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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Eats & Treats: Dream Cafe

In a blink of an eye, half a year has gone by. I had all these great things planned for the year but after 6 months, I'm still trying to get my life in order. Talk about not progressing -.- Anyway, just to take away some negativity, let's talk a little about dreams. 

Everyone of us has dreams. Be it big or small, a dream is the passion you're living with your eyes open. I still can't say for sure what my dream in life is, but I know everyday I'm doing something to achieve it and make my life, and that of those around me, better. Different people have different dreams, just like in the case of Chef Patrick Loh who decided to pursue his dream and start up Dream Cafe at Taman Mount Austin.

The main concept of Dream Cafe is a fusion of American (western) and Asian cuisine. Having worked at various Singapore hotels & restaurants for the past 7 years, Chef Patrick is finally realising his dream of starting up his own business. I think the name of the cafe is aptly named to suit his dream! One of the reasons why he chose to come back to JB is because he felt that he wants to improve the quality of Western dining in JB, as he specialises is cooking American cuisine. To make the restaurant more memorable, a bunny logo was chosen as the icon of Dream Cafe.

Another iconic part of the cafe is this man on a horse drawing on the wall! Pretty cool, huh?

Outdoor dining area. There are fans installed too, so you won't feel too stuffy or hot even when dining outdoors.

^sibeh act yi ge XD

Notice that the kitchen is following the container concept that most cafes are following now. But this one has a twist - it has a big glass window which according to the chef, is because the open kitchen concept will allow customers to have more confidence in what the chef is doing and how he prepares their food. Thoughtful!

Because of his love & dream of travelling the world (as you can tell from the portraits on the wall), the decoration of the place is dreamy and ethereal to suit the name of the cafe. Overall, the decor is very simple and casual. I noticed that this bar counter acts as a place to consume both coffee and alcohol. Guess what? Besides doing the cooking, he chef himself personally brews the coffee for his customers too! Owner, chef & barista - he sure is a busy man!

Rose Tea | RM6.90
We girls synonymously agreed to order this because we all love roses! For brewed flower tea that comes in a pot, RM7 is not pricey at all. The only qualm is that the portion may be too little and is not recommended for sharing, but for individual or couple consumption instead.  The tea is fragrant and has a natural mild sweetness of rose to it. I tried my best to shoot the teapot as nice as I can. It has a dragon nozzle! Comes with tiny cups that you can drink in one sip as well lol.

Hot Chocolate | RM8.90
Served in a slightly tall glass cup, we did not expect any coffee-art but spot Dream Cafe's signature bunny logo on the hot chocolate! It just makes this beverage that more sweeter. If you're into milky, chocolaty and frothy chocolate drinks, this is the drink for you.

Chocolate Milkshake | RM10.90
A nice tall glass of ice blended chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, is perfect for either a hot day, or rainy day. Nuff said.

Lemonade | RM8.90
Made with real lemons, not concentrate!

Note: It is now 2am and I am torturing myself writing this post filled with pictures of food. But I'm determined to produce a good post for you guys since I dragged this on for so long dy! (I'm sorry._.)

Thai Style Salmon Salad | RM15.90
So here's the scenario. All the food were served to us first before we knew their names. We tried this salad first and was slightly surprised by the taste. Tangy, a little spicy with a hint of Thai sauce sweetness to it. And we were right, it is indeed a Thai style salad. It consists of corriander, Bird's eye chilli (better known as cili padi), fish sauce and sugar that gives it the Thai influence. There are also minced cooked salmon in it, although I'd prefer if it was raw or more portion of meat to vege ratio hehe. This is a very fresh and appetizing dish, do order it to whet your appetite!

Milk Pudding with a Scoop of Ice-Cream | RM11.90
Who says you can't have desserts before meal? :p We did just that and it was so good! Though the milk pudding looks a wee bit lopsided (well, that's what you get with any good homemade stuff!), it is sooo fluffy, moist and milky sweet that you can't help but take a second bite. Take another bite with vanilla ice-cream, some crushed almonds and chocolate & toffee sauce.. Hot & cold at the same time.. Delicious!

Fried Oyster with Homemade Tartar Sauce | RM13.90
Couldn't contain my joy when I saw this served because I LOVE oysters! I recently discovered that breaded fried oysters are amazing too and I was excited to try this. Admittedly, frozen oysters were used for this dish (Fresh oysters are hard to find here) but the taste and texture did not disappoint. Crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside indeed. One of the reasons why it is heavily marinated with seasoning & herbs is not only to enhance the taste, but to mask the fishy smell of frozen oyster as well. There are 5 in a serving. To make this dish more worthy, homemade tartar sauce is used to add a little bit of sourness & spicyness to it.

Cauliflower Soup with Spicy Sour Cream | RM8.90
We were trying to guess what soup this could be at first. Pumpkin? But it did not have any pumpkin taste to it. Turns out, this is cauliflower soup, with added carrot which is what gave it the orange colour! We should have known from the fried cauliflower topping XD This was the first time I had cauliflower soup. I believe it should be quite tasteless on its own but with the carrot puree and spices, it made the savoury soup a little sweeter and slightly spicy. Enjoy while its hot to truly bring out the taste.

Herb Butter Dory with Raisin Rice | RM15.90
One of my recommended dishes would be this herb butter dory and raisin rice. The fish is cooked in lemon butter sauce which is again, homemade! Lemon juice, lemon rind and herb butter was used to create a creamy and tart sauce to go with the lightly-grilled fish. And even though the rice resembles nasi briyani, it doesn't taste anything like it. The tumeric adds more fragrance to it while the garnished raisins add more texture and sweetness to the flavour.

Salmon Steak with Herb Crush | RM32.90
A huge chunk of salmon steak is breaded and friend with herbs and breadcrumb so that it adds crunchiness to the skin of the fish. I like the way this salmon is cooked, it does not have any fishy smell to it. For the sauce. the same lemon butter sauce with added orange is used. We were told that the heat of the butter will combine nicely with the potato puree and will maintain the creaminess of the potato. The only things I wouldn't eat from this dish are the leeks & celeries which I dislike :p

Beef Bolognaise Pasta | RM22.90
The most impressive part of this dish is that only the freshest beef are minced and braised for 4.5 hours(!) in homemade tomato sauce to make the sauce of this pasta. Here you see how much heart the chef really puts into the dish as most cafes uses canned sauces to cook your pasta but Chef Patrick really insists on using the finest ingredients.

Thank you Chef Patrick for sharing your story and let us have a taste of your culinary skills! He serves as a reminder to us girls to always follow our dreams and put in extra effort to make something good. Thank you also Kim for inviting us along for the review. It is always a good time hanging out with the girls :)

I would recommend you guys drop by this cafe if you are around Taman Mount Austin new area. Yes, there are a huge array of food selections available there now but if you are looking for somewhere quiet and out of the norm that serves good food, Dream Cafe is the place to be. Price-wise, the appetizers are quite reasonably priced and actually if you think about it, the price you pay is equal to the value as all the food are freshly made, and from the heart. That's what I like most about Dream Cafe :) Remember to look for the bunny logo if you ever have trouble finding the place!

Selfie w my girlies! Don't forget to check out their blogs. 
From top left: Eryn, Jennifer, Kim, Sin Yee, Eunice & Lerler.

Lastly, Carinn x OOTD. Oh yea, feel like I should mention that this was the first review that I drove myself too! I think the girls were quite proud of me too XD 

Keep up to date with Dream Cafe's latest updates and find them at:
Find their Menu HERE

Address: No. 27, Jalan Austin Heights 8/4, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru. 
Tel: 07-3641052
Operating hours: Monday - Sunday: 12pm - 11pm

Disclaimer: Even though the review is sponsored, it has not affected my opinion in anyway. The review is based on my honest personal taste and preference after trying out the food and services.

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