Coffee Stars by Dao (Wisma Atria) – They Sell Thai, Western and Desserts!
Ok, I got to admit this. I have walked past Coffee Stars by Dao many times but I always thought it was just a dessert place selling some western food. It was until a few weeks ago, when I had lunch with the TAT ladies, that I realized it was actually a Thai restaurant!
Coffee Stars has its humble beginning as a small cafe in a family owned condominium back in Thailand. It is owned by Mdm Nattaya Pangputhipong, also known as Dao. She is a former pageant runner-up and a qualified chef from Le Cordon Bleu culinary school.
Inspired by Dao’s frequent and far flung travels, Coffee Stars offers an international menu infused with Asian flavours. It has close to 10 outlets in Thailand and 3 years ago, it has set up its first outlet out of Thailand, right smack in the middle of our busy Orchard Road.
The menu here has a very impressive range of over 200 items, ranging from Thai, Western to desserts. To be frank, I get lost trying to read through every page and choosing what to eat. But since it originated from Thailand, I guess you can’t go wrong with Thai food!
We had a good variety of appetizers ranging from Pomelo Salad with Shrimp ($17), Chicken & Shrimp Coconut Rillettes & Crispy Rice Crackers ($11), Stir Fried Glass Noodle in Spicy Soy Bean Paste with Seafood ($16) and Crispy Shrimp Rolls ($14).
Pomelo Salad is one of the most famous of all Thai salads, and a favorite among Thai food fans. This salad makes a terrific lunch, side salad, or even a beautiful starter to any Thai meal. The pulp has a crunchy and popping texture that goes well with the typical Thai flavorings. It has a balance of hot, sour, sweet, and salty. Crispy Shrimp Rolls is packed with flavour and every bite has some shrimp in it. Stir Fried Glass Noodle is unfortunately less appetizing than the rest but it is sure spicy.
If you fancy a soup with a difference then this Thai Laksa with Crab ($16) is perfect and makes a healthy and warming dish on a cold day. In fact, I have eaten too many Singaporean laksa that I find this very unique. For sharing, you can place some thick rice vermicelli, salted vegetables, egg, bean sprouts and bitter gourd into a bowl, and drizzle with some laksa sauce. This actually reminds me of Khao Soi I had in Chiang Mai. It is rather unique to see bitter gourd in this dish, but the bitterness was mellowed down to a tolerable and plesant extent. And the laksa sauce? Be careful of its spicicness.
You know I love Pad Thai right. For every Thai restaurant I visited, it is a norm for me to order a plate of Pad Thai. Confirm plus chop, I must have it. At Coffee Stars, things are little different. We had a plate of Crispy Wonton Pad-Thai Chicken ($16) which is rather unique. Pad thai flavours remain the same, but instead of using the typical type of noodles, it is replaced with fried wonton. Do I welcome the change? I think it is rather interesting!
Aromatic Grilled Pork & Sticky Rice ($16) is done Isan style, which is the northeast region of Thailand. What makes Isan food different is, they use lots of chili peppers, lime, peanuts, dried shrimp, sticky rice, mint and other fresh herbs. Though flavor layers are very complex, food preparation is often quite simple. There you have it, simple marinated grilled pork which is tender and served with sticky rice and spicy chilli sauce.
If you are game to try fusion dishes, how about having a plate of Pasta Green Curry Chicken ($17). I personally still prefer my classic bowl of green curry. This whole dish is too heavy for me.
Since they are famous for their cakes, please leave some tummy space for them. They have a good range of cakes from New York Cheesecake, to Coconut Cake, Taro Cake, Apple Crumble, Vanilla Crepe, Coconut Pandan Roll, Carrot Cake, D24 Durian cake… each piece ranging from $7 to $9. From 2pm to 6pm daily, they are also offering afternoon tea set with scones, sandwiches, small bites with a choice of tea or coffee at $45 per set.
Coffee Stars by Dao
Address: #01-37 to 41, Wisma Atria Shopping Centre, 435 Orchard Road
Tel: 6733 3881
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm daily