Café Invasion

Café Invasion

Discovering coffees, mains and desserts served in the local café scene.
Siming T
Siming T

The Black Cold Brew (S$5.50) was poured directly from a re-purposed milk carton into a cup of ice. While the beans used by Yeast Side did not yield astringent coffee, I was quite glad that the ice cubes did not further dilute the drink, if not I might be drinking coffee water already.

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Over at their pastry section, Tanamera Coffee launched their Chinese New Year cakes and bakes to usher in the Year of the Rabbit.

The Orange Chocolate Tart (S$6.80) had a layer of milk chocolate filling, orange custard and dark chocolate ganache contained in a cookie tart shell. Perhaps it might be the orange essence in the custard that created a bitter and slightly unpleasant aftertaste to the dessert.

The Salted Egg & Chicken Floss Scone (S$4.80) might just be a very bold item that was savoury with salted egg fragrance and topped with chicken floss. I’d guess with the savoury ingredients and dry texture of the scone, naturally it should be paired with something creamy to make it delicious.

Probably the best creation was the Pineapple Crumble Cake (S$5.80), which was like a deconstructed pineapple tart incorporated into a layered sponge cake. The pineapple jam was, thankfully, not too sweet, so hopefully the calories of this was not too much as well.

The Nasi Goreng Iga Hitam (S$17.80) was one of their modern Indonesian cuisine that incorporated squid ink in their fried rice. Those familiar umami notes from squid ink pasta was distinctly flavourful and I thought it was absolutely smart to pair it with braised beef ribs. Although the meat was not slow-cooked till easily pulled apart, I would still gladly finish the whole plate (less the bones of course).

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What better way to put an Indonesian touch to a cup of latte than to introduce ginger into the cuppa? The Ginger Cafe Latte (S$7.00), however, still tasted much like the usual latte, except for a delicate aroma of ginger and a light aftertaste of it, so it would not be too overpowering for those who just wanted a touch of spice in their caffeine fix.

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This might be the best year when croissants were made into different shapes and sizes, so turning it into a cube was not too big a surprise. But when the croissant was turned into a cube and injected with Mentaiko and Tobiko cheese filling before topping with mozzarella cheese, this S$6.80 pastry became a cute-portioned savoury item that was perfect as an afternoon snack.

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Inflation might have hit us hard with Tiong Bahru Bakery’s Kouign Amann costing S$5.50 now, but it was worth the price given its flaky buttery layers, sugary crust and sheer size.

Much might have been said that the flavours resembled that of our local Bom Prata, but when the Kouign Amann was freshly baked, the crispiness would surely be unrivalled.

One of the most beautiful things about the Eatup at Café&Meal MUJI was that the mains were made with simple cooking methods and fresh ingredients, making the first half of the meal seemingly natural and healthy by not overindulging using unnecessary seasoning and condiments.

The Festive Set, available until 28 December 2022, comprised 4 festive hot and cold deli dishes, a savoury Chicken Quiche and a bowl or either Carrot Cumin or Miso Soup, for S$21.80.

The deli dishes, namely the Pulled Pork & Smoked Cabbage Slaw, the Picked Tomato & Prawn Salad, the Plant-based “Chicken” Meatball with Cream of Corn Au Gratin and the Sous Vide Chicken Breast with Peach & Strawberries Salsa, were delicious to go with the Chicken Quiche. Among all the components, I gathered that each of them were delicate on their own, but also made the meal feel pretty complete as I went along. I probably was most pleased with their Chicken Quiche which had carrots and sesame filling and a touch of mushroom Shoyu reduction sauce.

The only awkward part of this meal was that the only cutleries provided were chopsticks and a dining spoon (not the most Western approach), but the meal was hearty enough without giving the sense of over-eating, which would usually happen during a festive meal. But in case if you would need to complete a meal with desserts, they would also offer a 50% discount on desserts, which I thought it would be silly to give it a miss.

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It was a chance discovery of GAMO when I was at Bras Basah Complex to grab some stationeries, and I was quite drawn to their pastry display, honestly.

It was also a comfortable ambience to sit down for a cup of coffee on a weekday afternoon. Their Ichigo beans, blended from the Columbia and Ethiopia region, featured subtle notes of strawberries, honey, lavender and mandarin, which gave it a mildly acidic but light on the palates. A hot, black coffee, at S$6.00 per cup, was also reasonably affordable under this cosy environment.

I was a tad disappointed when the Grilled Salmon Fillet with Tomato Salsa (S$28.00) was served to me, because it seemed like a grilled salmon with a medley of broccoli, cherry tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, baby potatoes and tomato salsa.

In terms of the overall flavours, the salmon was over-seasoned with salt (not complaining about the generous ground black pepper though). Though this was also labelled as a gluten-free dish, I could not help but wonder if this was grossly overpriced. Perhaps, the disgruntled feelings could only be set aside when one were to get a good discount like Burpple Beyond, if not this would likely be a deal-breaker for many diners.

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As soon as the Cheese Crust Grilled Steak Sandwich was served, the first thought that crossed my mind was: big portion!

So this S$25.00 sandwich was not to be underestimated, because it was a really hearty brunch item that was available. The two slices of sourdough had grilled cheese plastered on them, and between them were generous amounts of sliced ribeye, caramelised onions and gherkin dijon aioli. Although the sourdough might be seen as a tough bread option, but trust me, it was a great combination altogether. Big on flavours, this item was surprisingly easy to pair with any coffee, tea or alcoholic beverages.

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The Avocado & Bacon Eggs Benedict (S$16.90) was a new item on the menu at Bread & Hearth. With almost half an avocado sliced and lined up on the multigrain bun and a plump poached egg resting on top, I knew that the brunch item would be hearty enough even if it was just single-egged.

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The Eggs Benedict (S$22.80) was the only item in their soufflé pancake section that offered a savoury option of their signature Kiseki pancakes. Made with imported Hinata white chicken eggs, the pancakes was fluffy and jiggly, as like all other soufflé pancakes that were already introduced to the food scene. The exception, of course, was that the table was set with a pair of forks, which was said to maintain the texture of the pancakes without over-squeezing them.

The poached eggs were done on point, with the whites solidified and the yolk runny, before the Hollandaise sauce was drizzled over them. In between each Eggs Ben, there were smoked salmon and avocado with tiger prawns respectively. This combination could have been perfect over English muffins, but I felt that the flavours somewhat lacked a bit of the savoury notes from meat, be it bacon or ham.

This might seem fanciful and hyped, but missing from the visual appeals was the satiety factor, which this dish might lack if one was not a small eater. Unsurprisingly, this gave me a good reason to grab a snack from the Food Hall at B2 of the mall after this meal.

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Siming T

Level 9 Burppler · 1179 Reviews

First world problem: What to eat for the next meal?

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