This 11a.m. affair was not meant to be. I was at the height of my excitement. All prepped to sip apparently some very excellent caps at Toby’s Estate.
Part 1 of untold adventures yesterday. Robertson Quay. A darling right off the heart of the city. I hopped over to Toby’s, trailing a wide alley which snaked off of Rodyk Street. 8 Rodyk Street, I remembered. I kept to the right and saw it: all lovely and glowing. I saw a blondie sipping something whilst furiously typing away at his Mac Pro. A tiny cuppa rested in the right of his hand, furrowed brow nested on top of round, almost pained eyes. He caught a glance of me staring in to admire the chic and rustic wooden decor.
Opening tomorrow! It said. My heart sank as I forced myself to confront the truth of the matter. I was to meet my dear girlfriends Claire and Ruru for a lovely brunch at this raved hole in the wall. Scrutinised all the reviews I could get my hands on online. Amazing and Great coffee and Charming, they said. And only I was to be faulted on that slightly drizzly Wednesday morning-cum-afternoon. Only I was to be so beseeched as to fall victim to the hands of Chinese New Year’s annoying Hey-I’m-Closed dates. I told C and R and we all went into a frenzied panic. I knew Kith was just round the corner somewhere, somehow, but something in me wanted to face the second truth- that it too was just as closed as its more hip and (might I say) attractive neighbour.
I walked. I heard the laughter of babies and mums clear in the naked sunlight.
I saw it.
And so I told C and R to meet me here instead. Free wifi and all, to set up a new literature blog with Ruru. The excitement was uncontainable! I got to work looking at everything on the quirky blackboard menu, analysing the choices and combinations and of course, prices (decent enough, may I say, for the quality provided).
I looked out to the wrinkly ochre waters we call the Singapore River. Old fashioned shophouses stood like weak soldiers next to each other. Stood aghast at its appalling state. Nothing’s ever perfect. I needed a frigid wake-me-up, a cold calling to relive my nervous system of the restless humidity. Sweet and milky, just like its name promised. I typically don’t ever order lattes or anything which screams of excess white to distract from the fine texture and aroma of the coffee bean. I did so anyhow, for despite wanting something cold, no other option was sweet enough, and this provided some serious instant gratification.
Satisfaction it was. Not perfect and justifiable, but satisfying all the same. I had a sip of Ru’s ice blended latte and that hit a small spot as well.
This entire corner, hole-in-the-wall thing really reminded me of Marmalade Toast tucked away in the red marbled nook of Ngee Ann City. Almost secluded and deathly private, yet so open and bustling. Not so much on a Wednesday of course, but nevertheless, I could pretty much smell the growing business within the calm solitude, surrounded by green and wood and rusty waters.
What infinitesimal portions. I looked down at my toastie and realised that I might as well have made the same thing (thrown together some tuna and fresh fruit) in my sandwich maker at home. I could taste the brand of wholemeal bread (not multigrain or wholewheat, mind you) and the crusts just weren’t crusty enough. My first bite exceeded any expectation though, as I savoured the uniqueness of that unusual pairing. The tuna was succulent and not too drained of flavour, the apricot offered a tangy sweetness to overlap the fishy layers and give bulk to the pathetically sized thing. The whole bits of apple thrust into an extra ramekin was a little unnecessary though, I thought.
But that hotdog.
It shone like a million diamonds in comparison to my putrid portion. I stole bites of caramelised onion and egg yolk from the poor girl next to me, and was offered a bite of the actual dog.
You very sure?
Heh, alright you sweet thing (well I didn’t say that, but well, you know.)
The dog had a juicy give and slight chomp when I bit in. A molten and savoury comfort perforated my mouth and yielded a gracious robustness. Meat and white bread and mustard and onions. Simple. Oh, the onions. It went very very well together, though the poached egg you see on top does look a little down and sombre, doesn’t it? Admit it, it needed more love and care. ad more TLC. The poor yolk was only half covered by its white blanket. I wanted to whisper It’s Okay to it. You’ll be fine once you succumb your darling pocket of yellow yolk. Now come here. Almost silently provocative, now that I think of it. Some bits were runny and the rest was a tad overcooked (till slightly solid yet tender), but on the whole it was reasonable egg which decanted its golden love over every nook and cranny of the hotdog. Just the right size. The bread though, was half-hearted and could have been twice as crusty with some sort of down-to-earth, all-American twist. This was merely some predictable white bread thrown together with more delicious condiments.
The pretty star student in hotdog school, donned in an eggy onion dress.
Cream of the crop.
The next time I come here, I’ll be sure to dig into those ravishing, sauce-dripped meatballs.
Oh, but I’ll probably go to Toby’s Estate first, of course. No missed opportunity.
No. Missed. Opportunity.
7 Rodyk Street
Watermark at Robertson Quay