The Coffee Connoisseur At Changi Airport Terminal 3

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I have always thought of the airport, as a quiet yet emotional place. Departure halls are where you’ll get to see the teary farewell hugs, while arrival halls would be filled with warm welcoming smiles and handshakes. Viewing gallery is where you’ll sometimes find the “lovebirds” and fast food joints would usually be cramped with students quietly mugging for their exams.

Well, or so it seems.

I finally managed to catch the long awaited movie Julie & Julia, and due to the gourmet genre of the film, my tummy was rumbling impatiently away when we left the theatres. I had originally planned a “french” themed evening (visiting Le Bistrot for dinner) with a friend but it was probably one of those days when mummy nature was throwing her tantrums at us.

You see, Le Bistrot was located at the Indoor Stadium, and the only available carparks were open-aired ones. Not a wise idea since it was pouring cats and dogs. The persistent lightning and thunder didn’t make things any easier either.

So french gourmet movie – check!
French gourmet dinner – uncheck!

After much deliberation we decided to head to the nearest TCC for dinner since my friend had a $50 voucher which had to be used up by that night. As I haven’t been back to the east in awhile, the only TCC outlet that could register in my mind was the one at Terminal 3, Changi Airport. Anyway theoretically its a good idea since the carpark there is sheltered, and its also being an option to get away from the crowd.

Lesson learnt. Singaporeans love chilling out at the airport.

The carpark was pretty packed, and all (I really mean all), the restaurants were packed with long queues. Whether it was Lerk Thai, Crystal Jade, Sake Sushi, Hong Kong Cafe, etc, every single food outlet there is had a queue. Quite amazing isn’t it? Definitely not the impression I had of Changi Airport when I was growing up.

Right, n’uff said. Lets dig in to the food.

We finally decided to just stick with the original plan, and queued for TCC. Luckily by then it was pretty late so crowd started to disperse a little. There wasn’t much to choose from with regards to the soup, as out of the 5 – 6 options only 2 of them were available. That day being Halloween, we decided to join in the “festivity” and ordered the Minty Pumpkin Soup.

Minty Pumpkin Soup

Minty Pumpkin Soup

Maybe I was hungry, but seriously I thought the soup was quite good. You could taste the fresh pumpkin puree from within, and diced up mint leaves sprinkled on top, gave the soup a very creamy yet refreshing feel. The after-taste of the mint leaves and the pumpkin gelled quite well too. Definitely worth a try.

Prawn Cheese-a-Toast

Prawn Cheese-a-Toast

Another appetizer that we tried was the Prawn Cheese-a-Toast. Funny name, but to put it simply it was with some minced prawn spread on top of a slice of toasted bread, covered with melted cheese. I like deep fried stuff, so it was pretty decent for me, though I couldn’t really taste the prawn.

Next up was the Beef D’luxe. Somehow I was very intrigued with the name, probably because of how how they spelt the word “deluxe”. Though the main ingredient was the beef patty, it didn’t give the “meat overdose” feeling at the end of the day. If you’ve been to Carl’s Jr, you’ll probably know what I mean.

Beef D'luxe

Beef D'luxe

Having said that, I thought ironically, the star of the show wasn’t the beef. Rather it was the “nectarous braised apples” that stole the show. The apples were soft, lightly sweetened, and kinda fell apart once inside the mouth. I think its partly because of this that’s why the dish didn’t feel too meaty.

At this point, I have to make it known that the service was a little bit of a disappointment that day. It was very obvious the restaurant was under-staffed and waiters being inexperienced didn’t make things any better. Our bills got mixed up with another table’s, and they forgot our other main course: Sea Perch with Wasabi Vinaigrette

Sea Perch with Wasabi Vinaigrette

Sea Perch with Wasabi Vinaigrette

Back to the “latecomer”, I thought the wasabi sauce was quite an impact on the taste buds on first taste. Kinda like “wow, that SURE is wasabi sauce, no doubt about it”. The fish was well grilled, such that the meat was pretty soft, and a little crispy on the outside. Though its still a far cry compared to the one we had at Restaurant Ember, that one really melted in your mouth. But hey, I’m not complaining. This is half the price of Ember, and we getting close to fine dining food standard.

Last but not least, I think one cannot say that you’ve actually been to TCC, if you didn’t try their desserts! I was a little bit filled up by then, hence it was one of the rare occasions where I skipped the Tiramisu. After much consideration the “Oh Kabocha!!” photo stood out from the rest in the desserts section of the menu.

Oh Kabocha!! - Japanese Pumpkin Mousse

Oh Kabocha!! - Japanese Pumpkin Mousse

The “Oh Kabocha!!” is actually a Japanese pumpkin mousse. Not the really the soft creamy kind like what you get in chocolate mousse, but somewhere in between a very light cake texture and cheese mix. One good thing I liked about this is that it isn’t filling, and neither is it too sweet. Probably just the right dessert choice after a hefty meal.

However be warned that the raspberries on the side are EXTREMELY sour!

To be honest, I really enjoyed the meal. For starters I changed my perception towards TCC after that day. The ambience was very cosy, and the food was pretty decent. Not as good as fine dining meals, but close enough. You can tell that every dish was carefully prepared from cooking, all the way to presentation. Big thumbs up to that. The minor drawback though was the inexperienced staff. But I have to give them credit for readily apologising for the mistakes that they made.

The Coffee Connoisseurtcc
65 Airport Boulevard
#03-23 Terminal 3 Departure Hall
Tel: (65) 6214 1693
Website: www.thecoffeeconnoisseur.com

Kabocha actually means “winter squash” or pumpkin in Japanese. According to wiki, this breed of pumpkins was originally grown in America, but later almost the entire crop was being imported to Japan.


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