, and as it was deep fried, a bit greasy.
And a salad
Nice slices of tuna, lightly seared on a bed of vegetables with a very light nicoise sauce.
For mains, I had the steak burger
I had expected a steak, grilled and sandwiched in bread with condiments, but this was done with sliced beef. I feel it makes the sandwich a bit more difficult to eat, as the beef slices tend to slide all over. The flavour was robust, but the meat a bit on the chewy side. I would have preferred a more marbled cut.
My friend had the squid ink pasta
I had a taste, and it was not bad. I prefer pasta with squid ink sauce, as this normally has more oomph than a squid ink infused pasta. But in this case, it was the latter, done with aglio olio and clams.
And two of them had burger
And we shared a lobster pasta
I found the pasta a bit undercooked, rather hard. But the slipper lobster is superb. Very fresh, sweet. The sauce very nice, tingling, spicy.
For desserts, warm chocholate cake
Quite de rigeur. The crust was a bit dry, but within the moist chocolate oozed. Not as smooth as the best I have eaten, but not bad.
And bread pudding
I find the desserts to be large servings...and the presentation a bit boring as each dessert was presented in a cup, on a saucer...one almost exactly the same as the other.
Overall, satisfying food...appropriate for the target level, I guess...which is mall style quick eats (not fast food).
Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road # B1-37 Ngee Ann City
Mon - Sun: 8am - 11pm ...Fri,Sat & Eve of PH: 9am - 11pm.