I went for lunch earlier this month at the Green Room Cafe in the heart of Bishan Park. At first, the place didn’t look too promising. As we entered what appeared to be a complex of sorts, boasting the name Aramsa Spa, there were few people around even though it was almost 12.30pm. There were two cafes on the left as one entered and another on a slope on the right.
We asked the “maitre d” hovering around the first cafe on the left and he said his served non-vegetarian food and the one beyond, The Green Room, vegetarian. Both were operated by Aramsa. My companion remarked that his son loved vegetarian food, and even tho said son wasn’t around, I gathered he also preferred vegetarian food.
So vegetarian it was. Again, I was expecting a so-so to lousy meal, being a firm believer that a packed place was equivalent to great stuff. The Green Room boasted just one guest and she had a coffee, a laptop and sheaves of paper, suggesting she was there more for the peace and quiet than for the grub.
The menu wasn’t extensive. The prices weren’t exactly cheap. My companion ordered a hot mint tea which at $5.50 could easily have got us a whole box from the supermarket. So, I opted for hot water. Safe and even if there were charges, cheap enough.
When the mint tea came, it was so pale as to be colorless. After several minutes, the color didn’t change. As my companion is one of those pacifist types who don’t like making a fuss, I took it upon myself to tell the wait person abt it and she took it away, only to return with an equally pale version, claiming that was exactly what mint tea shld look like.
So, I wasn’t looking forward to my food order. When my soba came, it looked a bit mushy and grayish green. My friend’s portobello mushroom looked like a burger. Resigned to a lousy n expensive lunch, we tucked in.
Then bliss! The soba tho not al dente was very tasty. The sauce was sweet and clean tasting, thanks to stalks of expensive shimeji mushroom. I ate to the very last strand, even scraping bits of remnant sauce from the plate with my fork. (Perhaps I was very hungry, as the portion was a tad small.)
My companion’s lunch was served with aged balsamic vinegar and homemade potato relish on a warm baked bun. There were also nachos with a fresh salad, but he left most of the nachos. Wise man. Never understand why healthy eating places such as even Kampung Senang sell these and other unhealthy crisps.
The best part of the lunch was the dessert I ordered: cinnamon apple strudel. The serving was quite small but delicious. A perfect end to the meal, by which time the cafe was filling up substantially, with the girl earlier dawdling over her coffee actually ordering her lunch.
Meanwhile, as we were savouring our food, there was a sudden heavy down pour with thunder and lightning to boot. But the rain didn’t last and as we emerged, I suddenly realised there was something quite Balinese like about the place. The plentiful use of wood, the abundance of greenery and yes, the peace because we were far away enough from busy roads, high-rise and chattering crowds.
My friend took a picture of me as I looked back in wonder at an oasis in high buzz Singapore.