Mention Taiwan to any Singaporean and chances are you would be having a conversation about food or the newest night market in Taipei. Almost everyone agrees on Taiwanese food being one of their favourites. Sadly, there is only that many trips one can make to Taiwan in a year. With Japanese and Korean establishments dominating our local food landscape, a lack of authentic Taiwanese cuisine is apparent. Fortunately, Typhoon Cafe is here to bridge this gap.
Managed by Creative Eateries group; the newly opened café in Plaza Singapura serves not only a wide range of Taiwanese dishes but also artisanal tea blends and Instagram-worthy desserts. The aesthetics itself is a potential crowd puller with a well-lit and spacious interior, hues of green, and marble furnishing.
Even before the main course, we were spoilt for choices with the selections of sides. Among those we tried, the Crispy Pork Intestine ($13.90) is hands down a must-order. With such crispy skin, juicy texture, and tasty flavour, it would make a perfect dish to convert your offal-hating mates.
The Fan Fried Enoki Mushroom ($7.90) was not as outstanding as the Crispy Pork Intestines although I liked that it is not overly salty like the ones at Shilin night market.
As for the mains, I opted for the classic Lu Rou Fan ($12.90). Like most of the other dishes here, it was presented in a cute fashion, although different from the traditional ones in Taiwan where the rice is drenched in braised sauce with only a few slices of pork belly. I personally prefer it this way not only because there is more pork but due the fact that I can choose how much braised sauce to go with my rice. All the flavours expected in a bowl of Lou Rou Fan were present, making this dish one of my favourites on the menu.
We also tried the equally famous Taiwanese favourite –Signature Taiwanese Oyster Mee Sua ($14.90) that comes with more of the delicious Crispy Pork Intestines (yay). Unlike those found in Taiwanese night markets, the Oysters were served separately as fritters instead. While I’m not a fan of Oysters and Mee Sua in general, I believe it’s still worth a try as the dish has a more local twist to it.
Finally, we moved on to the most anticipated serving of any meal – DESSERTS. As mentioned earlier, every single item on their dessert menu is absolutely Instagram-worthy (albeit sinful) and would totally make you forgo counting the calories. Named after the Thermal Valley in Taipei, the Hell Valley Volcano ($14.90) is a show stealer that provides a dramatic display of “volcanic smoke” when warm chocolate sauce is poured down its “crater”. Raspberry sauce forms the “lava” while vanilla ice cream on top of a blondie sits beneath its chocolate crust surrounded by Oreo crumbles. Aesthetically, this creation is truly well-thought, refreshing, and creative. Taste wise however; it wasn’t as impressive as it looks with an uninspiring chocolate crust and blondie although the visual display itself makes it worth the experience. The portion is also generous enough for 2 to 3 people to share.
The less dramatic but visually pleasing Typhoon Pavlova ($13.90) wasn’t as sweet as it looked and is light on the palate. Meringue lovers would certainly enjoy this well-balanced dessert.
Overall, Typhoon Café scores pretty well in its aesthetic department. Although not as authentic as I would prefer, it does a decent take on traditional Taiwanese dishes while catering more towards local taste buds. Pricing wise, it is not as wallet-friendly but its generous portion of desserts and extensive menu give reason for returning customers. The next time you’re craving some Lu Rou Fan or Oyster Mee Sua, Typhoon Café might just be your saving grace from your impulsive purchase of that flight to Taiwan.
For more information, please visit: www.typhooncafe.com.sg
Typhoon Cafe Location Address:
68 Orchard Rd, #04-67 Plaza Singapura (new wing)
Tel: 6884 5423