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For the coffee-serious
Brought to you by the same people behind Strangers' Reunion and Wakey Wakey, Curious Palette is a café tucked along the row of shophouses on Prinsep Street. Fronted by co-founder Ryan Kieran Tan, a decorated barista champion, it has always offered top-notch brews including Magic ($5.50), a milk-based bev with a double shot of ristretto.
But it's not just about coffee here. Its comprehensive menu of brunch, lunch and dinner options has been made even better through its collaboration with chef Desmond Shen, who used to cook at the likes of Odette, Whitegrass and Magic Square. Don't expect fine dining small plates – he sticks to simple café fare but plays around with Asian ingredients to create dishes different from the eggs-Benedict-and-blueberry-pancakes norm.
Order a plate of fried cauliflower with fish sauce caramel ($11.90) for the table. Nuggets of cauliflower florets are battered and deep-fried before they're coated with curry powder, lemon emulsion and a sweet and savoury fish sauce caramel – once you pop one in your mouth, you won't be able to stop.
For mains, there's the prawn, mentaiko and belachan pasta ($18.90), angel hair pasta tossed in a prawn and shallot oil, butter and belachan (note: not sambal belachan, just fermented shrimp paste). The decadent plate of noodles is then topped with grilled tiger prawns, dollops of mentaiko and a dusting of chilli powder. We just wish that it comes with a flurry of crispy fried shallots as well.
It's not just Singaporean flavours Shen takes inspiration from. There's also the hefty slow-cooked beef short rib ($29.90) that you're meant to carve and wrap in lettuce like a Korean ssam. The short ribs are sous vide for 30 hours till it falls off the bone and is served with burnt soy, brown butter and a touch of yuzukoshō.
64 Prinsep St
|Opening hours:||Mon, Wed-Sun 9am-10pm. Closed Tues.|
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