Stepping into the gorgeous interiors of this bistro hidden behind a luxurious furniture store had seemed to transport me into a café in Australia. The large windows from which sunlight was flowing in, high ceilings, wooden communal tables, fresh bread displays, and western diners say it all. I was immediately reminded of the vibes from Luxe, yet another restaurant-café taking its origins from Sydney, and also one of my favorite hangs in Singapore.
I took a while to take it all in before focusing on the menu proper. A glance sweeping through it informed me that the brunch courses here do not come necessarily with comfort prices, with the average dish costing around $25 without GST and service charge.
If you’re not tired of having eggs for brunch yet, get the NZ Organic Scrambled Eggs served on Sourdough Toast ($9), to which I added Smoked Salmon (+$8) and Greek Feta Cheese (+$6). The eggs were truly reminiscent of the ones I had in Melbourne, almost making me forget that my dish costed $23 after the add-ons, and did not come in a portion as big as I imagined it to be. I hate being a boring person, but I ended up ordering the scrambled eggs again on my second visit here. The smoked salmon was just decent enough though, and other add-ons like mushrooms are also available.
Meanwhile, From The Farm ($24) owes the praises I had for it to its main highlight – the lamb tenderloin. The lamb meat proved to be very tender and not overly chewy – done to the right consistency.
One of my friends decided to pick what seemed like a less safe option (the rest of us ordered eggs on toast with add-ons), the Maria’s Moussaka ($28) – and it was such a great choice in the end. This was like a lasagna – except that the flat sheets of pasta are replaced by layered eggplant and accompanied with potato, minced beef and béchamel.
Desserts, however, were the weak points here. Or at least that was what we gathered from the ones we tried. The Apple Tart Canelle ($10) looked and sounded promising but lacked the distinct, natural sweetness that we were looking forward to from an apple tart. In the end, I poured an additional order of a scoop of Caramel Salted Butter Ice cream ($4) over to save it. On hindsight, we enjoyed that scoop of ice cream for its creaminess and well-balanced sweet and salty flavours.
The Tarte Fromage Blanc ($12) – a baked cheese tart – was also ordinarily plain, the cheese being neither sweet nor savoury. Perhaps we should have opted for the recommended Merveilleux Tropical ($12)? The more acceptable dessert I tried was the Belgian Waffles ($8), which had a light, airy crisp to it. Pairing it with either their selection of ice cream here or with maple syrup alone are both good options.
Despite the less than satisfying desserts and not-cheap prices for brunch, I see myself coming back here, perhaps alone with a book. The eggs, mains and of course that setting makes it such a comforting hideout.
House of AnLi
163 Tanglin Road, #03-17, Tanglin Mall, Singapore 247933
Tel: +65 6235 3851
Opens 9am – 9pm daily