Spot the brown signboard ‘The Readi Room Cafe Bar’ thanks to the lamp-post. Ok lah its my sloppy shot at the signboard, my bad. The surrounding look familiar right? Its really near where I used to work. Located at Keong Saik Road, its just a throw stone (or was it stone’s throw ah?) away from Outram Park MRT. My colleague told me in the past, Keong Saik Road used to be full of brothels. No wonder the Police Cantonment Center is just across the street only, so the police PCC near Keong Saik Road… Erm.. PCC is the acronym for Police Cantonment Center ok. I want to believe they build it there to police the area..
Anyways, back to the main topic. We went in and was warmly greeted by Jake and his staff. And coolly welcomed by the air conditioning in the place. I am always the shy and awkward guy so I will push my PR person Claire in front of me. So I just observe from behind the scenes like Claire’s personal stalker.
My first impression when I enter the place was the cosy environment, walls lined with endless rows of books like you just entered an ancient library where all sorts of arcane knowledge is kept in, where I can open a random book and learn to weave a spell of summoning. Lo and behold! We summoned a cup of flat-de-white and a icy glass of iced-mocha-na..
Okay thats a bit too far fetched, not to say lame… Its just a good old Flat White for me and Iced Mocha for dear Claire.. The flat white has a nice crema but has a bit of burnt after taste, perhaps the milk is a little overheated, coming from a amateur coffee lover. Iced mocha is overdosed with cocoa powder, in a good way, its like Mocha Dinosaur.
On with the interior of the place. The walls are also choked full of random junks as decor. Don’t get me wrong, I love old JUNKS! I inherited the genes from my dad, he’s like a garang guni man, picks up ancient junks that people discards, like the saying goes: ‘one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.’ And I feel at home surrounded by the books and junks in The Reading Room! The walls kept me occupied for a while more, like say 20mins? It took awhile probably because there were quite a number of people here at this time.. We ordered Portobello Fries, Truffle Eggs Ben and Chef’s recommendation: Steak and Handcut Butter Fries.
Portobello Fries – Crispy on the outside, and the crispy batter encased the full earthy flavour of the generous portobello slice inside. Dip it into the roasted garlic aioli and you shall taste heaven! If heaven can be tasted..
Truffle Eggs Benedict – a standard eggs ben would have 2 poached eggs on ham or bacon on top of an English muffin base drizzled with a good portion of Hollandaise sauce. Well there are a lot of variations and you don’t always see English muffins here except in a McMuffin meal, so a toast would work as well. As you can see, on top of all that, there are slices of brown stuff, those were slices of truffles. Those expensive fungi sniffed out by pigs are so darn rich in their distinctive earthy flavour they’re like the essence of earth, like how brands sells those essence of chickens, this is concentrated ‘earth’. They added another dimension to the usually tasty eggs ben, and I’m talking a lot about layers and dimensions because this place is like another dimension, like a safe haven from all those worldly evils lurking outside. The bread is soft and chewy, just the type Claire loves, and the sauce is adequate, don’t get me wrong, I mean its good, a lot of eggs ben I had dump too much Hollandaise till your taste buds go horlan. I wanna eat Eggs Benedict not horlan-daise Benedict.
Minute Steak with Butter Handcut Fries – Beef is done medium, nicely seasoned with whole red peppercorns gives a pleasant peppery surprise everytime you chew into them with the steak. I’d say its worth it to get your jaws sore from chewing too much of this steak. I always have problems with my teeth so chewing was never my forte, but this steak is worth it. Awesomely tasty to someone who seldom order steaks, I have no idea steaks were this tasty its like a taste-roller-coaster ride from you put it in your mouth till you finish chewing and swallow it. Its addictive, and speaking of addictive, the handcut fries my friends… Look at them, they are just strips of potatoes covered in a yellowish batter. Nothing very special right? Just how fries should look like. But pop it in your mouth and taste that butter man, its a 2 hit combo this dish, the batter or butter or whatever is crunchy and salty, then that good old hot potato core, they balances nicely into dope. New addiction? Hell yes. Dope fries from another dimension. Its hard to put it into words, look at the picture, it doesn’t do it justice, I need to go back to my photography cave to hone my skills, its shameful showing this photo because it just doesn’t measure up to the taste.
I’m not joking when I say this is my new favourite place, the go-to place for when I wanna have good food. Good tasting food, the type that sends your salivary glands go on overdrive when you recall them. Must try. I really must go back and try every single item on the menu then this life is worth living. Foodie mindset.
The Reading Room Cafe Bar
19 Bukit Pasoh Rd