UPDATE (29/11/2013): The branch at Plaza Singapura has closed down. Visit their website to find out about the branches available at the moment.
It'd been ages since I dined at The Café Cartel the last time, which was perhaps sometime during my JC 1 days. When I was walking around in Plaza Singapura with a friend, I suddenly thought, "Hmm, the restaurant used to serve nice macaroni." Since I now own a food blog, it was a good reason for me to dine there once again, no? :P
Oh, do welcome a new addition to the family! :D I happened to bring my little bear that day, and my fingers were itchy to snap a picture of him together with the food. With every purchase of a main course, you can have a Complete Meal by topping up S$3.90. You'll get soup of the day, garlic bread and a glass of drink. Oh, yes, I've come to realise that the restaurant no longer serves free of charge, free flow bread anymore. Sigh...
Soup of the Day (Complete Meal)
Frankly speaking, I wasn't really sure what the soup was. The waitress didn't tell me, and I just couldn't be bothered to call any of them only to ask about it. The appearance was pretty good with a bit of cream and (only) three pieces of croutons. Served warm, the soup was creamy enough with a nice hint of parsley.
Garlic Bread (Complete Meal)
The accompanying garlic bread was pretty much satisfying with its light and crispy texture, as well as the strong garlic flavour.
Bruschetta Platter S$6.90
The bruschetta was actually the same garlic bread as above, somehow not as light though, topped with homemade tomato sauce and smoked salmon. There wasn't anything special about the smoked salmon which was, thankfully, not overly salty, but I felt that the tomato sauce could be sourer. The vegetables on the side were of adequate freshness.
Hawaiian Pork Chops S$18.50
I chose the so-called rodeo sauce to go with the pork chops as it might be more interesting than the usual BBQ sauce and black pepper sauce. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything special about it. It was a concoction not as brave as its BBQ counterpart; slightly sweet, slightly sour and not at all spicy. The pork chops themselves were quite flavourful, but not particularly tender. I was glad that the fries weren't soggy, and the broccoli was fresh.
Seafood Macaroni S$16.60
The cream-based macaroni came with breaded fish slices, prawns, squid rings and bell peppers. It was al dente for sure, although I wished they'd be more generous with the amount of mozarella cheese for added stickiness and flavour. The sauce itself was creamy and savoury enough, although I'm not sure if it was better in the past. Pika's advice: Not a fan of cream-based pasta? Opt for the tomato sauce!
Urban Bread Pudding S$10.50
The dessert I chose was white bread pudding served with supposedly rum-soaked raisins, peaches, strawberries, two scoops of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. A perfect bread pudding shouldn't be complex in terms of texture, but the one I had the other day could be geared towards a more semi-solid state as it was slightly mushier than expected. Having said that, I enjoyed the comforting warmth and the slight sweetness of it. The raisins didn't really carry with them any rum taste though.
Iced Peach Tea (Complete Meal)
I'm pretty sure you can guess what brand they're using haha...
Service and ambience were alright, and I had no complaints on them. Well, I don't know if I'd drop by The Café Cartel again anytime soon.
The Café Cartel
68 Orchard Road
#01-32/33/35 Plaza Singapura
(Mon-Thu: 11.30am - 11.30pm; Fri: 11.30am - 12.30am; Sat: 8.30am - 12.30am; Sun: 8.30am - 11.30pm)
*Prices quoted are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST.