I met up with a few old friends at Blue Basil for brunch. The cafe / bistro, with its heavy emphasis on savoury appetizers and grilled meats, is more of a lunch / dinner place; so technically Blue Basil isn't the place to have brunch if your idea of 'brunch' is late-man's-breakfast pancakes, eggs etc. In other words: Like mine.
Although I was tempted to change the venue last minute, my friends had braced the scorching heat while trying to find the place and I wasn't about to compromise our friendship by throwing them back out into the outdoors. Thanks to the heat, we weren't in the mood for heavy fee-fie-fo-fum grilled items, so we grabbed a bunch of light bites and -yeah!- dessert.
A bright spark was the cream of wild mushroom soup that was rich with nibbly mushroom bits. It was what it is when chefs or cooks take the word 'mushroom' more seriously than the word 'cream'.
A classic Italian salad, the Caprese comprised of sliced fresh tomatoes & mozzarella cheese, drizzled with homemade balsamic reduction & Blue Basil pesto oil.
Like the wild mushroom soup, the grilled veggy bruchetta was another Blue Basil specialty. Finely diced red and green peppers and some-other-vegetables-I-don't-recognize assembled on a crostini-like baguette. It was tasty but I'm saving the hoopla for the wild mushroom soup. Oh yeah, I so don't envy the person who has the unenviable task of dicing the peppers to such fine micro-mini bits.
A rare dip in the heavy section, we had the simplest of pastas, a fusili evenly-coated with heady truffle cream sauce. Well, the menu didn't suggest otherwise so I shouldn't and wasn't expecting fireworks.
The grilled chicken jalapeno was one of the better sandwiches found in town. I'm not saying it's THE sandwich to have and hold till death do you part (though technically-speaking, the chicken is dead) but the tender grilled chicken thigh and toasty ciabatta made a decent sandwich.
Always in the mood for dessert, we shared a few from a menu that didn't offer much to choose from.
The Blue Basil lemon sorbet wore its Blue-Basil-recommended badge loud and proud as the bitter flavour of basil contrasted sharply with the acidic lemon twang. I'm not a big fan of the herb but I really like basil in desserts. Basil gelato anyone?
Expresso Cheese Cake
The Expresso cheesecake is perfect for those too cheap to order coffee during dessert. Hey, no finger-pointing here as I'm guilty of that myself! The Caffè flavour kicked in as soon as the dense cake made contact with my tastebuds, making this an incredibly likable cheesecake.
Call me odd but I absolutely love crumbles, especially when there's more crumble than filling. Just like how I like tart shells and curry puff crusts more than their insides... Oddities aside, this apple crumble was credibly buttery - I likeee.
Some like to re-invent the wheel, while others take a look at the wheel and say, "As long as it rolls, I'm changing nothing!" Blue Basil's walnut brownie with vanilla ice cream belonged to the latter category -very predictable but dependable.
I guess Blue Basil a nice (generic word alert!) chill-out place, centrally-located without the harried baggage of Orchard Road. I'm tempted to cut them some slack as I haven't most of their featured items but based on this extra-ordinary experience, it's unlikely I will head back for more.