Hundreds of cafes have opened in Singapore in the last 2 to 3 years, however not that many actually have opened in the East. And by that I mean East of the East, ie Eunos towards Airport area. So I was really glad to find out about South Union Park, which opened several weeks ago in the residential area of Kembangan. It took over the spot of French casual restaurant Vis-a-Vis which closed in January 2016 after 24 years in business.
I’m quite familiar with the Kembangan area as I live in the East also and I have several friends living in the Kembangan area. But strangely, I’ve never known of this cluster of shops. This area is about 10 minutes walk from the MRT station, and the walk is largely unsheltered unfortunately, or you could take the bus as the bus stop is just outside. Fortunately, if you make the trek in, you would be rewarded with good fare.
South Union Park is helmed by chefs who have had fine dining backgrounds. I was speaking to chef Terrence, who worked at Jaan amongst other fine-dining restaurants, and has more than 10 years experience as a chef despite his young looks. He shared that they wanted to be able to showcase food using fine-dining techniques but at affordable prices. So for much of the menu, you will find that the ingredients used have been lovingly prepared onsite. For example, all the pasta is made in-house. The fish is lightly cured in house as well. The short rib used in the short rib pasta is slow-cooked for more than 10 hours. With prices of the mains ranging from $17 – $22 (no gst, no service charge!), I’m already thinking of making a second trip back there. (It also makes you wonder how on earth some other cafes have the cheek to charge this amount while serving nondescript dishes)