Published on Friday, 13 November 2015 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
With indulgent, delicious and affordable being the trifecta of Caffé B's delectable lunch set, it is no wonder that the Italian-Japanese fusion restaurant is usually packed to the brim in the afternoons with a throng of hungry diners who know how to appreciate the finer things in life without breaking the bank. The restaurant unveils a different specially crafted set lunch every few months to keep it exciting and fresh, and the latest range completely blew me away.
Throw whatever preconceived notions of fine dining you have out of the door, especially if it has to do with the correlation of price and quality, because every time I took the first bite out of each dish, I would exclaim “I can't believe all of these is just $25!” I initially entered Caffé B with the knowledge that the entire lunch set costs only $25, since it sounded too good to be true, I presumed that they will compromise on quality. But to quote Thorin from the Hobbit, “I've never been so wrong in all my life.”
Maybe to quote Thorin is a little bit of a hyperbole, but it is without a doubt that the ingredients they use in their dishes are of superb quality.
Foccacia Bread served with Olive Tapenade
The new three-course set lunch menu that is now available between 12pm to 3pm daily includes an appetizer, three main courses to choose from and a dessert at only $25 per pax. Prior to your courses being served, complimentary sliced Focaccia Bread will be brought to your table along with individual saucers of olive tapenade – a blended mix of black olive, anchovies and garlic. Slather some olive tapenade on the focaccia bread to curb those hunger pangs while you eagerly await the arrival of your hand-crafted dishes.
1. Pepper-Crusted Tuna Salad
The gourmet lunch starts off with a very provocative fish salad that will have you craving for more. The tuna is perfectly pan-fried on the outside while the inside remains raw to retain its richness and tenderness. It is then coated with freshly cracked black pepper and togarashi (Japanese red chilli pepper). Two thick, generous slices of this beautifully prepared fish is then laid atop a pile of fresh greens, tomatoes and buffalo mozarella and drizzled with a light pineapple mayo sauce. The whole shebang just worked amazingly well together like a masterpiece – the kick of the pepper keeps the tuna from being too overwhelming and eliminates the “fishy-taste”, the tuna is so soft that it practically melts in your mouth, the vegetables gives a nice refreshing aftertaste, the buffalo mozarella provides that much needed creaminess, and the sweetness and tanginess of the pineapple mayo frames the entire dish.
2. Fresh Pot of the Day
Alternatively, you may choose the fresh pot of the day which is a hearty, comforting bowl of soup prepared from scratch daily with fresh, all natural ingredients guaranteed to warm the stomachs and hearts of diners.
You will be given the choice to select from three main courses, all of which are equally mouthwatering in its own unique way.
1. Baked Chicken Breast with Aubergine Parmesan
People usually tend to prefer chicken thigh to the breast, as it contains more fat and is deemed juicier. This is only so because not many eateries know how to properly prepare chicken breast. Diners in the mood for a hearty main course will definitely not be disappointed in this sumptuous dish. A big serving of chicken breast is first marinated in thyme and rosemary, then baked and lightly grilled to perfection and served with a side of tomato ragout and drenched with a delicious orange butter sauce. The complete masterpiece is an aromatic breast (resulting in the marination of the fragrant herbs) that oozes all its natural juices in your mouth and carries that slight smoky-sweetness from the caramelization of the meat. Remember to have your breast with a little of everything for the full palate-pleasing impact. The tomato ragout gives the dish the little sharpness that it needs, the aubergine a sweet mushiness, and the orange butter a light zestiness.
2. Gratinated King Prawn
This is hands-down one of the best prawns I have ever had and it was my favorite out of the entire lunch set. An entire king prawn is sliced from the top and generously filled up with luscious hollandaise sauce, it is then gratinated under high heat so that the hollandaise sauce bubbles and settles into a rich and creamy texture while the prawn remains plump, succulent, and springy to the bite. Served alongside mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables and crispy parmesan cheese, this seafood main is an absolute pleasure for the tastebuds. However, as heavenly as it is, it is a really light main course. So depending on the diners' appetites, some who prefer to have modest lunches will leave feeling satisfied, while others with bigger appetites might still be peckish after dessert. There is no cause for concern if you are still hungry though, you can always ask for their a la carte menu and order from their huge range of gourmet dishes.
3. Smoked Cheese Risotto
Caffé B's diligent chefs are aware that risottos tend to be too overwhelming and “sickening” at times so they created this concoction to be mellow, sweet and yet still hearty and fulfilling. The Smoked Cheese Risotto is cooked al dente in a scrumptious vegetable broth with garden vegetables and tossed with smoked cheese. The vegetable broth and garden vegetables keeps the risotto light and fresh like a springtime dish, while it still remains creamy and sweet from the smoked cheese.
Dessert – Eiibun Pudding
Complete your lunch with Eiibun Pudding – a dessert unique to only Caffé B. It is a refreshing combination of green tea pudding in mango rice parisian, dripping with mango cream sauce and a few tiny chunks of mango. This delightful dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth and round off your lunch perfectly.
Caffé B's set lunch honestly far surpassed my high expectations. I was even thinking of how I could surreptitiously lick the plates clean while retaining my poise and dignity, but alas there was no way around it, so I had to channel all of my self-control in refraining from slobbering all over their cutlery. If I had $25 left in my pocket and a hankering to treat myself to some good food, I would without hesitation make a beeline for Caffé B's current set lunch. Where else could you fork out only $25 for a full on fine dining experience that is an irrevocable delight to the senses?
Address: 2 Bayfront Avenue, B1-15, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Singapore 018972.
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm – 3pm, Afternoon Refreshment 3pm – 6pm, Dinner 6pm – 10pm, Late Night Snacks 10pm – 1am
Telephone No.: +65 6887 3311