[SG] PoTeaTo

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A rather interesting name that caught my eye, hence the visit back to the popular lane of Yong Siak Street, the new uptown place for cafes in Singapore. Previous visits to Forty Hands and SocialHaus have left me rather skeptical about the cafes popping up here, with the seeming focus on form rather than substance. PoTeaTo, however, managed to surprise me with its flavourful twist, and a slight resemblance to pub food I've had overseas.

Well, no prizes for guessing that the cafe name came from the highlight of tea and (sweet) potato based dishes served. A quick glance at the menu, there wasn't much to choose from, works pretty good for people like me who usually takes forever to decide with the wide variety.

Thousand Nights ($7.80 per pot)

I'm not a tea connoisseur so this review is based very much just on the taste from a layman's perspective. This was quite a light brew, it has a rich flowery fragrance and it was somewhat calming. Perhaps it was supposed to have just a light flavour to it, it tasted almost like chrysanthemum tea that has been freshly brewed, a tad on the bland side. A refreshing taste though, with a slight addition of the orange peel fragrance. 

Persian Apple & Ginger ($7.80)

This was a much stronger brew compared to Thousand Nights. We all preferred this with a slightly stronger fragrance and the ginger taste that complemented the sweet apple fragrance very well. 

Potato & Leek Soup

Warm soup to start off our dinner, it was such a comfort for our stomachs. Loved this homemade blend of potato soup, where it was so flavourful and rich. In fact, you can even see small chunks of potatoes inside. The texture from the photos might look abit grainy but it was really very smooth and you could taste the fresh flavour of potato in every mouthful. The garlic baguette went well with a dip in the potato soup, though it would be been better if it was freshly toasted. It was slightly hard instead of crispy, hence giving a dull crunch when you bite into it. Nonetheless, this is strongly recommended for all potato fans!

Nom Factor: 8.5/10

Cream of Mushroom

If you love all kinds of mushrooms, this would perhaps taste heavenly to you. It was a little too strong for us, but I liked how it used real mushrooms in the making in order to produce such a flavourful soup. Definitely not a Campbell kind, you could taste how the flavour of the black mushrooms burst in your mouth with every spoonful, as if you're eating a full mouthful of fresh mushrooms. I'm not a fan of mushrooms, unless you count golden mushroom so try it for yourself!

Nom Factor: 7.0/10

Fish & Chips ($13.80)

I sure missed tartar sauce when I was in UK! Apparently only the more atas places serve fish and chips with tartar sauce, so I've learnt to appreciate it even if it was from MacDonald's. Anyway, I was captivated by the chips portion right upon serving. Perhaps one of the first places that serve sweet potato fries in fish and chips, it was a really good complement in our opinion. 

The dory fish inside was very fresh, soft and tender but I found the batter a bit too thick, so it got pretty jelat after a while. The fries were really awesome! The potato fries reminded me of Long John fries, with more flavour to it. It had the fragrance of butter and and salted with the seasoning added onto it. The sweet potato fries were great too, not the kind you'll find at Taimei, it tasted rather homemade, with each fry packed with sweet potato mash that wasn't too soft and had a slight natural sweetness to it. I'm in love with the chips, and will probably come back to order their chips as a side in future!     

Nom Factor: 7.5/10

Bangers & Mash ($13.80)

Quite surprised to see three variations of sausages served instead of the usual. Of course, being the potato lover, the mash was the first I digged in to. What greeted my taste buds was a very homely touch, where you can taste some bits of potatoes cubes inside. The sauce was also a good complement with just a little salted taste to it and was very smooth to go with the mash. 

I liked how there were three different sausages to have a taste of all different flavours at one go. Out of the three, I loved the cheese sausage (the one on the left) the most! Rich creamy cheese oozing out of the fleshy tender sausage, every mouthful was just so satisfying. Don't know the exact names for the rest, the one on the right was too salty for my liking, and the skin surrounding it was a little too thick. A great dish nonetheless, something that gives you variety within a plate. 

Nom Factor: 8.0/10  

Harvest Roast Chicken ($16+)

Highlight of the dish to me (:

Perhaps due to the effort taken in preparing this dish, we were told that it'll take about 25 minutes before we were served. Well worth the wait, I would say! Tenderly roasted chicken with slightly crispy skin and absolutely soft flesh inside. I would say it was very well roasted, as I'd usually expect a rather dry version of the chicken after roasting, but this was really juicy and tender. You can taste the marinated herbs that added to the wholesome taste of it, giving it a slightly interesting flavour, so it doesn't get too jelat. 

Best of all, it came not with mashed potato but mashed sweet potato that gave the slight sweetness to complement the savory dish. I liked the fresh sweet potatoes used in the mixture, where you can taste the fibres and also some small bits of sweet potato. The selection of sweet potato was really good, it got me hooked for sure. 

Nom Factor: 8.5/10

Eggless Chocolate Cake ($7.50)

It tastes as devilishly sinful and rich as it looks. A thick layer of fudge on top with solid chocolate cake layers. It isn't the smooth kind you'll usually see due to the lack of eggs in this. I loved eggless chocolate cakes in India, as there were alot of vegetarians, and well, this was a pretty good match. It wasn't too sweet, and chocolate lovers would enjoy the richness of this slice. It got abit too jelat for us, would have been better if it was served with vanilla icecream or layers of fruit compote to give a slight refreshing twist to it. But that's just my preference, it's still one of their top sellers there. 

Tea-ramisu ($6.20)

I thought this was a must-try, replacing the usual coffee with earl grey tea, hence the name as well. I like how it was presented with the logo of their cafe sprinkled on top, somewhat like latte art. I would have preferred the cream cheese to be lighter, but it was of the right sweetness and went well with the earl grey sponge layers. Alot of the earl grey settled down at the bottom so a mouthful of the cream cheese with the sponge cake found right at the base was absolutely shiok with all the juices running amok in your mouth! The taste of earl grey could have been stronger, it tasted slightly like coffee still. A good attempt nonetheless, and something pretty special!

Nom Factor: 8.0/10

A small and pretty dark shop space that's easily missed especially with its brightly lit competitors along the stretch. 

Cosy seating space that makes diners feel comfortable having the right level of spaces between every table. 

I haven't tried Open Door Policy, and by far, this is the best for the stretch. Good for chilling out after work or just wanting a peaceful environment to have a great talk over dinner. I'd come back here for their fries and desserts again for sure, missed the lemon meringue tart this time round. Their desserts were a little on the pricey side, but I guess it's pretty worth it especially after seeing how huge the chocolate cake slice was. 

As a potato fan, I loved all their potato renditions and though the dishes seemed simple enough from the menu, just like classic western meal, I was pretty surprised for the little variations here and there. I like the combination of every platter, with thought put into every dish to give a complete gastronomic experience. 

It might not be the best food around, but it's definitely had alot of homemade effort in it. I like the homely taste and touch to it and every single service staff was really great! They were very attentive and friendly, making sure you're well taken care of at any time. Extremely hospitable and cosy place that I'll definitely return again!

Overall Nom Factor: 8.5/10
78 Yong Siak Street #01-18
Singapore 163078

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