Monday, 26 February 2018

Mary's Kafe (Bras Basah) - Hidden Gem!

*Edited on 5 Apr 18 as Mary's Kafe has shifted to Bendemeer
Roast Beef and Corned Beef Cutlet
Mary's Kafe is a hidden gem that is well-known among the Eurasian community in Singapore. Why is it well-known among the Eurasian community?

Well, it is because Mary's Kafe is owned by Mary Gomes, who is the best-selling author of "The Eurasian Cookbook". Also, she is the one doing the cooking in Mary's Kafe. Needless to say, it is popular for its Nonya and Eurasian food.
This no-frills cafe is hidden at a quiet corner of Queen Street at Kum Yan Methodist Church Building. I have been contemplating on whether I should type out this post after I got to know of this place in 2012. But well, I think I have procrastinated enough.. sharing is caring.
As shown in above photos, there are limited seats.The place is relatively empty as this was taken at 12 pm. Once you are ready to order, you will need to proceed to the counter to order and make payment. Only cash payment is accepted, they do not accept nets or credit card payments.

Also, do remember to collect the food, else Mary Gomes will keep ringing a bell. =P
Another photo of the place. This was taken at 12.30pm on a weekday. By this timing, the place would normally be full.
Set Lunch Menu
Set lunch is available daily, and they come with a drink and dessert at $8.50. The menu changes daily and there are limited quantities for each set. So the tip is to arrive early as the more popular set lunches may be sold out as early as 12.30 pm! The food shown below are those that I have eaten during my visits to the cafe.
Roast Beef and Corned Beef Cutlet
Since I have never tried Corned Beef Cutlet before, I added $0.60 to give it a try. It was essentially breaded grounded (grind-ed) beef meat which was then deep fried. It did not leave much of an impression.

The Roasted Beef set was served with rice and vegetable (cabbage). The cabbage was quite ordinary. Personally, I would have preferred it to be cooked a little longer so that it was softer. The cabbage was nearly always served as a side in most of my orders.
Roast Beef 
I was quite surprised that the Roasted Beef was served in a bowl, soaked in a dark brown sauce. It reminded me of Chinese braised soya sauce. But it tasted nothing like it.

Among all the dishes I tried, the Roast Beef was the best. The braising sauce was unique. It was light and flavourful with hints of sweet and savory taste which were balanced perfectly. The sliceds of roast beef was so flavourful as they had adsorbed the essence of the sauce. Also, the sauce went really well with the rice. Yummy!
Beef Curry with Tea
The Beef Curry set was again served with cabbage.
Beef Curry 
The Beef Curry was not it spicy at all. In fact, it was quite fragrance. Unlike most curry sold at outdoor eateries, this one had no powder residue. The beef chunks were tender and moist too. I liked the potato as it was cooked just right.
Chicken Meat Ball Stew with Corned Beef Cutlet
The Chicken Meat Ball Stew was not served with cabbage since the stew itself had cabbage.
Chicken Meat Ball Stew with Sugee Cake and Tea

Chicken Meat Ball Stew
The Chicken Meat Ball Stew was a stew with carrot, cabbage and chunks of chicken meat. Although the sweetness of the carrot and cabbage was evident in the stew, I felt that it could have been more robust.
Chicken Chop
The Chicken Chop set was served with cabbage (again). This was ordinary. The chicken chop size was small and the marination was forgettable. I should have ordered their other set lunch.
Signature Sugee Cake
The dessert changes daily too. This was Mary Gomes' signature Sugee Cake which was highly raved about. It sure lived up to its reputation. It had a grainy texture and was full of buttery goodness. I wish that the size was bigger as the one given can be eaten in one mouthful!
Green Bean Soup
The Green Bean Soup looked ordinary. But it was so awesome! In fact, I think that it tasted way better than the Sugee Cake. It was robust and full of flavour. Also, there was an addictive malty after taste that made me longed for more!
Appam with Caramelised Banana
On another occasion, the dessert was Appam with Caramelised Banana. I have never tried such a dessert before. It was so special! The unappealing tasteless / bland appam paired off well with the sweet and savoury caramelised banana!

I have been to Mary's Kafe several times but I still have not tried the signature devil's curry before! Although there are hits and misses, you should give Mary's Kafe a try. They sell real good Eurasian style food and who knows how much longer she will continue operating this no-frills, homely eatery. 

Mary's Kafe (Bras Basah)
20 Bendemeer Road
Singapore 339914
Tel: +65 9852 0348
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 8am - 5pm
                         Closed on Sat and Sun

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