Mention the name ‘ Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’ (CBTL in short) and one would immediately conjure up images of a cosy, intimate coffee joint thick with the smell of freshly grounded coffee beans and hushed conversations over a good cuppa. With the opening of its second casual dining restaurant BeanSTRO, CBTL chain has extended their customer’s experience beyond just good coffee and cakes. The BeanSTRO serves a range of Western fare from sandwiches, all day breakfasts to pastas and steak. Together with the CBTL’s spread of cakes, frappes and hot beverages, patrons like us are truly spoilt for choice.
|BeanSTRO at Takashimaya – an brand new, mid-price, casual dining concept in Orchard.|
We were invited for a food tasting by the good people behind BeanSTRO last Sunday. We arrived slightly before noon to a healthy crowd seeking brunch or an early lunch in Takashimaya Shopping Mall.
|BeanSTRO Caesar salad ($13.00)|
|Fried Calamari Rings ($7.00)|
|Vongole with squid ink spaghetti ($26.50)|
The cod was served on a bed of mashed potatoes, with sautéed greens drenched in seafood broth. The slab of pan fried cod was crisp and reasonably fresh but the broth was a tad too salty. We loved the crunchy greens but wished the mash potatoes was more melt-in-the-mouth smoother. Overall, it is a decent alternative on the menu for non-pasta, non-meat lovers.
|Cod Fish ($26.00)|
For desserts, we were recommended the Crème Brule which had a stunning presentation, served in generous portion in a large CBTL coffee cup. The Crème Brule added a sweet ending to our meal. We also ordered something traditionally linked to CBTL: their signature ice-blended frappucinos which really don’t need any introduction.
|Creme Brulee in a Cup!|
|An Ice-Frappucino for each of us!|
The service staff were warm and attentive. An icing to the cake, literally and metaphorically.
The inviting interior of BeanSTRO exudes warmth and projects an intimate, cosy dining ambience made possible by the warm lighting against the timber-bricked walls. The staff’s black getup was professional and not intrusive. Pity that it is situated right above the event hall and along the main thoroughfare of Takashimaya basement 1 where masses gather. The noise (and music) may mar one’s experience there if you’re after a quiet place to dine, enjoy the coffee and escape from the maddening Orchard Road crowd. Otherwise, it’s a comfortable place to grab a good meal and catch up with family and friends.
The experience has been very pleasant. We were delighted to find free WIFI connections, courtesy of CBTL (a big bonus!) . This, coupled with the friendly service and hearty servings of food added to the whole enjoyable dining experience at BeanSTRO. We would certainly be back.
|BeanSTRO, it’s the place to Bean seen!|