Last week, The Bravery revealed on social media that they would be launching dinner service and The Halal Eater can confirm that this is indeed true. We went down on their opening night to check out the very lean dinner menu and left with very full bellies.
Ardent cafe-hoppers would already be privy to this understated cafe located directly opposite Jalan Besar Stadium. First time visitors might walk pass the sign-less cafe without even knowing it. That is because, during the day, due to bright sun light, visibility through the glass window will be lower as the glass reflects all the light away. Science. But, if you’re coming here for dinner (that’s 6.30pm to 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays), it’s very hard to miss the light emanating from within this charming cafe. And in case you’re wondering, yes The Bravery is certified 100% Muslim-owned by SMCCI.
The moment you walk into The Bravery, you’ll be greeted by the dominating low-key palette and industrial fittings that pay a nod to the rustic chic vibe that was all the rage during the cafe’s inception. Come by during the golden hour and witness sunlight beams leaking through the window, creating sharp shadow lines; a big plant surrounded by colored light bulbs shades those who wish to have their dinner with a glint of sunshine; it’s these kind of details that will delight new visitors and even old ones who have never seen the cafe at dusk.
But of course, the actual food here is equally stunning. Similar to the interior, the The Bravery’s dinner menu is pared down with a handful of options and light bites, perhaps because it is their inaugural foray into dinner service. There are four items each in the appetisers and mains list, whilst desserts only have two options. The modest menu is created by noted private chef, Chef Taj, and his expertise with western dishes clearly shine through here.
For instance, the Traditional Chicken Roulade, a fancy French rolled-up chicken dish packs fresh flavours thanks to the pesto creme stuffed within the folds as well as on the plate itself. There is still tenderness in the meat, yielding a unique and flawless dish, with golden, crispy skin included. The balsamic reduction — reminiscent of thick soy sauce — adds a burst of intense flavour and sweetness, binding the dish remarkably.
On the other hand, the Sirloin Steak is a heftier main packed with protein and served with creamy potato puree, brown sauce, sauteed mushrooms, grilled onions, mini carrots, and edible flowers. For appetisers, you can’t go wrong with the Gateau Au Crabe — homemade bechamel crab cakes on herbed hollandaise sauce — and Garlic Creme Mussel Stew, which comprises of garlic infused cream and mussels. The former is a familiar dish if you’ve been to The Bravery albeit served differently, and the mussel stew…let’s just say I want a pasta version of this dish! It was super good!
If you’re a caffeine addict, accompany your meal with a cup of joe done in various ways, from simple flat white to other options like cold-pressed coffee. If you still have stomach space, check out the desserts on the menu. There are only two of them right now — Tiramisu and Apple Crumble — but what’s a meal without a dessert anyway?
For a brunch cafe that is branching out into dinner service, The Bravery certainly knows how to play their cards right, especially with a fuss-free, unpretentious menu that seems to highlight the best dishes that made it out of R&D. Do not be intimidated by the fancy sounding menu; The Bravery is anything but fine dining. That said, there’s just something about the place — perhaps the communal tables or the 90s and early 2000s playlist — that transforms the place into an embodiment of an immaculate pairing between show-stopping dinner and relaxing cafe vibes. Definitely bookmark this under “date places that won’t break the bank”.