Just like a pimple that pops up unknowingly overnight, the reincarnation of Alkaff Mansion has unquestionably taken everyone by surprise.
Curiosity reign supreme as the once-decayed edifice had been given a million-dollar make over and is now jutting majestically upon the summit of Telok Blangah Green. And whilst the outcome of the overhaul is stunningly breath-taking, we can assure you the hike up the hill will leave you equally breath-less as well. So, roll up your sleeves and be prepared to walk up an appetite.
Expect to see Alkaff Mansion cafe sitting serenely upon the day-light strewn alfresco, packed with shades and overhead fans to combat the punishing tropical climate. Despite the high altitude and undeniably inconvenient locale, this 80-odd seater is often brought alive by a mish-mash of families and inquisitive joggers in the vicinity. If the tranquil leafy surrounds is not enough to motivate you to break some sweat, then perhaps their cost-conscious breakfast menu would egg you on. Besides, it is really not necessary show up in pressed trousers and polished shoes in this casual eatery.
We say with the awakening of the dormat Alkaff Mansion, the neighbouring Jewel Box better start running for their money.
They say, forget the usual english muffins and embrace waffles instead.
Though their rendition of waffles were not crisp to the bite, the light sweetness of the batter was drool-worthy and it was harmony when married with its savoury companions. If anything, the buttery hollandaise sauce was too quick to saturate the taste buds and it had an embarrassing premature coagulation even before our utensils come into play. Similarly, the bacon fails to impress with its stubborn nature, and perhaps the slivers of sautéed mushroom deserved some salt. Alas, for a price tag this low, this is already a steal and we should not be complaining.
Our Alkaff Breakfast Set was nothing much to shout about. The pepper-spiked scrambled eggs tasted much the same as Micky D’s and the sausages were pretty ordinary. The noteworthy crispy crust of the hashbrown is actually worth a recommendation if not for its bland texture. The canned baked beans simply drowned in their sorrows and the asparagus did not help either. We suspect a lack of chemistry between the ingredients, sadly.
The chef was witty enough to throw in more butter to the traditional recipe of Aglio Olio. The result: Every strand of the springy linguine was being coated with a buttery sauce that was richly satisfying and addictive. The morsels of prawns which mingled nicely within the ocean of noodles gave a gratifying crunch when bitten into, and the faint pungency of the sliced garlic added further depth and oomph with its quiet presence. Finished off with a dash of parsley flakes to garnish, this dish is simple yet unpretentious. Needless to say, this was polished off with much ease.
Imagine delicate slices of liqour-soaked sponge cushioned between lush strata of cream and mascarpone cheese topped with a blanket of chocolate powder. Our spoon dived through the pool of decadence without much resistance, and reflex action takes over from there on. The alcoholic content did not hurt at all, if not too subtle for our liking. Further, we would have appreciated the dessert better if not for the cheap-looking plastic container.
It is not uncommon to spot little children frolicking around the European-style fountains set upon the neatly trimmed lawn. If not, they would be swinging themselves on one of the many over-sized rocking chairs at the side of the cafe. Also, we will not be astonished to spot squirrels crashing the party occasionally. With such grand and charming ambience, the place alone is a conversation-starter if the cafe nosh is not enough. Likewise, the lovely setting is complemented with waiters that serve with panache. We have to confess that the out-of the-way address is somehow more alluring than deterring.
To wit: The main building sits the Alkaff Mansion Restaurante which serves fine Italian cuisine, but that’s a different story altogether.
Alkaff Mansion Ristorante
10 Telok Blangah Green
Tel: 6510 3068