There are few things more pleasurable than having a leisurely stroll along the promenade stretching down the Singapore River- it is a place brimming with quaint cafés and exuberant restaurants, perfect for tourists and foodies alike (although, you must admit, sometimes the two come hand in hand).
Until you notice the murky waters of the river, or get caught in one of Singapore’s erratic rain showers, or notice that half the cafés are closed for Chinese New Year. [Ahem, Toby’s Estate.]
But we’ll ignore that for awhile.
Tucked in a little corner of the furthermost bend of the promenade, Kith Café lies there, emanating warmth and radiating welcome with their roughly cut wooden tables, simple wooden stools, and hastily scribbled chalkboard walls.
Symbols of unpretentiousness and simple elegance.
Perfect for a wednesday brunch with the girls.
We plopped down our laptops, large totes, and various heavy-duty electronics on a squarish table outside, and scampered in to scrutinize the extensive menu scrawled all over their black chalkboard.
Someone must have had quite a fair bit of fun doodling all over the walls. Fresh juice, milkshakes, protein shakes, coffee, breakfast toasties, salads, spaghetti- you name it.
That particular someone must have been the chef- what delight out of simply listing the ingredients! Of course I had to order the hotdog. Poached egg? Caramelized onion? Bratwurst?
Count me in.
An ice blended latte to go with that too, please.
The waiter smiled a cheeky grin and quickly went about busy blending up that cool frigid drink, chuckling to himself and humming a low tune. What a lovely day. What a lovely place. Everyone buzzed about in a excitedly cheery, albeit leisurely unhurried manner- hardly something you see around nowadays, much less in fast-paced, ruthless Singapore. Perhaps more than just a little reminiscent of the good ol’ days, we settled down in our seats with our drinks and waited for the food to be served.
Alex and I were setting up our literature blog together, and what better place to ruminate over prolific writers and literary depth than over some milky, honeyed lattes and over the sights of the Singapore river? Mucky sepia waters aside, there was something strangely endearing about the high pebble-lined banks and the distinctly green fences. An hour or two at the café, and Belles Lettres was born.
Dully contained excitement stirred in our hearts as the hotdogs and sandwiches were served, hearty, good-looking things with grill-marked buns and bravely slit bratwurst dogs. Curvy corners of sliced cheese flaunted their flaxen bodies as they arched over the undulated buns. Specks of browned, perfectly caramelized onions poked out under the zig-zag of mustard; and that was the last straw. The sudden craving and lust to sink my jaws into the delicious and most definitely sumptuous thing overwhelmed my food-critique-observant self, so I quickly snapped a picture and started to dig in. As rule of thumb, whenever there’s a poached egg involved, I plop it on the bun, poke a large gaping hole in it, and let the yolk ooze out all over the bun. The yolk slit open with a delightful golden hue, but after a bit the recalcitrant thing just wouldn’t flow anymore. Uh oh, trouble. A little wee bit of cooked yolk.
Ah, poached eggs. Such terribly hard things to perfect.
Little cooked bits notwithstanding, I smushed the yolk all over with the fork and munched on the hot dog with little heed to messy appearances and dripping goo. Good thing about having a lunch out with the girls- no need to worry about etiquette!
We didn’t try much else at the place- Claire had the same hotdog and a watermelon lychee cooler (which apparently was superb), and Alex a tuna sandwich and a honey milk latte. Alex’s toasted tuna sandwich looked underwhelming and small, but they must have been packed with a good bit of flavor since she didn’t seem to complain.
A brief look at the people around us and something told me that the hotdog was probably the best kid on the block.
So, do get the hotdog when you come here. The latte wasn’t outstanding, but hey, neither is Starbucks and yet we all frequently patronize it.
Rating: 5/7 (Great hotdog, great service, good ambience, average all else. Heard the big breakfast and hot coffee shots are something though.)
7 Rodyk Street
Watermark at Robertson Quay