Thursday, October 6, 2016

Restaurant review: Spruce at the Fire Station, Singapore

Tucked away in the lush green landscapes of Bukit Timah, is a quaint-by-day and chic-by-night restaurant called Spruce that offers wholesome Italian and American comfort classics. Spruce has two outlets in Singapore - one at Phoenix Park and the other at the iconic old Bukit Timah Fire Station. My review here is for the latter. 

This dining extension of the original restaurant (at Phoenix park) is located very close to the condo I used to stay previously but surprisingly, I never paid a visit then even though I knew about it and a friend had even recommended it. When I think about it, I do regret not going then!

It was one of those rare occasions where the husband and I stepped out of the house for a brunch date. The last time it was just the two of us dining out was at the beginning of the year and so when the opportunity presented itself, we gladly seized it. Enjoying a meal without having to worry about packing suction plates-sippy cups-bibs, choosing a kid-friendly venue, availability of highchairs, hangry (hungry+angry) toddlers, power struggles and the inevitable big mess is a welcome change! Actually, I'm exaggerating a bit. Our kids love eating out and they are almost always well-behaved but it's still nice to get away from them once every few months....haha!

Spruce at Fire Station boasts a chic 3,000 sq ft dining area with an indoor capacity of 120 people.

First impression that comes to mind on entering Spruce is the relaxed and casual vibe. This is a place where you can walk in wearing flip flops, with your raucous kids in tow just to unwind and grab some grub. 

The interior has character because the architecture of the fire station has been retained and that itself lends a uniqueness to the restaurant. The high ceiling, white brick wall, bright red doors and accents add to the appeal of the space. 

The soaring glass windows brings in plenty of natural light and make the space look large and bright. Not to mention, the view outside is pleasant and serene. I sat facing the window and was able to take in the peaceful sights and scenes outside during the course of the meal.

On one side you have dart machines which I guess can be fun when go in the evening with friends for dinner and drinks. When we were there for brunch, no one seem to be inclined to have a go at it.

We had made a reservation the previous day since we had planned to go for brunch on a public holiday. Note that the restaurant does tend to get quite crowded so a reservation is recommended especially during weekends and public holidays. As the restaurant filled up, it got quite noisy too. We needed to catch the attention of the staff multiple times to place our orders and it seemed like they were too busy to be hospitable but I really can't fault the service apart from that.

The menu is not extensive but in my opinion has a good selection of breakfast dishes and comfort food. I can't speak for the more demanding customers though.

Hazelnut Latte ($7)

The hazelnut latte was sweet, creamy and delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Spruce Garden Brekkie ($19)

The garden brekkie was exactly what I was hoping for in a hearty breakfast. Soft thick brioche toast, eggs sunny side up, creamy avocado topped with sauce, juicy tomatoes, goat cheese and garden salad. The cheese-lover in me wished there was more of the goat's cheese on the plate though.

Brioche French Toast ($14)

The french toast came with soft thick brioche served with apricot preserves and mascarpone. When I saw the dish, I was slightly disappointed to see there was no maple syrup along with it. I thought each bite may turn out a bit dry but I was wrong. The apricot preserves and mascarpone which worked so well together, moistened the french toast just right.

My concluding remarks:
Spruce is a great place for brunch, a lazy lunch or even for dinner and drinks (note that there is live music playing Tuesdays to Fridays between 7.30pm to 10.30pm). The location at the fire station, which is away from the hustle and bustle of the city instantly transports you to a calm and tranquil place. Driving down (parking is free) or taking a cab is more convenient than taking the public transport. If the weather isn't too hot, I would recommend alfresco seating so you can enjoy the greenery of the Bukit Timah hillside. Apart from the fabulous location, the menu is well thought out, service is decent, prices are mid-range ($30-40 per person) and the food has generous portion size and tastes pretty good.

A lively yet relaxing ambience and generous servings of comfort food done right - I would definitely visit again!

I recommend this cafe for couples, families and groups of friends. 

My rating for Spruce is

Spruce at Fire Station

260 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #01-01
Singapore 588190
T: 6466 5582

Opening Hours:
Monday: 6.00pm - 12.30am
Tuesday to Friday: 11:30am - 12.30am
Saturday, Sunday & PH: 9.00am - 12.30am


Note: This is not a sponsored review. The opinions in this post are solely my own and stem from personal experience

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