Straits Cafe @ Rendezvous

“Shall we try the famous rendezvous laksa….”

Sometimes I think Rendezvous relies on their oldest award to draw in the food crowds. I could be wrong, but when walking past the restaurant to the main entrance, I was surprised to find that they had won the award way back in 2002 and was still using it as an advertisement in the front window. I mean you would usually put the most recent awards up to show that your food quality is still consistent right? Or what some other places will do is list the number of years they’ve won the award to showcase their long running streak.

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Oh well, let the food speak for itself.

For seekers of the award winning nonya laksa, they serve a small version ($16.90) or the bigger version ($19.90) which comes with king prawns. As I was really hungry when I got to the cafe, I was actually deliberating over whether to go for the option with king prawns since I was thrown off by the word “small” on the menu. Eventually, L convinced me that it might just be sufficient to get the small version ($16.90) which I did.

Anyone find it interesting that the hotel cafe served me laksa in a chipped claypot bowl?

Anyhow, the cafe actually offers you bibs to eat the laksa. No, they don’t offer, they just automatically start tying the bibs round your neck once the laksa arrives. Wow. The laksa was filled with ingredients not normally found at a hawker centre – A huge prawn, crayfish and quail eggs. The prawn was served in its shell, which called for advanced fork/chopstick skills in de-shelling the prawn. That’s what bibs are for.

Laksa is made up of two important components – the Laksa paste (usually lemongrass, onion and chilli paste) and the stock (usually soup stock, coconut milk and dried shrimp), which are mixed together to create the milky orange gravy. The difficulty is creating the balance in the two components. Neither too spicy nor overwhelmingly milky.

I thought the ingredients were all very fresh. The laksa gravy was a bit more on the spicy side and I didn’t really get the dried shrimp taste that I was looking for, but it was certainly a solid execution of nonya laksa. For the price however, it’s not something that I would come back for regularly, despite its proximity to my school.
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Singaporean Hokkien Mee ($18.90) – This turned out to be a real surprise. The noodles were wonderfully soaked in this rich pork broth which was so so flavourful that I couldn’t help my “wow” when I took a bite of this. Somehow I wished that I had ordered this instead of the Laksa. Rightfully, it was listed as a chef recommendation on the cafe menu.
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Ironic, isn’t it, that something we came specifically to try turned out all right, while something else we didn’t expect much of turned out to be really nice. That’s life, and food. Full of surprises.

Add: Rendezvous Hotel, 9 Bras Basah Road

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