Though Vanilla Cafe & Bar had been around for a while, I haven’t gotten a try of the food till recently. If I knew that its food was of such a good standard, I would have made my way down much earlier. The interior is simple and it is rather quiet on the weekends, making the perfect place for a quiet meal.
LOOK & FEEL
The design of the interior is straightforward and plain.
It’s a pity that the Telok Ayer area is rather quiet on the weekends since the working crowd will never set foot into this area on their off days. In fact, there are numerous good cafes in the area that are not so well known to the cafe bunch and definitely worth a visit.
FOOD & DRINKS
The drinks here are rather average, if not underwhelming.
We agreed that the Matcha Latte was not thick enough and it tasted more of milk than green tea.
Same went for the Vanilla Latte, which was mild and did not have much of a coffee kick, but thankfully it wasn’t too sweet, which is usually what kills a Vanilla Latte.
Fortunately, the food was amazing beyond words.
The Half Wings were home-marinated, very tasty without being overly salty. The crispiness was just right too.
The star dish of the day would have to be the Cordon Bleu, which is cheese and ham wrapped in fried chicken cutlet. It was perfectly fried to a refreshing crisp, and the salty fragrance of the ham emerged as it was cut. The tender meat, delicious ham and melted cheese were an impeccable match.
The Vodka & Tomato Creme Penne was another impressionable dish on the table. I was expecting a bizarre, sharp tasting pasta but the vodka taste was faint or almost undetectable. The tomato cream was light tasting and refreshing at every bite.
The Tom Yam Seafood Risotto was another crowd pleaser. Since the Tom Yam flavour was not overpowering, this dish was indeed a comfort to eat. The risotto was concocted to the perfect flavour, texture and moistness.
The Lobster and Linguine Arrabiata was a little disappointing, given the standard of the rest. The lobster, though in a rather fleshy portion given its price, was slightly overcooked and dry. Since I’m not a fan of fishy taste, I almost couldn’t stand the waves of seafood smell from the roe. The pasta would also have been better done with more moisture and sauce.
Now to the desserts, half the pictures hashtagged #vanillabarandcafe was that of the Vanilla Dirt Cake. Since this is their signature dessert, we had to order it. No doubts about its amazing presentation, all of us were almost fooled that it was a real flower pot. That raised the expectations, but the honest verdict would be that it looked better than it tasted. The cream layer was hard and frozen, with a few icy bits. The cookie crumbs did not create magic with the cream, and it was too bland to be an after-meal sweet.
The Durian Creme Brulee was a different story, fortunately. It didn’t have the overpowering “fragrance” of a durian, and carried the sweetness and taste in its custard layer. The caramel layer was also burnt to a perfect crisp. Though slightly pricey, I would recommend this as it is more worth the penny.
IN A NUTSHELL
Vanilla Bar and Cafe would make a sweet dining spot for the working crowd in the area and would be one of the more ambient cafes for chill out on weekday nights. The menu is rather extensive and would spoil you for choice, and the Special Menu would be something we’d always look forward to. During the quieter afternoon hours, you might also find it conducive for working on the laptop or reading, though they are still in the midst of setting up the wifi. Remember, do not leave this cafe without trying the Cordon Bleu!
Thank you Vanilla Bar and Cafe for hosting us.