I grew up in Singapore and when I moved to San Francisco I was thrilled that there was a Singaporean restaurant in the city. Straits Cafe when it was on Geary was not quite authentic but was enough to bring back a lot of good memories of the wonderful food of my youth. My wife and I even had our first date there. So we were excited to find out that Straits Cafe was reopening in a spot that was much closer to us.
We just ate there two nights ago and I was very disappointed in the food and missed the charm of the old restaurant.
We didn't stray from our favorites; Roti prata, beef rendang and chicken rice and of those only the beef rendang stood out. The roti prata was smaller in size, was rough and without taste. I don't think they used the right dough or cooked it with enough oil. The sauce was soupy and bland.
The chicken rice came without sweet soy sauce and while the chicken was good, the rice was undercooked and the soup incredibly oily and over salted.
I also have to note that one of the strengths of Straits was the very Singaporean dishes they had on the menu that made it truly special from the glut of Thai and Chinese restaurants in the city. I loved Chin Chow (grass jelly drink) and Gula Mulaka (sago desert with palm sugar and coconut) when I was growing up and ordered it every time I went to Straits. In the new restaurant neither of these items were on the menu anymore. In fact the desert menu seemed lazy, with over half the items containing coconut.
I am truly saddened that I no longer have a place to get my comfort food.
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