Strangers’ Reunion @ Kampong Bahru Road // A dash of white magic and so much more

Strangers' Reunion, Crabcake Reunion Strangers' Reunion, Father's Favourite Sandwich Strangers' Reunion, White Magic

We enter the warmly-lit cafe and are quite taken aback by the buzz and energy rolling off the crowd in waves. The waitress at the door motions for us to follow her once she gathers it’s just two of us she needs to seat, while the family of four in front are told to wait for a bigger table – they’re all taken. We weave our way through the packed interior, past tables of boisterous mid-twenties and hungry expats, and sit by the window in what I deem an appropriate spot for food photography. Plenty of natural light, sturdy wood benchtop. Perfect.

Strangers' Reunion, Singapore

The cafe is clearly in vogue with the cafe-going crowd this side of the city. From the folks who brought us the likes of Curious Palette on Prinsep Street, it’s really no surprise. Perhaps it is the minimalist interior, with its touch of chic rustic homeliness, that keeps everyone coming back. Or, it could very well be the food dished out here — hearty and healthy with a good pinch of aesthetic finesse. One thing’s for sure: whatever Strangers’ Reunion is doing, it’s clearly doing it right.

Strangers' Reunion, Crabcake Reunion Strangers' Reunion, Singapore

Your heart will be stolen by the luscious flavours of the Crabcake Reunion, with its eye-catching presentation and impressive list of ingredients that make up the stack: ribbons of asparagus, a delightfully fluffy crab croquette, creamy avocado chunks, a poached egg that oozes perfectly, aburi chive hollandaise, and a smattering of ikura and micro herbs for colour.

Strangers' Reunion, White Magic Strangers' Reunion drinks

Thirsty? You will never taste anything more decadent than their bottled Sea Salt Chocolate – an elixir for sweet tooths who like their sweet treats with a twist. Creamy coffee lovers will no doubt want to make return trips to pick up orders of White Magic (it will heal any ailment).

Strangers’ Reunion is located at 35 Kampong Bahru Road. Closest MRT Station? Outram Park. If you have the time, have a little wander around the area after brunch. Neil Road, Everton Road and Blair Road are littered with old shophouses. You’ll find everything from antique stores to art dealers to hidden cafes. Walk a little further and you’ll find a few residential blocks and plenty of greenery. Spottiswoode Park Road and the nearby HDBs are home to some stray kitties. Blocks 106 and 107 have great views of the Keppel Harbour and all the colourful containers that come to port.

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A Little Wander Around Tiong Bahru, Singapore

Tiong Bahru

Most Singaporeans are already privy to the surprisingly hip and refreshingly laid back suburb of Tiong Bahru, but I’d like to give this place the blog post it deserves, complete with a short photo essay detailing our exploration of the area. Known for being one of the oldest residential estates in Singapore, the quaint historical neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru has recently undergone a cultural rebirth thanks to an uncanny rise in the number of chic coffee joints, bakeries, cakeries and indie, vintage, and retro-inspired shops sprouting all over the place. Continue reading “A Little Wander Around Tiong Bahru, Singapore”

Coffee-Scented Blueberry Yoghurt Muffins

James has been quite busy recently, what with juggling his 19th birthday celebrations, university assignments, group meetings and such. We’re all revved up to see the amazing Coldplay and The Temper Trap at Suncorp Stadium up in Brisbane tonight, so that should be a blast! I’m actually very excited to see The Temper Trap live. I really enjoy their music. The concert tickets are part of a birthday package I prepared for James. I also got him a fancy tie from Hugo Boss and a sexy shirt from French Connection. On Saturday, his lovely parents took all of us out for lunch at a brilliant Japanese fine dining restaurant in Broadbeach. Such gorgeous food. I shall elaborate more on the occasion in a future post, so check back for an impending restaurant review.

Blueberries are one of my favourite superfoods. While they do give us that satisfying burst of sweetness when added to our oatmeal or cereal, they also contain heaps of potent antioxidants that shield our skin against harmful free radicals and protect us against premature aging. In fact, much research has focused on the anti-aging role of blueberries.

They have been known to boost brain power and ward off Alzheimer’s. Researchers have also discovered that these amazing little berries can help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol just as effectively as prescribed drugs. In short, eat plenty of blueberries to treat yourself to gorgeous skin, get a healthy mental boost, and protect your heart.

The following recipe is one that I’ve wanted to share with you for ages. These are probably my favourite muffins in the whole wide world right now. I took my inspiration from the traditional blueberry coffee cake, adapted them into muffin form, and worked some creamy magic into the mix by adding Greek yoghurt.

The resulting little cakes were soft, milky, fluffy and full of flavour. Surprisingly, they stay like that for several days in an airtight container, so you don’t have to gobble them all up right after you bake them for fear of them becoming dry or stale.

Who can resist the mingling full-bodied flavour of coffee and the mildly sweet taste of baked blueberries in a soft, velvety muffin?

Coffee-Scented Blueberry Yoghurt Muffins


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
A pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup raw caster sugar
1 cup Greek yoghurt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin cases.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the Greek yoghurt and mix until smooth.
  4. Gradually stir in the eggs, followed by the dissolved coffee granules and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Carefully fold the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture until just combined, then fold in the fresh blueberries.
  6. Fill each muffin case with the batter. The cases should be almost full.
  7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the tops start to brown slightly.
  8. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before transferring muffins to a wire rack to cool.

Cinnamon Mocha Pretzel Cookies

It’s been a good while since I’ve put a cookie recipe up, so I decided to make something, well, cookie related. Actually, they’re cute, chocolatey, coffee-y, spiced pretzels. But also a cookie. Let me explain.

I have a book called The Chocolate and Coffee Bible. Inside is a recipe for ‘Chocolate Pretzels’ that require no yeast, no rising time and no soda water bath. Neat, right? I’ve made pretzels the old-fashioned way and this recipe intrigued me because of its simplicity. I tried it out, with a few good tweaks to the flavours involved (spices, coffee, et cetera) and made the magic happen. When it came to rolling the dough and shaping them into sexy pretzels, I started to get excited. Slathering them in egg wash and sprinkling them generously with spice and sugar seemed like an art.

When they came out of the oven (smelling amazing, I might add) and cooled down, I took a bite. I took several. They had the texture of cookies. Wonderful, soft-but-firm, crumble-in-your-mouth, cinna-mocha cookies. Not the texture I was expecting, but a texture I loved nonetheless. And now, I’m sharing this little experiment with you.

The taste of cocoa and coffee is far from subtle, and the generous sprinkle of ground cinnamon and nutmeg add a little something special to the aromatic blend. Take them out on a picnic or have them from breakfast. They’re easy enough to make and the ingredients you need aren’t at all hard to get.

I used CSR Premium Coffee Sugar Crystals in this recipe. It lends a full-bodied golden honey flavour to the sugar, which complements the cinnamon and mocha notes of the pretzels. Each sugar crystal is coated with a thin layer of syrup, thus the amber shade.

Cinnamon Mocha Pretzel Cookies
adapted from The Chocolate and Coffee Bible.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup raw caster sugar
2 teaspoons strong instant coffee granules (dissolved in 3 teaspoons hot water)
1 egg, beaten
1 egg white, for egg wash

For sprinkling:
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground nutmeg
Large sugar crystals


  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Stir dissolved coffee granules into the creamed mixture. When fully incorporated, add the egg and mix well.
  4. Add the flour in 3 or 4 increments, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Gather the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190°C and line baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  7. Divide chilled dough into 16 equal pieces and roll each piece into small balls.
  8. Roll each ball into a rope about 25cm long and form each rope into pretzel shapes.
  9. Place pretzels on baking trays and brush each with egg white.
  10. Combine cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and generously sprinkle each pretzel with the mixture. Then, sprinkle pretzels with sugar crystals.
  11. Bake for about 12 minutes, until firm, then transfer pretzels to a wire rack to cool.