Saturday, 12 March 2016

Fresh Fruits Lab (FFL)

It's one more week to my Taiwan trip! I'm pretty much scurrying to prepare for it because the weather these days is kinda crazy and I have never been to anywhere near single digit weather and the weather forecast seems to indicate that some parts of Taiwan are like that. Another aspect we learn from our last trip is that I pretty much can't walk a lot. So... today is foot reflexology day! But of course prior to giving my leg some comfort, we need to eat. I've shortlisted two cafes this week namely Fresh Fruits Lab and Five and Dime. Vain pot settled for FFL so here we are!

FFL is famous for their lab apparatus looking decorations, equipment and as the name suggest, fresh fruits. It's not very obvious from the photo but you can see the utensils served on a kidney dish and complimentary test tube fruit juice. Even their pen used to sign the bill is in the form of a syringe. I was first introduced to FFL when a colleague of mine told me about their Tuesday - Friday afternoon tea promotion. I was very tempted to go because it looks Instagram worthy but coordinating leave with friends isn't easy so I never got round to it. In any case, the blogosphere has mixed reviews about this place so it wasn't high on my to-go list. Yet, I am very curious about their quirky laboratory concept, so heart itchy (心痒痒) want to try. 

And try we did! For mains we picked Eggs Blackstone ($14) and Masago Caviar Pasta ($20). The Eggs Blackstone is made up of poached farm eggs with smoked bacon, beefy tomatoes, sautéed shiitake, toasted English muffin and fruit salad topped with hollandaise sauce. The eggs were runny, bacon went well with the sautéed shiitake mushrooms and English muffins making the meal flavorful. However, it should be pointed out that it basically met all the minimum criteria of a decent rendition of an Eggs Benedict kind of dish where if mistaken for the best eggs benedicts in the world you will be disappointed. Given that I have eaten lots of pricier similar dishes, Eggs Blackstone definitely makes the cut for a eggs muffin hollandaise sauce meal presenting good value. 

I grappled with myself a long time before ordering the Masago Cavier Pasta. I love pasta and most places known for brunch pretty much have served me disappointing pasta during my 2 years of cafe hopping. Moreover prior to coming here, the last blog I read complained that the blogger's experience at FFL was a disaster. So you can imagine, my apprehension when I ordered. The pasta, was as complained oily but I felt most Aglio Olio type pasta that tastes good have a certain degree of oil and this one was no more than the other good ones I have tried. The pasta was al dente and well infused with Masago Cavier that makes it very flavorful and tasty. I've always said that food that retains its taste in your mouth after eating is good food. So I was pleasantly surprised this dish is close. I felt the half shelled scallops were big and was a decent complement to provide a balance for the dish. 

Vain Pot and I both selected green teas from their drinks selection, Paradise Green ($5) and Tokio ($5) which are refillable! The teas agreed with our palate and we ended up ordering a lychee cake ($6.50) to complete a very relaxing weekend brunch. The cake in my view is just decent. But my view is bias as I don't like fruits. Vain pot on the other hand seems to like it and gobbled up most of it. 

All in all, my experience at FFL is a really satisfying one. Will I be back again? It's a resounding yes! Having said that, I'll need to manage expectations. FFL doesn't serve tip top michelin worthy food but it serves above average brunch food that presents good value. It also provides a unique experience in terms of concept and definitely it's paradise if you like to take photos like me. I felt that FFL is among my favorites in terms of satisfying my taste buds without blowing a hole in my pocket. I can hardly find places that cost less than $60 bucks for drinks, mains and dessert with air con and waitering service for two that taste great at the same time! 

Fresh Fruits Lab
351 Changi Road, Lor Marzuki 
(The brunch menu is only available on weekends)