Saturday, December 8, 2012

Restaurant review: PS. Cafe (Palais Renaissance) - Singapore

DECEMBER - My favorite month of the year is here! For me, the festive atmosphere begins much before the arrival of Christmas. I love Singapore especially during this season. The sparkling lights and colorful decorations go up way in advance which makes the festive cheer linger for a satisfying amount of time. 

Me and my girlfriends always make use full use of the holiday season do do our Christmas shopping, gift exchange and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. This year we planned an early Christmas outing because several of us were scheduled to be traveling overseas for the holidays. We settled on PS. Cafe at Palais Renaissance, Orchard road because it was recommended by a friend. 

I had never been to any of the PS. Cafe outlets before (there are branches at Palais, Paragon, Harding, A.S.H park and Tiong Bahru) so I was looking forward to it. The restaurant features a western menu with an amazing array of desserts. There are minor variations in the menu depending upon the time of day that you go (brunch, lunch, dinner) and the location of the branch.

We made a dinner reservation at 8pm on a Friday night. I would recommend making a reservation in advance since this place can get pretty crowded. We arrived right on time and were shown to our table after only a few minutes of waiting. The waiting area was saturated with people so we were glad that we had a reservation. The interior of the restaurant is composed of a color palette of primarily white and black which gives it an elegant and chic appearance. The high ceiling and large glass windows gives it a cavernous and airy feeling. I loved the tiled floor and the white ceiling beams. The ambience of the restaurant is casual and relaxed and I was happy to note that even as the restaurant got crowded, it didn't get noisy. 

The menu is not exactly elaborate but the dishes are interesting and appetizing. From where we were sitting, we actually couldn't see the specials board so we got the waitress to brief us on it. We ordered the Truffle Shoestring Fries which was a gigantic serving of medium-thin, crispy golden fries with grated parmesan & parsley tossed in truffle oil. I thought the fries were great (perfect texture) but I felt the truffle oil was a bit overpowering. It left me with a strange aftertaste reminiscent of gasoline! Nonetheless, we polished it off in record time (it is fries after all!) 

A word in advance - the food photographs aren't very good due to the dim lighting inside the restaurant. 

Truffle Shoestring Fries

For the main course, I ordered the Mushroom Wellington which consisted of a wild mushroom and roasted cashew filled pastry parcel served with roasted roots and mushroom vegetable jus. I enjoyed it throughly. The pastry was warm and flaky and the filling packed with flavor. The roasted veggies and the jus went perfectly with it. 

Mushroom Wellington

One friend ordered the Moroccan Lamb which was a ginger and dukkah crusted lamb skewers with roasted vegetable cous cous, oven roasted tomatoes, baby rocket and harissa yoghurt. She said that the lamb was tender and delicious but found the cous cuos a little dry. 

Moroccan Lamb

Another friend ordered the Rustic Ribeye and Mushroom Stew which looked like a hearty dish of beef and mushrooms stewed in red wine and served with roasted vegetables and char grilled house bread. This dish seemed to be the all-round favorite among my friends as they each sampled it. 

Rustic Ribeye and Mushroom Stew
The Miso Cod was plated beautifully with broiled aware miso pacific cod fillet on one side of the plate and a ginger, lemon and sesame dressed soba vegetable salad on the other. My friend who ordered it was quite satisfied with this dainty dish. 

Miso Cod

I was a tad shocked when I saw the size of the St. Louis Ribs, ordered by the most slender girl in our group of friends. It consisted baby back pork ribs with smokey sticky BBQ sauce served with a tangy vegetable slaw, baked spud & a dollop of sour cream and chives. I was certain she would struggle with the portion but to my surprise, she finished it almost at the same time I finished my main course so I'm assuming she really loved it!

St. Louis Ribs

The traditional Christmas dinner was one of the specials that was scribbled on the black board. Only one of my friends ordered this dish. It looked huge with oven roast turkey, ham, apricot, ham with vegetables and cranberry jus (if I remember correctly). This dish was probably the one that didn't go down as well when compared to the others. 

Traditional Christmas Dinner

Even though we were pretty full from the main course, none of us were willing to skip dessert especially considering that dessert was the main motivation for us to visit this restaurant. Among all of us, only one had a regular experience of dining at PS. Cafe so she recommended the Sticky Date Pudding, Double Chocolate Blackout Cake and the Banana Butterscotch Cake. 

I not a huge fan of chocolate flavored cake or ice-cream so even before we placed the order, I knew that I would be greedily eyeing the other two desserts. The Double Chocolate Blackout Cake is perfect for chocoholics. It looks positively sinful, is rich, decadent and it completely cures your chocolate fix. I thought it was good but after a while I couldn't eat much more of it. The ice-cream does help to tone down the  chocolatey-ness of it. 

Double Chocolate Blackout Cake

The Sticky Date Pudding (steamed) was my absolute favorite! At first, I thought the Banana Butterscotch Cake was right up my alley but on further sampling, I thought the Sticky Date pudding had a more interesting texture. Both desserts are moist and light. The luscious sauce and ice-cream only enhances the two desserts. Note that the Banana Butterscotch Cake is the sweeter of these two desserts. 

Banana Butterscotch Cake

Sticky Date Pudding

PS. cafe @ Palais is pricey with the salads costing an average of 25$, the soups, an average of 15$, sides ranging from 12-18$, mains courses from 26-36$ and the desserts roughly around 12-14$. Our final bill averaged about 52$ per person. But keep in mind that the portions are quite large and satisfying thereby making several of the dishes good for sharing. The interiors are pleasing to the eye and the ambience is pleasant. I would recommend this place for couples, small groups friends, colleagues or a girl's night out. The service in general is alright. Although the waiters re-filled our glasses with water periodically and brought in our orders in good time, I felt that the restaurant was understaffed and we had to catch the attention of the staff several times. Lastly and more importantly, the food is good and the desserts even better! 

I would rate this restaurant 3 out of 5 stars. 

PS. Cafe at Palais
Level 2
390 Orchard road

Brunch hours
Weekends: 9.30am - 5pm

Lunch hours
Weekdays: 11.30am - 4pm

Tea hours
Daily: 3pm - 6pm

Dinner hours
Mon - Thu & Sun: 6pm - 12am
Fri, Sat & Public holiday eve: 6pm - 1am

Note: This is not a sponsored review. The comments and opinions in this post are solely my own.


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