School’s out. Well, sorta. Other than a few projects that have gotta be done and leftover bits of housekeeping matters, it’s all been folded up and chucked into boxes to be forgotten over the short summer break we’ve got. I am thrilled that we’ve finally got a bit of time to put our feet up, let down our hair and for me, be absolutely lazy lousy hungry like I don’t give a shit.
And that also means lots of brunches and lunches. One thing about being in Singapore is that it’s too hot to walk. I mean it. I love walking to places. It saves bus/train money, its good exercise and it’s always healthy to have some ‘me-time’, get some fresh air whilst you catch up on some of your favourite iPod playlists. But in this humidity and oppressive heat, it’s a one-way ticket to skin cancer, heat exhaustion (for me at least) and fainting spells. So it’s kinda great when people offer rides to those hard-to-get cafés and all that. When they invite you along, ride included, you do the right thing and say yes, and then, BRING THE BANTER (and the appropriate appetite).
So finally I got whisked to the Singapore Turf area where the fortunate few ponce around on beautiful horses on the race course and all that. I had a right mind to turn up in riding trousers and a Ralph Lauren polo. Tucked deep into Fairways Drive situated in Bukit Timah Saddle Club is this lovely, charming colonial house Riders Cafe. The name is simple, direct, speaks for itself and hence, exudes that individuality no other can replicate simply because. It had a nice ring to it as well.
I’d heard quite a bit about their poached eggs here (I rave about eggs benedict so I suppose it’s only natural people recommend the spots where real awesome goods can be found). That was ordered, of course. Two comely ballooned, slightly wobbly, bulbous and comely cloyingly thick molten yolks tenderly shrouded in delicate clouds of milky egg whites, precariously (I mean it) balanced atop two halves of herbed grilled tomatoes, streaks of fried bacon lazying on a bed of sourdough. [pause] And then the whole thing is just ridiculously and generously doused with hollandaise and bits of chopped parsley. Kill me now. I want to relive that again.
But before this was all sat down very elegantly before me — my eyes all this while are eagerly following every gradual fated movement of that plate’s advancement towards the space directly in front of me — one of me poached eggs decided to make a run for it before it got devoured without a care for finesse. Not so much a run, more like a suicidal backflip. But a poor attempt at that.
It went … flop, SPLAT –…–squelch…a puncture somewhere; yolk bleeding. A pool of runny yellowy orange yolk gets bigger and bigger with each millisecond that passes. ABSOLUTE SILENCE. Shock on one end, amusement on the other. The pool of warm yolk is getting to the size of my palm now and threatens to make its way close to my glass of ice water. I’m willing someone to move or say something. I think I see a bit of billowy egg white shudder. THERE’S A CRIME SCENE ON MY TABLE. Somebody do sumfing! Finally, the waitress moves. She apologises. Someone else comes to clean it up. Too late. By then, my whole table’s quaking with giggles all around and I’m doubled over, howling with laughter and grabbing my sides to stop the stitches. I’ve laughed so hard tears have actually sprung into my eyes. Hilarious! Laughter’s so infectious at this point, even the willowy dude cleaning up that murdered mess of egg can’t stop a grin from forming. Accident #1.
A fresh plate of eggs benedict arrive soon after. We wonder if both eggs got replaced or merely one. That thought doesn’t even last a second as I move in onto my plate and gently pierce the fattest part of poached egg with the tip of my knife. Like a surgeon I carefully make a small incision, then move the knife around to spread the waterfall of yoke that floods all of the bacon beneath it. The sourdough slowly soaks up the thick orange yoke. I can’t help thinking, at this point, that the act of eating a poached egg is quite so sensual; I am glad it requires an undivided attention that my focus doesn’t deviate away to check if anyone is observing me. I would not have been able to stop a blush otherwise.
Across the table, the same thing’s happening with a plate of eggs royale: the make-up of which is pretty much the same except for a substitution of bacon and tomatoes for smoked salmon, avocado and sour cream, all with a side of rocket and asparagus salad. The smoked salmon is soft, creamy and lightly smoked. A mouthful of the eggs royale (although this wasn’t my plate) I could imagine would’ve been flavourful, richly enveloped in runny yoke and reinforced with a comfortingly fluffy bite of brown sourdough. Gorgeous
Next to me, a boy with a hearty appetite and naturally of good cheer is tucking into a plate of golden hued brioche french toast with smoked bacon, grilled bananas, strawberries and maple syrup. It smells amazing from where I’m sat, buttery, sweet and savoury with that scent of strawberries lightly hanging in the air. I want a bite of that. And I do get offered one. The brioche is so tall and nicely browned, buttered and yes, soaked with maple syrup. The bananas look gloriously caramelised although that still doesn’t convince me to like bananas. The whole dish is a plate of fireworks, its beauty is intense – the colours implore you to take a bite and he seems utterly in his own world when he tucks into it. Oh yea, he washed down this handsome breakfast with a tall glass of peanut butter & jelly smoothie…yea, you heard me right – PBJ smoothie. Intense.
The plates are getting cleared as I slurp up the last bits of my iced cappuccino and it appears the disaster magnet I have somewhere in my aura is still going strong. The same willowly dude picks up my plate which is pretty much wiped clean save some strands of rocket. And like a strong force of attraction between myself and anti-rust metals, the knife comes sliding off it. I could see it just aiming for my lap and my hands were too busy rubbing my food baby so I was just about to surrender my black trousers to grease and hollandaise, when this fine young man with a deft flick of a wrist caught that knife and saved me from Accident #2. What a load of drama, and all for poached eggs.
It’s like it was the damn Rape of the Lock going on or sumfing like that today. Anyhow.
We gotta go back for seconds, and dessert. There’s yet more to be explored.