Being the latest concept by the same folks behind Atlas Coffeehouse, Lunar Coffee Brewers, Colombus Coffee Co., and Apollo Coffee Bar, The Neptune is situated along East Coast Road, taking over the former premises of now-defunct Firebake — a refreshing change considering how I was not quite a fan of the former tenant which occupied the space.

Whilst offering a menu that is rather similar to the other establishments run by them, The Neptune also features some outlet exclusives — something that also runs throughout the multiple establishments managed by them; the Chili Crab & Chorizo is one such item from The Neptune that is most talked about on social media ever since their opening just a couple of days ago. The Neptuna Melt is the lesser heard of outlet exclusive — an item that felt more like a sharing plate featuring elements such as Baguette, San Marzano Jam, Tuna Mayo, Sweet Pickled Onions and Leicester Cheese, and comes with Tater Tots on the side.

While the Neptuna Melt does sound like a variation of a grilled cheese sandwich on the menu, the actual item offers more surprises than once actually expects, and is more of an open-faced melt sandwich that comes with a slight contrast in flavours as opposed to the usual flatness with grilled cheese sandwiches. The baguette is pretty crusty on the exterior, yet fluffy but suitably dense; a perfect vehicle for the dense cheese atop. Spread with just a thin layer of tomato jam made from San Marzano tomatoes, the jam provided a bright tanginess that contrasted well against the tanginess of the pickled onions that also gives the Neptuna Melt a crunch — all that whilst being complimented with a slight creaminess from the tuna mayo that laces the pickled onions to give the item a slight boost in terms of texture; a rather interesting take against the usual addition of caramalised onions which other establishments tend to go towards. The baguette is then topped off with melted Leicester Cheese; something stronger than the usual cheddar and mozzarella in terms of savouriness, but nothing as pungent as goat’s cheese, or blue cheese. Tater tots were crisp, whilst not being greasy.

The folks behind Atlas Coffeehouse, Lunar Coffee Brewers, Colombus Coffee Co., Apollo Coffee Bar, and The Neptune has gotten it right again — there are many specialty cafes that are part of the third-wave coffee movement around the island, but they always seem to have the secret sauce that brings the queues to them wherever they may be with every new outlet that they haves opened. Perhaps its how consistent their coffee is, or maybe its how they seem to understand what consumers are looking for when it comes to serving up “progressive contemporary” cafe fare — something that I struggle to even figure out being an avid cafe-hopper myself. But looking past all of that, it seems that The Neptune has done in yet again just like how Atlas Coffeehouse, Colombus Coffee Co. and Apollo Coffee Bar had previously did — whilst being a late entrant into the cafe scene of the respective neighbourhoods that they are in, The Neptune is probably going to be a staple of the neighbourhood; one that the neighbourhood’s expat community would grow to love, and a destination that cafe-hoppers most certainly are going to add on to the list of cafes to be visited whilst in the Katong neighbourhood. Wishing the folks here all the best in what is to come!