Cafes

Cafes

Featuring Atlas Coffeehouse, Wild Honey (Mandarin Gallery), Hvala ([email protected]), W39 Bistro & Bakery, Miam Miam (Westgate), Gram Cafe & Pancakes (VivoCity), belle-ville Pancake Cafe (Bugis Junction), British Hainan (Joo Chiat), MASA by Black Society (orchardgateway), Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Cafe
Wilson Foo
Wilson Foo

Pricey but excellent all day breakfast choices from around the world (English, Tunisian, Parisienne, etc). Be sure to make reservations and there is a 120 minutes cap during peak hours at the Mandarin Gallery outlet. Friendly and good service, which is a rare quality given how busy they are and the manpower shortage.

I’ll be back.

Forget about the nice views comments you see about this cafe. What views do you expect to see from an 8th floor rooftop surrounded by tall condominiums and a rainforest? Come for the food and coffee instead!

We came on a Sunday. Reservations strongly recommended as the tables are limited. We ordered Chilli Crab Shakshuka, Squid Ink Fried Rice and the Coexist Breakfast.

The Shakshuka did not disappoint. Large chunks of crab meat were mixed within the chilli sauce (more like tomato sauce with just a hint of spice). Six small slices of man tou was provided to soak up the gravy. Do remember to mix the egg into the gravy to give the whole dish extra silkiness.

Next up, the Squid Ink Fried Rice was equally good. It came with chunks of deep fried prawn meat and whole baby squids, topped with Ikura and chilli. Rice was not greasy and tasted umami from the squid ink. The Ikura added bursts of flavour and there was also a certain level of heat coming from the squid and prawns. Probably the marinate they used or the mentaiko sauce spread on the plate. But yes it did accentuate the dish. Yums!

The Coexist breakfast was normal. Nothing to sing about. I have to give special mention to their White coffee and Aero-Black cold coffee. So hot are very robust in coffee taste, the way coffee lovers like their brew. Just choose hot or cold.

Certainly coming back to try the other items on their menu, even if this cafe is a little pricier than others and it is very ulu in terms of location. If you don’t drive, then Grab will be the next best alternative.

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A quiet cafe for you to have lunch and chill out. My meatball linguine was good except that I wished the pasta was more al dente. Prices were reasonable for the portion.

This Japanese fusion food cafe at Westgate closed for some time and reopened on second floor. I love their pasta, soufflés pancakes and donburi so I decided to visit again.

Entering the cafe, I immediately felt reassured when I saw familiar faces, staff who worked at their previous ground floor location. But it was most disappointing to hear the manager tell us this and this and that item is not available due to sold out. I mean literally 10% of the items are not available. Seems there has been some supply chain hiccups. I wonder if this is due to recent rise in COVID cases?

Anyway I ordered their Beef and Foie Gras Donburi. The beef was seared just right and the foie gras melts in your mouth. $29.90 a bowl is not cheap but worth the money cause you get a big slab of beef, foie gras and sous vide egg. The sweet sauce on the rice goes well with the umami from the beef. I’ve you mix the egg into the rice, the taste goes up one more notch.

I must come back, if just to eat those items not available during this visit. Absence makes the mind grow fonder.

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Nice Instagram cafe located in Ngee Ann City. Very flowery and pink decor for young ladies and those young at heart. Food taste is not bad too. Ordered their All Day Breakfast and Prawn Aglio Olio Spaghetti. Food is nicely presented and coffee tastes great. Prices are a bit steep with the breakfast priced at $26.

May come back to try their wagyu beef with Foie Gras when I feel like splurging.

This is the first Hainan Story location. It is a food court which sells only Hainanaese food such as the ever popular chicken rice by Wee Nam Kee, claypot Yee Mee, etc. But I came for coffee and their Hainanese Kueh - Yi Bua. This used to be something only available during special days of celebration and remembrance. At least that’s what I experienced as a kid.

Made with glutinous rice flour, the Yi Bua here comes with coconut filling and coconut/peanut filling. Both are sweet, with the latter a little savoury. It complements the glutinous rice pastry skin well. Coupled with a cup of Hainanese coffee and soft boiled eggs, maybe a Kaya toast, it becomes a perfect way to start your day.

Next time I’ll come try the rest of the menu. Hainanese must support Hainanese, my father used to say.

Okay we didn’t go for the coffee. We just wanted to take pictures of this cute little bear. Hokkaido Milk Shaving. After enduring our endless photo taking, the ice shaving was actually quite nice on a hot sunny afternoon. Do remember to add the cream topping after taking photos or else the head of the bear gets a little flattened like ours turned out.

Been meaning to visit this old style Hainan cafe for some time now. The place is filled with items from the good old days. Very nostalgic even if there is a sense of visual overkill. You really need to feel relaxed and examine them one by one. Owner is very friendly. Shares his vision of allowing networking (before COVID) amongst customers and showed us how he converted an old jukebox to play CDs instead of vinyls.

We ordered the house favourites - Oxtail stew, Hainanese Pork Chop and Beef noodles. The flavours in the oxtail stew was really authentic old school British stew. What blew us away was the three slices of French loaf when dipped into the stew. This is not your average baguette. It’s the old style French loaf baked in a local bakery so this one is crispy on the outside with denser but soft bread on the inside. The meat falls off the oxtail bone easily enough, testament to the number of hour spent braising the meat.

Next up, pork chop. It’s a good piece of pork chop in tomato sauce. Liked that they use bread crumbs to coat the meat before frying, instead of the usual pre-mixed tempura or chicken wings batter.

Last but not least, the beef noodles. When it was served, it looked ordinary if not disappointing. The taste was also quite bland, just a hint of herbs. The condiments that came with the noodles consists of chopped Chinese parsley, chilli sauce, chinchalok and chopped sour pickled vegetables. Again, by themselves individually, nothing fantastic. But magic happened when we added the condiments into the noodles. Two teaspoons of chilli sauce, one teaspoon of chinchalok, two teaspoons of pickled veg and a generous amount of parsley. Give the noodles a good stir and voila! Could have gone for a second bowl. I actually forgot about the slices of beef and just concentrated on the noodles and the soup.

Definitely going back again. Looking forward to fist bumping the owner again and listen to more stories about the origins of local Hainanese cuisine.

This cafe is by the same people from Nicole Flowers. As expected, the deco has a lot of flowery theme but this time, to match the black and white colours of the old colonial building that it is located in, the furniture also incorporated a lot of black and white tones. Booking is advisable although this outlet is nowhere near as crowded as it’s two sister cafes. Service is also good and food and drinks are served quickly. Be aware that there is a time limit for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the menu is different.

Food wise, expect contemporary European cuisine with very artsy names. But the taste is above average and no single dish that we ordered let us down. The squid ink pasta with prawns was cooked just right and you get the umami of the squid ink without the fishy smell. The grilled octopus is another of the more popular dishes. A bit chewy and I cannot really reconcile the taste especially with their sauce which was neither spicy nor savoury. The Iberico Secreto was a good dish. The tiny bits of pineapple accentuated the flavour of the pork and the crunchiness of the meat added another dimension to the dish.

For Instagram fans, do remember to take photos of the white floral portal on the left of the cafe after you are done, the one featured in Life of Straits Times today.

I’ll probably come back another day just to try the beef and the chicken dish.

This restaurant specialises in Lala clams and Cockles. Special mention about the cockles because they are huge compared with what you get from your average Char Kway Teow stall these days, comparable to those you get in Thailand. And nicely done, not over cooked. The chilli and vinegar sauce with Chinese parsley and garlic goes very well with the cockles.

As for the Lala bee hoon, quite ordinary but you get a whole lot of clams. As it should be for this price.

Bookmarked for whenever I need get my cockles fix.

Quaint little cafe located in Sunset Way. Alfresco dining (actually under a verandah) in a pseudo garden like environment.

We ordered the Wild Truffle Mushroom Soup ($7), Classic Gourmet Burger ($18) and the Pork Collar with Sausage and Potatoes ($18).

Mushroom soup was pretty standard. Strong truffle fragrance from the truffle oil and real mushroom bits. The Pork Collar was very good. Meat was tender, not over cooked even though the collar was sliced thin. The potatoes were infused with truffle oil and has half a sausage and some greens drizzles with balsamic dressing.

The burger was a let down. The meat tasted like it was none too fresh and has a very strong meat taste. And why the thousand island dressing?

Hit and miss. So may or may not come back.

New cafe in Newest serving coffee and gelato but I came for their Philly Cheese Steak Burger. It is served up on a long sourdough bun that is grilled. The sliced beef is fried with capsicum and onions, seasoned with ground black pepper and cheese. With every bite, the combination of beef, cheese and capsicum together with bread was so comforting. You want to chew quickly, swallow and get into the next bite!

The best Philly Cheese Steak sandwich I ever had was in Philadelphia, near the Liberty Bell Center. It’s a food truck at the corner of South 6th Street and Chestnut. This one came damn close to beating it. My only regret is I ordered the Regular Sandwich instead of the Double.

Definitely coming back for more. Maybe as soon as tomorrow.

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