Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Riders Cafe, breakfast with the horses

with Kin

Once in a while, on a lazy Saturday morning, Kin and I would drive around to look for unusual places for breakfast. We thought we'd go back to 60's Live Seafood and try the Nasi Lemak, after a nice breakfast there where Kin waxed lyrical about mee rebus and the meaning of the universe...when we caught at the corner of one eye, a glimpse of a black and white bungalow amidst the horses...we decided to detour and have a look.

Charming place, this cafe...there is a terrace overlooking the meadows and the stables, but reserved for members only...but peasants can sit in the main hall...quaintly colonial, timber stripped flooring, fans spinning in the air-condition. But pleasantly cool.

Waiters were dressed Australian style...plain black T-shirts with CREW emblazoned on their backs, dark trousers...only a stripped apron was missing. Cool methinks. Relaxing place thinks Kin.

I ordered the pancake with berry compote.

A comfort food of mine...pleasant memories of eating fluffy buttermilk pancakes, stacked high on a large plate with honey or mapel syrup, huge chunks of butter. One of the things the Americans do right, other than char grilled air dried steaks is pancake. Even the one which is served by the huge chain, now defunct in Singapore - Denny's is very good. And in Texas, a cornmeal biscuit completes the huge breakfast to provide enough fuel to drive the cattle for a week!

The Rider's pancake was excellent. Thick, fluffy, fragrant with a generous sprinkling of icing sugar covering almost the entire plate like snow flakes...very beautiful. Served with whipped butter on top of 3 pancakes, a gorgeous lump of whipped cream and a small bowl of maple syrup on ithe side. All is well until the berry compote was slopped unceremoniously on top of the cakes. I would have preferred the berry on the I can decide how much of it to eat. I dislike raspberry...too sour and too many small seeds to interfere with the taste experience. This was a mix of some raspberry (I think...or strawberries as I can detect some of the small seeds), and blueberry. Would have preferred just blackberry or blueberry.

Kin had the breakfast...with scrambled eggs, sausage, toast...kinda of like a traditional English fry-up breakfast.

Two slices of brown toast, butter, jam. Two pork sausages. Baked beans, roasted potatoes and curiously 3 grapes. Nothing exceptional, seemed home cooked. But nevertheless, good food, done right. A dozen other places can serve something similar.

We reminisced about Sebastian's for breakfast. A quaint French Bistrot right in Greenwood Avenue which alas is no more. There is something special about having a good cook even if just to fry some eggs...a case in point is one of my favourite restaurants in Germany The Caroussel at the Residenz Bülow in Dresden. An eatery with a one star Michelin under its belt, the chef de cuisine comes in to cook even for breakfast...I am amazed, considering that he must have left for home no earlier than 1am from the evening's dinner, before having to appear in the restaurant again at possibly 6am for breakfast. The scrambled eggs, fried eggs are absolutely divine.

But I digress. The sausage, eggs and toast served at Riders is just plain ordinary in comparison. Just hearty breakfast.

The place, especially the building, the ambiance is spectacular. The view as one looks out into the riders working with their horses is just plain wonderful. The food is quite ordinary. We also felt the prices a bit on the high side...pancakes were S$10, and the sausage/egg combo S$13.
Riders Cafe
51 Fairways Drive
Singapore 286965.
8am to 10pm, Tuesday - Sunday.

Photo notes: First picture is a compilation done HDR style with Photomatix and Photoshop, a technique with exaggerates details and tones.

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