I can’t drink coffee after 3pm because I won’t be able to sleep. But that evening, I figured “horse piss” was fine, “horse piss” wasn’t coffee, right? How did horse piss taste like? I’m ashamed to admit I have never drunk it before, so I have no comparison. I’d imagine it to have a strong ammoniac stench but the latte ($4.80) was strangely devoid of pungency. Supplied by artisan local Smitten Coffee, it was neutral, in between robust and weak, in between acidic and mineral. Not the best coffee I had in my life, but definitely not the worst. It was a coffee that sought to please everyone. Well, almost everyone.
To be fair, Roosevelt isn’t a cafe; it’s an American bar and diner, and I’d go so far as to assert, more bar than diner. You can deduce their direction from their menu. Just a thumb length of coffee choices but a long list of wines and 16 whiskeys. If Shiying is around, ask her for wine recommendations. Her knowledge and passion for wines are inspiring. Wines are priced reasonably, because the bosses collect wines from all over the world, years pass, and they don’t know how to price them, so they price them from a consumer’s point of view.
Whiskey Wednesdays are a steal at $10 a glass. For instance, a glass of 17 year-old single malt Old Pulteney usually goes for $22 but voila! magic on Wednesday. It is smooth, woody, and sweet with notes of butterscotch, peach, kiwi and guava; and comparable to my favorite whiskey, Yamazaki (12 year-old, $19). The Ardbeg ($19) is unique, and if you like BBQ food, you’d like it. It is peaty, iodinated and extremely smoky that long after you’ve swallowed it, your mouth remains an aroma of BBQ pit. Drinking this reminded me of a BBQ at a beach during secondary school on a sunny day (Iodine=chemistry class=secondary school.) Happy days.
Food-wise, Roosevelt’s serves all-day breakfast, American classics, sandwiches, burgers, salads, and milkshakes. Definitely get the salted caramel milkshake ($8), which was more balanced and more salted than the disappointing one I had at Once Upon A Milkshake recently.
The recipes come from the bosses who have lived in US for some time. The burgers were so-so: Teddy’s classic bacon cheese burger ($20), using two types of beef, was a tad salty, and Asian-inspired lemongrass prawn burger ($18) was a prawn patty with lemongrass, ginger and garlic. All three of us favored baby back ribs ($22 half/ $28 full), fall-off-the-bone tenderness that, at first bite, tasted herbal which mellowed into a mild sweetness.
The jalapeno mac & cheese ($11, above), made from three cheeses and topped with crumbs to give it a crunchy texture, had a vote of 1-vs-2. I said it was dry but Huccalily and a friend overruled me, claiming it was addictive, and the jalapeno complemented the cheeses. Huccalily, on a diet, couldn’t resist nibbling and nibbling and nibbling at the truffle snapper pie ($19, below) until it was gone. Goodbye, snapper, goodbye, diet. The pie could be more packed with fish but the truffle scent filled the breath, especially when I burped, and I thought how nice it would be to kiss/inflict someone with my truffle breath.
Too bad, we didn’t have stomach space for more. Otherwise, I would have requested for an interesting sounding pork belly Cubano sandwich ($14); and southern fried chicken ($18), their specialty, which the next table ordered and I, Oliver Twist, looked at the spectacular dish with envy.
For desserts, the apple forest berries crumble ($8) had a great crunchy texture, and a nice balance between sweetness and berry-sourness; and was a better option than buttermilk waffles ($12) with banana and chocolate sauce, from the all-day breakfast menu, that didn’t taste quite right.
On the whole, the food was okay, priced very fairly, and enhanced by the industrial chic decor of naked bulbs, orange Vespa, and metal chairs. A good selection of wines and whiskeys. Great for large groups or dates. Not horse piss, on all counts.
331 New Bridge Road, #01-02 Dorsett Residences, Singapore 088764
T: 6538 3518
M-Th: 8.30am-10pm; F-Sat: 8.30am-12 midnight; Sun: 8am-10pm
Rating: 3.313/5 #NotHorsePiss
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
ps: Thanks, Amanda and Shiying, for the hospitality.