On the face of it, Reedz, with its classy glass exterior and the calm of a hipster cafe, does not seem like a place one would frequent for bites. However, a quick assessment of the place registered a small, quaint, cozy interior. One can also elect between the air-conditioned indoors segment or the breezy outdoor area decked with wooden benches. Considering the other food options in BTC, this change in the environment was a welcome relief.

As a kid who spent his primary school days scrounging together spare change for 10-cent chicken drumsticks, or the occasional 40-cent curry noodles, this place exuded elegance and luxury. It is then no wonder that I reticently prepared myself for a week of post-Reedz economic bee hoon.

Before the lunch crowd

I surveyed the spread of food selections at the counter. One picks his mains (salads, basmati rice and fusilli pasta), followed by his choice of proteins (chicken, beef, salmon, mushrooms) and toppings.

Aesthetic photograph of non-greens

As a carnivore, I instinctively singled out the non-green options. However, fear of becoming a statistic in the next National Day Rally speech prevailed. With much resignation, I opted for a cleaner palette. The affable service staff were ready to provide recommendations – a helpful chart also placed the available dressings on a spectrum between the “healthy” and the “rich” (this dichotomy is not as clear in the real world). We settled on three choices:

For the Clean Eaters: Lettuce with mushrooms, honey dijon mustard sauce, raisins, peanuts, mushrooms, tomatoes, more lettuce, rocket leaves ($5.9)

On first impressions, the peanuts and raisins blended together to give a very delightful, sweet and enjoyable first bite. However, it was the mushrooms that stole the show. Velvety and rich, they truly changed our lives.

For the CJ Koh Library Regulars: Basmati rice with salmon, aglio olio sauce, olives ($6.9)

The salmon was a little dry and the aglio olio sauce overcompensated. The basmati rice was the saving grace, with its game-changing smoothness; my companion could only oscillate between guttural moans and whispers of “dis stuff good”.

For the Carnivorous: Beef with pasta, rocket leaves and alfredo sauce ($7.0)

This in our opinion was the best out of the 3. The tender, sweet beef, mixed with the creamy taste of cheese and butter (the only components in alfredo), made for a hearty mix. The pasta was of the right consistency, and the rocket leaves complemented the mains to create a relatively light salad (considering its cream base). A subject of the Chinese Polite Fight, we took turns offering each other to have more before guiltlessly taking a bite.

To touch base with our colonial roots, we opted for the raisin scone ($1.8)

Asides from the main dishes, Reedz also offers a selection of pastries and drinks.  And with each bite, we found resonance with Lord Denning’s ratio on how he lived till 100: “By eating plain English food”. Solid, dense and simple, this humble scone earned a place in our rankings of “Top 10 English creations”, alongside the United States of America, football and common law.

As the lunch crowd subsided, and I sat amidst the purr of the coffee machines and the whirr of air-con (the base of a law student’s Hierarchy of Needs), gazing at the bare greenery of the Lower Quad, I felt oddly contented. Be it for a quiet personal moment away from the rabble of Block B, or for a private HTHT moment opining about the latest farmer, Reedz is certainly the place for the occasional tranquil moment [emphasis added]. This feeling of peace and bliss subsided with my dinner of Soon Huat’s Bee Hoon.

 

Picture credits: Shan Wei

 

Byline - Baohuei