Saturday, August 11, 2012

Makarios Cafe & Bar, National Library

 Squirreled away on the 3rd floor of the National Library building are two venues I never knew existed as part of the library - the Drama Centre and this cafe/bar called Makarios (somehow assumed it was just levels and sections of books and stuff).

 I bought the $20 for $40 voucher nearly 3 months ago - the cafe was new and no reviews were available, but hey good location (near Bugis, I thought) and the menu seemed pretty good! And it was a good value for money. Unfortunately we were a little miffed that when I first called, they said they pretty much don't open for dinner unless there were shows on  - and there were none for the whole of July and probably August. Thankfully they were open for weekend lunches, so we had to wait a fair bit before we found the time to finally come here (had to call in advance).

 First thing that struck us was how quiet the place was. Ok granted, this is in the middle of a library building.. the few other diners around when we got there seemed to be speaking in hushed whispers. We felt extremely self conscious of every sound we made - the clicking of the camera didn't seem to help the atmosphere!

 The floor-to-ceiling windows provide really nice natural light. It's really lovely for reading.

 Quite a few people were having coffee while working on their laptops or iPads. It's actually a really nice and quiet place to have a meal - by yourself even - with a book, which we saw some doing.

 We had our much needed caffeine fix to start. Each coffee comes with a speculoos cookie. My latte was good, although I could have used more bitterness/depth.

 Black coffee was just alright - just needed that sweet sweet caffeine.

{ Moussaka ($14.90) }

 Didn't really hesitate in ordering the moussaka, and was pretty glad with my choice! This came out hot and bubbling, and smelled amazing!

 Cheeeesy, and just the right amount too. The minced lamb was soft and un-gamey, and the eggplants so soft and spongey - soaking all the lovely herbed flavours. This was a hearty and filling dish even after offering   many spoonfuls. Was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this :)

 Surprised by how tasty this was! Although it was on the salty side, it was done right - from the soft well-cooked eggplant to the rich lamb flavour and generous cheese.

{ Mixed Grilled Sausages ($18) }

 Huge sausages - chicken, pork and cheesy - and goddamn they were JUICY. While a little on the salty side (again) the sausages were really really tasty and bursting with yummy sausage juice, though I wish the skin was a little less chewy. Almost couldn't finish it from how voluminous the sausages were >.< Came with sauerkraut, ask for some mustard and you're good to go!

{ Profiteroles ($8.90) }

 We were actually semi-pressed to get dessert to make full use of our voucher value because we haven't quite spent enough yet. So at the recommendation of our waitress we ordered the profiteroles ( they only had profiteroles that day anyway). This was ok but not that great. Quite apparent that this was pre-prepared and chilled in some fridge, because the chocolate sauce looks like it has been solidified for some time, and choux pastry was cold and a bit too tough. Still, it was nice to end our meal on a sweet note.

 A couple of negative points were definite :-

1) They insisted that we call and literally make a reservation. I did call a day earlier but just to check that it was open and I could use the coupon, but did not put my name down and literally make a reservation. But I had a chat with the kind lady and she was ok with it. While it was inflexible it's definitely the fault of the management and not of the waiters.

2) Cash value is only redeemable for ala carte food items, not drinks and cannot be used for set meals. Kinda miffed again, and was not indicated anywhere on the coupon that this was so. Again I felt this was a management issue.

But overlooking all that, I genuinely thought the two dishes we had were great. Service was slow but we just wanted to take it easy on a lazy Saturday afternoon anyways. And when we left around 230pm the cafe was pretty full.

Makarios Cafe & Bar
National Library 3rd Floor (Drama Centre)

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Rating (out of 4) : 

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