(Jalan Kembangan, Singapore)
Situated along a long row of private houses at Jalan Kembangan, South Union Park is an unassuming cafe that has been receiving a good amount of positive attention from local foodies. The atmosphere is cosy and relatively spacious, as compared to several cafes in Singapore where space can be pretty cramp.
My friends and I dropped by the cafe on a midweek afternoon and were surprised to find the place empty, considering the amount of attention it's been getting lately via food blogs and apps like Burpple. I suppose the location is a setback for such a timing as it's a bit of a distance from Kembangan MRT itself, nor is it accessible by bus. I guess this came as an advantage to us, as food is usually better when there's a lack of a crowd, plus the peacefulness was something to appreciate during the period we were there.
For my choice of drink, I had a White Grape Oolong Tea ($6 for a pot), particularly because I've never heard of such a tea before. I like that the taste and sweetness of the white grape is present, yet not overpowering to become a warm Qoo drink. It is on the milder and refreshing side, and I drank a couple of cups of this. Their teas are refillable, so do not hesitate to ask for that if you want to drink more.
For starters, we ordered the Fried Chicken ($11) with corn bread and whipped honey butter. Frankly speaking, the fried chicken is nothing great and could be crispier. One of my friends remarked that on some pieces, it feels like there's more skin than meat. Nothing amazing about the corn bread either.
All these, however, could easily be overlooked when you take a dip into that honey butter. Simply put, it's light with a sweet and savoury flavour which immediately makes the chicken and corn bread taste far more superior.
We decided to order mains to share. First up is the Butternut Agnolotti ($17). One bite and I immediately came to a verdict: this dish is the bomb diggity! I'm usually quite skeptical about eating anything that lacks meat because I'm afraid that I'll eventually get sick of it or find it boring towards the end, but this proved me wrong completely. The pasta is pillowy and soft and each contains a butternut squash filling which tastes superb, and that aromatic sauce - butter emulsion, mushrooms and garlic herb crumbs - mmm, so good. The mushrooms deserve high praise here; I don't know how they do it, because they definitely look like the average sliced button mushrooms (are they even button shrooms? I'm assuming here...), but it's really got an addictive and juicy taste with a very mild crunch to it. On a whole, this dish is definitely a marvel to my tastebuds. I ended up considering forgoing dessert and having a second round of this instead, no kidding!
The Poached Salmon ($20) with Mediterranean Cous-Cous and Onion Salad on the other hand was quite the disappointment as compared to the Butter Agnolotti. The Salmon was nicely cooked, tender and flaky but the couscous on the other hand was dry and not as light and fluffy as we would've liked. Upon our feedback, we were told that they received similar comments from other diners and they are working to improve this dish. We look forward to that!
After hearing rave reviews about their deserts, we decided to give the Passion Fruit Souffle ($13) a try. It did not disappoint! It was fluffy, airy and the fruity, tangy/acidic taste of the passion fruit was balanced really well. Great way to end off the meal (spoon fencing amongst ourselves to get more soufflé =)
Overall we were really pleased with our experience at South Union Park and would definitely be back again to try out the rest of the menu!
South Union park
101 Jalan Kembangan, 419139
Closed on Mondays
Open from 11:30am to 10pm
Contact: 9061 8703