High humidity is nothing new in Southeast Asia and is something that most of us acclimatize to over time. With that being said, it was especially sweltering that day. Despite the tropical heat, walking down the streets of Singapore is always a joy. Even with numerous skyscrapers and contemporary feats of engineering, buildings reflecting old Singapore decorated every corner of the city imbuing it with an enchanting sense of nostalgia. However classical the exterior of these buildings were, many of them now housed more currents establishments such as restaurants, cafes, and shops.
At the end of Prinsep Street was one such example. In a charming white shop house with light grey windows sat Curious Palette. It didn’t have a large sign or anything else that would make its presence known at the end of the road, yet it seemed as if people knew exactly what lay there.
Although it looked quite small from the outside, the inside was spacious and airy, with white walls that allowed for the numerous pieces of artwork, Persian rugs, and greenery to take center stage. Sunlight filtered through the overhead windows, illuminating the space and acting as the best overhead lamp for those who liked to read the daily paper while nibbling on a piece of toast.
In front of the baristas’ counter was a glass room that housed a tiny coffee roaster that was used to roast small batches of single origins to play and experiment with. The baristas’ counter itself lined the entire length of the shop and housed two white espresso machines and other various coffee apparatuses.
I had previously learned that this place served a mean berry ricotta hotcake and often saw snapshots of it online. The waitress told me it would take 25 minutes to make, but I figured anything that popular must’ve been worth the wait. In the meantime, we had smoked salmon on sourdough as well as poached eggs with hollandaise served on a slice of ciabatta. Of course, no trip to a café would be complete without a cup (or two) of coffee. Curious Palette favored a blend called Chakra consisting of 60% Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and 40% El Salvador. It tasted rich and creamy in a latte and had us wanting more.
After a half hour wait, the berry ricotta hotcake finally made its debut, and a debut it certainly was. Sitting proudly in the middle of the plate covered in strawberries and blueberries, with a generous scattering of toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and lavender sugar, I finally saw what all the fuss was about. It was good enough to feature in an art gallery. The edges of the hotcake were golden and crispy, and the center was light and fluffy and perfect for soaking in the maple syrup that was served with the hotcake. It’s great for two or just one very hungry person. Sharing is caring, so I’d suggest bringing a friend to tackle this delectable breakfast dish.
With our meal done, I took the time to absorb everything that was going on around me; a group of friends in the back, a single diner reading a newspaper, and a young family by the entrance. As more and more people came streaming in for brunch, we made our way back into the Singaporean heat to continue exploring the city. If you ever need to find respite from the heat or if you simply have a curious palette, you know where to go.