A bit of Paris in Japan in Singapore

We are here at Octa Hotel to celebrate a birthday. This is a neat, cosy, little place — a piece of Paris in Japan that has now come to Singapore. We shared two dishes for lunch and then proceeded to have the hi-tea set, changing the tea to milk tea for an extra $5.

This place is located at Millenia Walk, within Parco. Parco is like a Japanese shopping mall. I like to come here for good quality stuff, at a price of course, though their sale items are also quite good. It is also not overly crowded. Cafes that are a part of a chain charge the same price as their other outlets. But cafes that are stand alone like Octa Hotel which incidentally is a little Parisian boutique with a cafe and not really a hotel with accommodation, can seem to cost more than the average cafe chain outlet for similar food. It is not overly expensive, however, and one has to view this place in its totality rather than the price of food alone.

This place gets very high marks for their quality of food and service. The Japanese curry rice had the ‘fat’ or calrose rice in it and it tasted really good with their beef curry. The portion was not large and a larger portion could be had for $2 more. The beef was tender and not tough.

The French toast was rich with a generous helping of butter, syrup, cream, raspberries and berries. The bread was warmly toasted and soft. With all the cream on it, the crust was no longer crunchy but that was okay. The cream seemed different from what we get locally. It was nice cream, milky and a little sweet, unwhipped — good cream indeed.

I ordered their standard drip coffee and it tasted fine. Usually the cheapest coffee in any cafe is not very nice and I’ve had to exchange coffee in other places before for their finer and pricier ones but not so here. Their coffee was not too strong nor too bitter — and I finished the whole cup. I would order their coffee again.

The waitresses were very attentive as well. This place pays sufficient attention to quality and it shows from the care they show in preparing and presenting their food to the quality of their service. Everything is neatly and nicely arranged and even the glasses are refilled each time they empty, and the water is cold with a nice lemon taste to it.

The hi-tea set was served with the milk tea done well. For very good royal milk tea, go to Japan. For one that is acceptable, one could come here. The scone, cake, savoury cheese bread and mango pudding in the hi-tea were all acceptable. They didn’t cut any corners here either.

I wouldn’t come here just for their hi-tea but viewed in its totality, this is definitely a place I would return to, either for some of the other food or a quiet read or just for a good chat with friends. It’s that kind of place. And yes, I am glad that Octa Hotel made Singapore their first forage out of Japan.

Octa Hotel and Octa Hotel Cafe, 9 Raffles Boulevard, PARCO Marina Bay, #P1-39 Singapore 039596. Tel: (65) 6336 4614.

Beginning tomorrow, come along with me to Japan as I blog about the trip in the Rising Sun series.

Entrance to the boutique and cafe

The shop part of the boutique. One could also pick up one or two of their sale items while one is here.

Simple drip coffee. I love the pretty cup and that they serve water with a tinge of lemon in it, in proper glasses.

Hashed beef curry rice. Yum! This is something to come back to Octa Hotel for. The portion was not large and for $2 extra, one could get the larger portion. The price of this was $13.90 without the extra portion. Ain’t the plate pretty though? I know, no one really wants to pay for pretty but it all adds to the charm of this place.

This was almost a meal in itself. There was a lot of goodness in this French Toast set. Another dish to come back for.

Hi-tea set. The menu here may be limited but there is enough good stuff here to try on another visit.

Royal milk tea and the milk was nice and smooth.

Came back here on my second visit with another friend who ordered their banana chiffon this time.

I ordered this on my second visit. This is the blueberry cobbler cake. The cream was seriously good. The fruit was also not overly sweet. Nice. I had this as part of the cake set of the day. The coffee, unfortunately, was not as nice as what I had on an earlier visit.

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