How wonderful it is to spend time with one’s own thoughts. Reflections and sentiments can become overwhelming sometimes, even in a little cafe with not much to say or do. Hence I must talk about this little nook hiding in the corner of Takashimaya, my loyal always-there cafe. My place for alone time.

Won over. Since I’m coming here again tomorrow to meet a friend, I was suddenly jolted with the realisation that I never have actually talked about this place yet.

Perhaps that’s why I venture into this specific alone. A solitary journey takes me away from the bumbles and mishmashes of communication (and how horribly unsocial I sound right now but bear with me, for my mood takes on different directions every minute of every day), and take my word for it or not, but the best things may be discovered, either covertly or overtly, on your own.

I come here all the time. That’s it. All the time and not much less, to be frank. I’m the sort who’d rather blow some cash on a good meal rather than 5-inch stilettos. And no, I’m not saying that this place does indeed demand some degree of wealth and whatnot, but there’s no harm trying the $12 wrap with a double cheese topping, accompanied by friends such as an iced mocha and lemon tart. The stuff adds up, I won’t lie. But just go there for lunch alone or with one friend, and enjoy the harmony or both flavour and ambience. Read a magazine or your book, ruminate the meaning of life as you chew on a piece of white lettuce in your salad. Not to mention the salads here are quite fantastic.

Chicken caesar sandwich

I remember the good old day when this was made a special, written in Narnia-esque swirls with a white marker on their wide-screen mirror. It directly faces the line of seats opposite so I can admire my less than attractive face any time I come. I can acknowledge the fact that they made that mirror to heighten my level of self-consciousness or confidence, depending on what time of day and the quality of my complexion. It was a surreptitious attempt to throw me over and no one else, I just know it. Oh those horrid people.

Back to the innocent sandwich. Sitting there, just a sandwich. But a wonderful sandwich it was. Bread on the slightly toasty and chewier side, which I enjoy. Cheese and relish perfectly complimented the lightly seasoned tails of chicken breast, washed with coarse cheddar. Simple but satiating. And I was sated all right.

Chicken caesar salad

I said the word fantastic, and I’ll say it again. They’re all pretty fantastic (unless you happen to come on a day whereupon every member of staff is moody and piles stuff on your plate disproportionately. That would be quite sad). I’ve tried all the them, including tofu and pumpkin, wild rice and greek. Mix and match, it’s up to you. What grand satisfaction arises from the simplest of choices.

Peanut butter and banana toastie

You won’t get anything thin and crisp here (for more crispy porn, I recommend looking at this post). In fact, that was precisely what I was expecting- a good, lightly charred toastie just like how they do the ones at the country club. Filling filling, and read that with awareness of a double entendre.

But no. These coins of bread were obese, fluffy and doughy. Not majorly doughy though, simply more of a heavy bread factor. Teeming with ‘bread’ personality and mildly sweet, if that makes any sense at all. The filling is in the right ratio, so each bite is brimming with the sticky, dense marriage of smooth peanut butter and ripe banana. Sweet upon sweet, which I am not a huge fan of. Nevertheless I ordered it just to try, and pushed the rest to my mother who can eat three boxes of chocolate in one sitting and have nothing adverse happen to her. Ever.

Going back to when I first ordered this, I took a sip, enjoyed the sweet iciness weaved into the mocha. Stir, stir, stir, sip. Repeat until at least half finished. It’s like a stunning ice cream blend, and thankfully not the horrid mess I got at the coffee club a few days earlier. The sort of drink you want post yoga class, and you have a half-appetite holding a grudge at the core of your stomach.

Roast chicken wrap

It’s a loyal friend, this one. They manage to get the char on the wrap just right every time, and even if it’s the more brown side, knowing me with a penchant for anything lightly burnt, I’ll take it. Stuffed to the brim with moist, ripe avocado, which lends a soft hand to the otherwise bland strands of chicken breast. Wiped with tangy mayo and a sprinkle of cheese. The same sort of pleasure achieved when you wipe some roast chicken with chilli and creamy mash.

Chicken masala and mango wrap

What you see above is without a doubt one of my favourite picks. Routine is infectious to me, and so once I enjoy something, it takes courage for me to give it a switch once in a while. I love how they include the succulent chicken skin here, and the pairing with sweet mango is absolute heaven. The suppliers provide only the freshest and ripest ingredients for maximum taste and appeal, which I notice every time the man comes strolling in with his huge trolley full of fresh fruit and greens. Who cares if there are a few dark spots on the avocado or mango. To me this only shouts ‘hey eat me, I’m good and ripe and rustic and true.”

Everything is going to be okay my friends, once you come here and indulge in simple fare.

It’s all okay.

Rating: 4.8/5

Marmalade Toast

02-11 Ngee Ann City
391 Orchard Road

6733 8489

P.S. On a side note, I have a friend named Natasha who is truly talented when it comes to fashion design. She designs beautiful gowns and refined clothing with the simplicity of line and tasteful texture. You can find her blog here!

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