Please mother, let’s go. I know you like your darling fried oysters but come on.
Another one of those post-Saturday yoga haunts with the dear old mother, who if I’m lucky enough and she’s in a breezier-than-normal or content state of life and mind, will helplessly succumb to my ever-earnest pleas to investigate some off-road eatery. As we drove past Mohamed Sultan, I caught sight of the new Spathe eatery and made a strict mental note to come here one blissful day in the incalculable future. I thought back to the paper’s reviews on its caramelised onions and meat and Ruru’s similar gushing and excitement, hence my heart went aflutter.
Next time, next time. I promise myself.
But back to work. This time it was charming Five and Dime at River Valley Road. All the way at the end, standing there in proud display of its bantam cuteness, offering a sweet sense of diversion from the rest of this unsettling world. Bus exhaust, wet umbrella, black-dreched heart. Forget it all and pop by here to tuck into some light indulgence.
Oh, and by the way, I’m re-writing this entire post because lovely WordPress was being vexatious and decided to delete everything after I typed the whole lot up, words, pictures and all. I probably pressed something somewhere.
Don’t judge. Technology is beyond my human capability.
But what in the world. Light indulgence? Really, Alex?
Well that’s what I feel most appropriate to call it. The only phrase to invade my mind once I think back to the 40 or so minutes spent there chewing over life and eggs and the present-day problems of a 16-year old with my mother. As I looked up at the American diner imitations of hang lamps, as I stroked (yes, the sense of touch is potent alright) the 1960s-esque font splattered in diagonal strips all over the table mats. It struck me right there and then.
Light indulgence. This was light, but the whole experience felt such a special and heavy treat. Little couples dotted the modestly sized area, whispering post-Valentines sweet nothings injected with the occasional giggle, delicately wiping each other’s mouths and eating off each other’s plates. Perhaps I exaggerate. But the light and angelic air of the place makes me manifest these fairylike and angelic details which probably weren’t there to begin with. All chimerical but not too airy or lacy. Hip but sweetly secluded. Even the waiters were minuscule, scurrying back and forth to take orders and accept reservations. Carefully serving double portions of delicious whatsabobs, sided by little ramekins of side dishes and spindly forks and knives.
Hey mister, some iced water please, I’m parched. My mother will have the grapefruit juice. Ah, what else is on the menu?
Oh me oh my.
Let’s count, shall we.
One, two, three… ten main course options in total.
10, 10, ten, ten. No, don’t bother flipping the thing. You’ll be greeted by strange words such as Eton Mess and Nutella Brownie.
I was torn between the spinach tamago and big brekkie. But hear me out please. I’ve been on an egg roll (get it, egg roll) the past few days and anything eggy gets my heart up and running as if i’ve just been on full-on climbing mode WITH a physical training session. I proudly went with the latter since it looked so orientally majestic next to its predictable Western neighbours like eggs benny and fish and chips. Eggs are just so wholesome and versatile and wonderful so how on earth could I pass up this moreish twist.
And I really do love spinach.
I saw a cuboid.
I was in geometric food heaven. This is their twist on eggs florentine, where the wilted, salted spinach is not squashed under great hulking bellies of poached egg, but instead are scattered in flattened bits and silhouetted within the spongy layers of Japanese egg omelette. Sitting on an obese slice of white bread with fluffy brown crust. The big egg boy was accompanied by its pretty date of fruit salad (banana coins, half-grapes and strawberry slithers).
Never out-shined by the helping of bacon-slathered roast tots in the corner. Those were probably just jealous little things. I went at the fruit first in order to prep my palette for a more plush tamago flavour when the time was right.
Off with the fruit, now for the Big Egg Boy.
Um, was that sweet?
For a second I forgot the definition of tamago. I expected salt and pepper and a strict savoury personality. I worked my way through half the rectangle before realising that the sweetness was indeed emerging from the egg itself. Subtle but very appealing.
I must say, if the egg were smart I’d still be stupid.
Tamago, for goodness’ sake. I downed every bit, tossed salad, the mildly sweet hollandaise, bacon bits and all. I usually can’t care for roasted potatoes so I picked at the bacon bits instead, and stole all my mother’s too. I’m ever so gracious. But she understands, the lovely woman.
More salt, she said. But pretty, isn’t it.
Paltry, putrid baby eggs sitting little goggles on a mini rectangle of bread. The hollandaise was perfect but not out-of-this-world drool worthy. Touch of dill glimmered.
Yolk’s peeped out just like Claire’s poached ones at Kith’s. Almost crying. Half the size of my hulk of an omelette. My mum did not look half satisfied as she downed that last bite. No ham for Mother the Vegetarian. No bacon either (and that was in my good cause).
Nah, no brownies for us. We came home and snacked on CNY goodies to curb those odd cravings which typically never occur post-lunchtime.
So strange. So strange!
Five and Dime Eatery
297 River Valley Road