Café Discoveries

Café Discoveries

So many cafés, so little time. But slowly and surely, I will conquer them all! :)
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

I had asked for the housemade sourdough to be served separately. Definitely try this hack because the smoky and flavourful grilled bread tastes soooo good by itself.

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We prefer to customise a plate to our liking and on our most recent visit, this was what we chose:

- signature silky scrambled eggs ($5)
- thick slab maple bacon (3 pcs for $5)
- truly excellent crunchy hash browns that I know Burpple Tastemaker Fiona Ting is just as big a fan of (2 pcs for $5)
- sautéed mushrooms ($4.50)
- toasted brioche ($2)

Nothing better than to wash everything down with cups of strong black coffee.

Decided to tear myself away from ordering my usual fave - the Breakfast Burger, to try something different. The large golden sandwich featured slices of crisp sourdough squishing a triple threat of gooey-soft Gruyere, Emmental and Parmesan. It came with fresh mesclun salad to balance the richness. I could have added smoked salmon or thick-cut maple bacon ($5 each) but didn’t. Am glad because it would have been too much for me since I had a heavy meal later the same day.

Shared this Spanish Scramble because the stir-fry of eggs, sliced chorizo, juicy cherry tomatoes, caramelised onions, smothered in melted Monterrey Jack cheese is massive. Bulking up the plate - hash browns and sourdough toast. I think it’s good value at $23++.
The eggs are quite well cooked and there’s a generous amount of ingredients mixed in, so it’s really tasty. Love it with a dash of Tabasco.

@paulbakerysg is celebrating a decade here on the little red dot. To commemorate this milestone, they have come up with a selection of unique creations, such as this French choux stuffed with more than 90% D24 durians. It comes as a set of six for $49.90 nett and can be ordered from their online store.

When @gathershop.co shared about new weekday lunch items on their Instagram, I immediately wishlisted the Keema Curry ($18). Made it down last Friday to have it and confirmed what I’d felt in my bones - it’s a real gem!
Co-owner @huishaan revealed to me that the dish was inspired by a particular curry restaurant in Japan that bossman @vincteng used to frequent. I could see the country’s influence in the precise, minimalist style of presentation. But there’s clearly a maximalist approach when it came to the taste.
That neat circle of minced chicken and pork curry on a bed of Japanese rice was by no means meek and mild. Instead, it was strikingly complex in aroma and flavour. The level of spiciness, being at an inviting medium, should please the majority. I loved that the curry was presented with an onsen egg on top (it added a silky lusciousness) as well as slices of house-pickled beetroot (those brought a welcome palate-cleansing crunch after mouthfuls of the rich meaty curry rice).
Do note this dish, along with the other lunch items, are only available on weekdays from 11.30am onwards.

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For the longest time, the cheese-smothered, oven-baked Molten Eggs was one of our go-to items at @brawn_and_brains’ Guillemard outlet. It was awesome to revisit it today, and discover that the all-day dish is as meticulously presented and deeply satisfying as ever.
Slice through the blanket of melted cheese for the yolks resting on a base of tortilla to escape and conquer the terrain with their runny rich gold. Then savour that delectable mess with the rolls of smoked salmon, sliced avocado (somehow, #brawnandbrainscoffee’s is always so perfect in ripeness it triggers tears of joy), sweet baby tomatoes and tasty mixed salad - each a flawless element in this stunning edible universe on a plate. There never used to be toasted sourdough served alongside but I’m sure this inclusion has been warmly welcomed by those with extremely hearty appetites.

(Hosted) Thanks to an invitation from @theategroup, the stopover I did in the “birth continent” of coffee was via a flight of Arabica coffees. My guide was none other than @bachacoffeeofficial’s Training Manager Jules Samson (@jules05_sg). He provided an eye-opening education rich in history and production details of each variant with the benefit of an actual tasting. For eg. geography dictated why the beans, all from Africa, were produced via the “wet” as opposed to “dry” method.
When I sipped on the four types of Arabica beans, it dawned on me that coffee tasting had certain parallels with wine tasting. And by sipping (gulping is not encouraged) them in succession, I could really appreciate their unique characteristics.
My favourites turned out to be the first and the last of that flight. I wouldn’t mind waking up and smelling the “Bantu Secret” each morning as the full-bodied, delicate-in-acidity coffee which comes from the shores of Lake Kivu 1,500 metres above sea level, has notes of honey, brown sugar and dark chocolate notes. And the “Yirgacheffe” would make an ideal nightcap (yes, you read that right) because, surprise surprise, this easy-to-enjoy malty coffee with dry hay and berries in its notes, is decaffeinated!
For someone who tends to order the same few coffees whenever I visit #bachacoffeesg (hello “Three Volcanoes”), it was indeed fun and enlightening to venture out of my comfort zone to explore new aromas and flavours. The next time you are at @bachacoffeeofficial, I encourage you to go for at least two different types of coffee. And maybe slip in something you haven’t had before just for the heck of it. You might surprise yourself with a new favourite 😊

To me, the coffee here is very good. I prefer my Cappuccino made with the Nomad blend of Indonesian beans (it is exclusive to this cafe) as it has caramel notes and a mild citrus quality. Chocolate-lovers, you ought to give their Mocha a go.

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For those who gravitate towards pastas with a tomato-based sauce, you can try this as the shredded crabmeat is cooked in a tangy marinara sauce.

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A rare sight in Singapore cafes, this was real heartiness as it comprised of a 150gms piece of juicy ribeye, wilted baby spinach (lI ove!), a poached egg smothered in hollandaise sauce, grilled potatoes and half a tomato. If you are after a protein-rich breakfast/brunch that’s value-for-money, this ticks the box for sure.

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@twentyeightcafe sits at the base of Mount Sophia on its namesake of Wilkie Road, in a gorgeous heritage building. The white, high-ceilinged casual eatery is quite understandably, a favourite of nearby residents and is always buzzing whenever I’ve dropped by.
They have a wonderfully wide menu which means it is easy for everyone to find something to enjoy, and in all honesty, in terms of taste, quality and presentation, the food at #twentyeightcafe is better than most.
I already foresee a headache on my future visits because it won’t be easy deciding which of these four favourites of mine to have again:

1. B.L.T. ($15+) - It’s done EXACTLY if I were to make it myself. Ratio is everything when it comes to this sandwich and theirs score 10/10 in my opinion for the proportion of bacon (it’s fried-in-butter and is crispy but not hard) to crisp lettuce to juicy tomatoes to sourdough. They only add a smidgen of mayo to their BLT which I agree works best.
2. Sakura Ebi with Kombu Angel Hair Pasta ($18+) - Not sure how I missed seeing this on the menu before but oh boy, is it a blast of umami shiokness! There’s so much of the lightly crispy, tiny yet potent Japanese shrimp, plus the pasta has the perfect bite.
3. Avocado Smash on Sourdough ($18) - Far from basic as the avocado is joined by two poached eggs, feta cheese, guacamole, roasted baby tomatoes, pomegranate, sunflower seeds, sprouts and some lemon vinaigrette. Totes tasty.
4. Fluffy Pancakes ($16+) - As you can tell from my video, this dish lived up to its name. But besides the visually appealing wobbliness, the airy-light pancakes have a rich eggy taste. I tried the sweet version that day as we had shared it for dessert. So it came dressed in mixed berries compote, honey yogurt and walnuts. But there is a tempting savoury option with the fluffy pancakes decked out in smoked salmon and a sour cream and onion sauce.

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Follow me on Instagram (@veronicaphua) for richer content of videos and Stories! 😊

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