Kampong Bahru Road, Outram Park
I've written before about Outram Park in Singapore, where four quality cafes operate within a 10 minute walk of each other. Strangers Reunion is one of those cafes, and it doesn't disappoint. This is an interesting cafe, with a very distinct look and atmosphere, and most importantly, well crafted coffee.
The espresso shot below had a light mouthfeel, but a strong and robust flavour. It wasn't bitter or citrusy - the dominant flavour was woody and earthy. This is an interesting combination, and it worked for me. The crema on the shot was dark brown, and the volume was correct - this tells me that it's a shot made from fresh beans, extracted for the correct length of time. Bonus points for the friendly staff, who knew exactly what blend of beans were used, and were happy to talk coffee. This is great - I love seeing this in a cafe - staff who clearly love coffee too.
I ordered a cappuccino too. This was smooth as silk, with soft foam, and steamed to perfection. The coffee flavour is slightly muted by the milk, but is still there - it's a good mix of taste and texture, and one of the better cappuccinos that I've had. There is an underlying sweetness also - this is from the lactose in the milk itself, and is brought out by steaming. More importantly, it is brought about by steaming at an appropriate temperature - it's a learned skill, and this tells me that this was an experienced barista. The foam layer was about right too - by no means was this one of the "latte in disguise" coffees that I've noticed in a few places lately.
The overall aesthetic is quite distinct - I like the overall effect. The cement floor, rugs, subdued lighting and unique furniture ensure that Strangers has carved out it's own niche, distinguishing itself from any number of independent cafe's which have opened lately. I quite like that the cafe doubles as a gallery, supporting local artists - something that encourages repeat visits.
Overall, this was a good coffee experience, and there is one more coffee place that I can add to the list of places that I would recommend to friends. What stands out for me were the staff, more than one of whom asked about the standard of coffee - this is a sign of staff who are engaged in what they are doing, and want to serve good shots. They did, and I'll be back for more.