Hailing from Thailand, Greyhound Cafe has opened their first branch in Singapore at the heart of town in Paragon along Orchard Road with many other branches in different parts of the world.
Situated in the middle of the aisle, Greyhound Cafe is pretty well-sized with quite a good number of seats that suits both small and large groups. Decked in a rather monochrome theme, there are little elements within the cafe that are pretty reminiscent of the ones in Malaysia such as the checkerboard-styled counter and even the Hong Kong branch when it comes to the seating layout. There are attempts to bring in natural elements into the design of the interior, especially prominent in the centre where a section of the dining area is separated by glass with plants hanging from above. The menu revolves mainly around dishes with either western or Thai influences, with quite a variety of items to choose from such as Thai noodles, pasta, grilled meats and a wide range of drinks, cakes and desserts and side dishes as well. We visited during their soft launch period where they were only opened for invited guests; we were passing by the cafe and curiously checking out the menu when one of the staff kindly allowed us in.
One of the recommendations by the staff at Greyhound Cafe was the Crispy Sweet Corn with Crab Meat. These are sweet corn fritters fused together with crab meat that seemed to be fried in a light batter, accompanied with a saucer of Thai-style sweet-spicy chilli sauce on the side. These were pretty decent; all lightly crispy and carried a hint of sweetness from the corn that was great but seemed to have overwhelmed the flavours of the crustacean. One could definitely feel the crustacean within, but the natural sweetness of the crustacean seemed to have been covered up by the corn’s flavour especially for the bits that carried more corn. Still, a good light bite to start the meal with when you break a piece of the fritter off and place a dollop of the accompanying sauce; different dimensions of sweetness with a hint of spiciness without being too greasy that is rather appetising.
Another one of the Thai-inspired dishes here would be the Noodle with Thai Duck Stew, which was also one of our favourites for the meal here. The warm stew felt like as if it carried a tinge of herbal flavour; very heartwarming and comforting to have especially on a rainy day, so much that we actually ended up polishing the entire bowl clean afterwards. The duck leg was considerably succulent and fit the stew pretty well with its balanced savouriness without being gamey. In the bowl, there were pieces of pork lard that gave it a nice crunch which gave the soup a burst of umami flavour when you chew on them as well as crunchy bean sprouts and rice vermicelli noodles. Satisfying in a homely and comforting way.
The Fettuccini with Seared Scallops, Asparagus and Light Pesto Cream Sauce was one of the more heavier-tasting items here (I am not complaining, though!). While the Fettuccini was a little short on being al-dente being a tad tough and could do with a bit more cooking time, the sauce gave it a creamy, garlicky touch alongside being nutty. Coming with four scallops, the scallops were pretty fresh as well.
I like to have my coffee as both a dessert and a drink, and the Thai Black Coffee Granita fits those criteria. Presented in shaved ice form, the granita comes with both black coffee style and condensed milk style. One could either enjoy it with a spoon by digging into the glass just like an Ice Kachang or wait for the shaved ice to melt and drink it straight from the straw. Both ways, it carries the signature intensity of Thailand’s black coffee as well as the sweetness of their milk coffee. We had it served from the start, which we enjoyed all the way till the end of the meal.
Given that we have visited Greyhound Cafe way before their official launch to the public, we were pretty satisfied with our overall experience here, though none of us could make a reference to compare against the other Greyhound Cafes situated abroad for we have not visited any of their outlets globally. The food generally has both hits and misses but was generally on the pricier side for most of the mains cost more than $20 and the desserts above $10; definitely more for special occasions than a regular hangout at Orchard Road. That being said, the food should be fine after some tweaks once they start getting used to the kitchen and operations as time passes. We hereby thank Greyhound Cafe for graciously accepting us as paying customers and we definitely appreciate the opportunity to try out the food before the official launch; it was definitely a pleasant time dining here.
290 Orchard Road