Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Anthesis Boulangerie, Bistro & Cafe

Out of all the myriad of cafes popping up like some bubble tea fad (cue: hipsters can gag here), some cafes are a more refined cut (in terms of concept, decor and genuine passion) above the mediocre rest. The lions have become a little blasé (time to take a break from taking a break at cafes) with uninspired set-ups, insipid menus and fare that can only be described as pedestrian at best. Or worse, joints that are too cool for service with little substance (read: My A%&some Cafe).   

Thus, the lioness was pleasantly surprised by Anthesis. Not exactly a newbie on the block, this shrewd trinity of boulangerie, bistro and cafe all rolled into one was a welcomed respite after a morning meeting. The star grub here is supposed to be artisanal bread baked fresh every day. We read that they aim to showcase a variety of international bread types like Italian ciabatta, French brioche, American rye and more. But the (edible) range on display was forgivably pitiful. Most Lion City dwellers are not known to be big consumers of bread and with diet conscious city folks' predilection for low-carb meals gaining traction, bread has become a much demonised staple. 

That aside, the extensive food menu (makes for a potentially great brunch place) deserves a mention with some innovative dishes. What the lioness adore most about this place is the rustic but chic decor that is reminiscent of a urm... ...dreamy farm in the prairies.

Ann of Green Gables will not feel out of place here.
With attention to rustic details extending to the bucket
of cutlery, engraved steel mug and glass bottle of
chilled water on the table greeting patrons.
Light wood accents, steel chairs and birdcage lights hanging from wooden
cross beams help create a charming barn-like place of rest & relaxation. You can almost
hear the cackling of hens laying eggs and take in the imaginary smell of fresh hay.
Ambience is bright, breezy and easy. High ceilings.
Savour a cup of tea from artisan tea purveyor, Art of Tea (LA, California).
Available exclusively at Anthesis, the reputable hand-blended and custom-crafted
organic teas are carefully selected directly from growers by master tea blender,
Steve Schwartz.
Light Rye and Brioche among others for sale that day... ...
The other plentiful loaves seem to be for display only.
Fisherman's Tomato Soup ($9) with fresh blue mussels,
sea prawns and fish chunks. The lioness thought the chef
was a little too heavy handed on the salt. Pass the water,
please. But generous ingredients.
The Anthesis house blend is marriage of three beans –
Brazilian Bourbon, Guatemala and Sumatran LinTong.
This is great stuff! Chocolaty and fruity notes in a
well-executed cup by a dedicated barista.
Well-trodden upon ceramic tiles.
The lioness was still feeling peckish and ordered a mini bowl
of Truffle Angel Hair Pasta ($12) with sakura ebi. Not too
bad but again a little too salty.
Dining Area.
Too bad the cafe's not opened during the evenings,
it's too balmy to sit alfresco by the river in the afternoon.
Lovely stalks of wheat in a glass btw.

The word "anthesis" refers to a flower in full bloom and is a rather befitting moniker for this rustic cafe conceptualised by two sisters. More interesting items on the menu include The Pegasus Breakfast of egg pot pie, streaky bacon, smoked salmon and duck breast; 3 Little Ducks comprising of a combination of duck rilette, smoked duck breast and foie gras atop homemade bread; Prawn Capellini tossed in lobster oil; and the 4-layer Caramalised Banana Waffle Stack. Prices are inclusive of GST and despite the stated "no service charge", the service staff was genuinely attentive.

Anthesis Boulangerie, Bistro & Cafe
86 Roberson Quay  
Singapore 238245

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