I haven’t been to The Cafe Cartel ever since I was 12 years old. 6 years later, I decide to return, and I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised. The service and food actually improved over the 6 years, unlike most eateries!
They had a set lunch at just $9.50, or you could select from the Luxe Set Meal (like I did), for $12.80. The set meals come with a drink and a soup. They also offered a few other sets, I vaguely remember a buy-two-get-one-free hotplate set meal as well.
First up was the Mushroom Soup. As you can see the service staff has a sense of humor. They attempted to write ‘Mushroom’ with cream on one of the bowls (but gave up for the other two bowls haha).
The Mushroom Soup was the usual canned mushroom soup you can find in the supermarket, but at least it was well heated up, and they made an effort with the plating. The croutons served with the soup were crunchy, and didn’t become soggy too quickly. I think they were made using the same bread as the Garlic Bread (below)
I’m not one who usually orders drinks with my meal, but since it came as a set, I had the Iced Peach Tea. It was better than I expected! They served it in a huge glass, and I liked the peachy flavour. It reminded me of Justea. Maybe it was Justea.
I loved their Garlic Bread. It was crispy yet fluffy, and the garlic butter added such a robust flavor to the bread, without being too oily. It was scrumptious. I had 3 of these lovelies.
Fish and Chips
This was part of the normal Set Meal. It was humongous!! Which is a good thing of course. Apart from the fact that they use Dory, which is cheaper, but once you fry the fish, you can’t really taste the quality so it doesn’t really matter much.
The wedges were the usual kind you get anywhere. I particularly like the sweet-spicy sauce it was served with, it tastes similar to thai chilli sauce.
Pepper Grilled Chicken and Prawns
This was from the Luxe Set Meal, which costs more, but I’m willing to pay for the huge portions. The grilled chicken was ginormous as well, and came topped with 3 large and juicy prawns.
The chicken was remarkably tender, and not too fatty. The dish could have been better if they added more spice to the pepper sauce for more kick. The pepper sauce only added to the moistness of the dish, but did little in terms of flavour. Bring on the heat!
The prawns were delicious. In fact I could use the same words to describe the chicken and prawns… juicy and succulent. The side serving of stir fried vegetables were too oily though, the oil was all over the plate.
All in all, Cafe Cartel is an extremely value-for-money eatery with tasty food, and efficient service. I was impressed that their standards went up over the years. I do hope they will survive though, cause their restaurant was very empty on weekday afternoon.
Rating: 7/10 (+1 for value)
As I have been doing lately… I’m ending off with my (half)ootd.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 😀