Carrara Cafe, located in Bukit Merah, is one of those cafes you see on Instagram. The interior is adorned with beautiful white marble features, which make for some great photos.
In fact, the cafe was named and modelled after a type of marble called Italian Carrara.
The cafe isn’t extremely spacious and can seat approximately 30 people. While the aesthetics in the cafe met our standards, the dishes we had were hit-and-miss. Some were good enough to convince us to make a return trip, while others had us questioning if they were really worth the money.
We started with something familiar to our local palates – Marmite Crispy Wings ($6.90), a Zi Char staple. The ones at Carrara were crunchy and coated with a sticky marmite glaze.
While the chicken was juicy and flavourful, it wasn’t particularly amazing, especially when compared to its Zi Char counterparts. We hoped the next dish would make more of an impression.
Continuing with the theme of fried chicken, we were recommended the Salted Egg Yolk Fried Chicken Waffle ($13.90), which came with a side of salad, potato wedges and some maple syrup in a small ramekin.
The waffles weren’t as light as others that I’ve tried before, but the crispy exterior and soft interior more than made up for it. Unfortunately, some parts of the fried chicken were soggy because of the salted egg sauce, and even though the sauce was extremely tasty, perhaps it should be served on the side.
In terms of the fried chicken, it was well seasoned albeit a little on the peppery side. It paired very well with the sweet maple syrup, which helped to blend the flavours of the waffles and chicken together.
Another dish that was recommended to us was the Sausage Swiss Rosti ($13.90). As someone who hasn’t eaten that many Rostis, I’m not sure I’m the most qualified to comment on this component. However, based on my few Rosti experiences, this version left me slightly disappointed.
The Rosti was under-seasoned and just tasted like potatoes. Furthermore, the two sausages served together with the Rosti were just ordinary chicken sausages, nothing special.
I’d skip this especially given the price, and go for something heartier instead.
Like the Truffle Mushroom Pasta ($13.90), which would delight fans of creamy pasta. The pasta came with two rashers of turkey bacon, a poached egg, and a prominent truffle aroma.
I personally found the pasta cloying, and couldn’t bring myself to continue after a few bites. However, my friend who happens to be a cream sauce enthusiast managed to polish the whole thing off by herself.
The egg was probably my favourite bit, and was cooked to silky perfection.
The highlight of our meal was The PULL Factor ($12.90), or Carrara Cafe’s rendition of aligot (cheesy mashed potatoes). As aligot is a dish seldom seen in cafes, we couldn’t wait to dig in.
The aligot was piping hot when it arrived, which meant that it was perfect for getting those cheese-pull shots. Presentation aside, the aligot tasted quite mild.
Initially, we were worried about the cheese being too heavy, but when we dug to the bottom and found chicken bolognese sauce, we couldn’t help but feel relieved. The tangy tomato-based sauce helped to lighten the dish significantly and made it perfect for sharing.
What’s a cafe without dessert? Carrara Cafe serves a myriad of unique Gelato flavours that are featured on a rotational basis. Some flavours include Avocado Gula Melaka, Rocher, and Osmanthus Oolong.
We decided to get the Signature Waffle ($8.50, Additional Scoops of Gelato: $2.50 each) accompanied by two permanent flavours, Coconut, and Black Chocolate Sorbet, and one seasonal flavour, Chrysanthemum.
The Black Chocolate Sorbet was super rich, but not as sweet as other chocolate ice creams, while the Coconut Gelato was light and refreshing with little bits of coconut flesh scattered in the ice cream.
Chrysanthemum may seem like a weird flavour for gelato, but I was surprised to find that it worked. It was reminiscent of the popular Yeo’s Chrysanthemum tea, but was even more addictive. Dessert was definitely another highlight for us, especially with the flavour combinations.
Our dining experience at Carrara Cafe was somewhat of a rollercoaster ride, with its ups and downs. But we’re all for giving credit where its due, and some of the specialities such as The PULL Factor and the Signature Waffles and Gelato are good enough to make the trip down worth it.
Expected damage: $15 – $25 per pax