I start this off by saying that I quite like D’Good Café and has probably recommended a couple of friends to the cafe.
The only thing is, in terms of branding and placement, D’Good Café may lack of that strong ‘personality’ that would give café-goers a strong recall value despite being around for a number of years.
Some diners may be curious about their new sister-brand called “Strait Place 1819 石叻坡” at VivoCity.
A friend asked me what “石叻坡” (shi le po) meant, which I replied, ”Didn’t you catch old local dramas such as 豆腐街?”, then I quickly realised our age gap.
Singapore was known as “石叻坡” by the Chinese, which is a direct translation from the Malay word “Selat” (Sit-lat) meaning “Strait”. The word “坡” means “place” while 1819 marks the birth of modern Singapore.
Ah, my Secondary 1 history lesson is all coming back to me now.
The 88-seater (how auspicious) Strait Place 1819 offers a fusion menu with a spin on local favourites. This concept may remind some of the likes of the Colonial Club Signatures at Paragon, and the defunct 1933 at Capitol Piazza.
Walking in, I saw traces of D’Good Café – the booth seats, garden-looking exterior and swings chairs. Which is probably quite disjointed with another part of the café which has more nostalgic Singapore elements.
If you are not familiar with D’Good Café at all, then a first-timer could be quite perplexed with Strait Place 1819.
The menu with a design of an exercise book also features both, and I took some time reading through as I was constantly surprised at its offerings.
Let’s not focus on the prices for now… there were Lobster & Crab Hokkien Mee ($21), Hainanese Chicken Roulade with Foie Gras ($17.50), Ribeye & Fish Hor Fun ($21), Black Garlic Bak Kut Teh on rice ($19), Unagi & Salmon Fried Kway Teow, and BCM (which stands for Bak Chor Mee) Capellini ($16).
One of those situations, in which I didn’t know what to order.
Remember “Mod-Sin”? Funny how this term once considered hip, is seldom used now.
I wanted to be safe and so got a Laksa Seafood with Pasta ($16).
Typically, laksa pasta out there are either creamier or dry with coconuty fragrance, but this was in between soupy and dry with a spicy gravy which needed some getting used to.
Unfortunately, the dish didn’t warm the cockles of my heart, as it was lined with sea hum which had a weird aftertaste. I do not mind my cockles in piping hot gravy, but not placed on top of luke-warm pasta.
The Strait Place Carrot Cake ($10) contained black fried radish cake, sandwiched between two crispy white radish cake. Let that sink in for the moment.
I think the dish was intriguing, and they must have put in a lot of effort in R&Ding all the other dishes.
On paper, it did sound fairly interesting, but upon execution the middle radish portion seemed too mushy and couldn’t bring out the fragrance and ‘wok-hei’ factors.
The best item I had the meal was a Singapore Cendol Deutsch Skillet Pancakes, incorporated with Alchemy Fibre – high fibre, zero cholesterol and transfats.
This worked better as the pancakes tasted plainer and so balanced with the sweeter ingredients of ice cream, red bean and green pandan jelly.
With such an expansive menu, there is bound to be some café favourites, but there could be a couple of ‘risky’ items there that customers would inevitably compare with their favourite local versions.
Strait Place 1819
1 HarbourFront Walk, #02-111 VivoCity, Singapore 098585
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
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