Didn’t really cross my mind that I wanted to check out Habitat Coffee which had recently made their move out of Upper Thomson Road and into their new digs at King George’s Avenue near Lavender MRT Station — it all happened after taking a short walk down from a coffeeshop that I was intending to dine at, but ended up skipping on since it was too difficult to find a seat and I just wanted to settle somewhere for a light dinner.

The Chili Crab Mantou is served as a side here, which speaks of its portion size as depicted — I only found out subsequently after walking around the neighbourhood that Chye Seng Huat Hardware does serve up a rendition of the same dish as a main, though at a price of $22 before taxes (this one from Habitat Coffee is priced at $12 before taxes). Nonetheless, this works perfectly well for those who enjoys having the fried mantous with chili crab sauce, but are too lazy to deal with the crab (i.e. me 🙋🏼) — a perfect item to have at the table to share or even have alone whilst having a leisurely read with a cuppa. Coming with five pieces of fried mantou, the top piece does come with a dollop of truffle-infused mayo — an addition that is likely included only for mere aesthetic purposes rather than for its flavour. The fried mantous were pretty “meh” in my opinion; it has that sweet crunch and isn’t particularly greasy, though it lacks that structural integrity of fried mantous typically served at seafood restaurants that are served with chili crab — you know how some just simply stays firm and in shape even after taking on a bite. That being said, the focus here seems to be much on the chili crab dip — it’s sufficiently sweet and tangy; not too tomato-ey and feels like the de-facto chili crab sauce that we have come to love; quite on par with those served at seafood restaurants. What amazes me here is the generous amount of crab meat they had provided for just five pieces of deep-fried mantous; there is definitely enough to go around, not to mention scooping the sauce and meat out of the bowl using a spoon just to enjoy it as-is — pretty impressive for such a dish that is served in a cafe setting.

Noticed that Habitat Coffee does seem to be a little more playful and innovative in their menu here than they were previously at Upper Thomson Road — another one of the dishes that we found intriguing being listed on the menu includes the Pasta Lemak; essentially a pasta dish influenced by Nasi Lemak where they had replaced the rice with a “coconut skinny spaghetti “, which is served with chicken wings, fried anchovies, peanuts, egg and sambal. Given the direction they have taken with the move to King George’s Avenue, I am inclined to make my revisit here again soon to check out the other new dishes that they have to offer.