Meals to wake up to

Meals to wake up to

What could make your day better than a hearty brunch on a lazy weekend morning? Here are some of those breakfasts that you might want to wake up to!
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

One of the few places I am looking forward to return to ever since discovering them at Maxwell House is The Food Peeps Coffee & Deli; the cafe was pretty much a hole-in-the-wall back then, occupying a small unit that faces Six Senses Maxwell serving up some pretty unique dishes. Fast forward to end-2020 and with the Maxwell House being sold en-bloc, The Food Peeps Coffee & Deli has moved into its newer and bigger digs at 34 Sago Street — located fairly close to Chinatown Complex Market and the Chinatown Visitor Centre; also walkable from the future Maxwell MRT Station along the Thomson-East Coast Line.

Don’t recall their menu being this extensive at Maxwell House, but The Food Peeps Coffee & Deli now offers a menu that has sections dedicated to small plates, savoury brunch dishes, sweet brunch, sandwiches and pasta — items previously available at Maxwell House that are available here include the Rendang On Toast which we had back then. Going for the Hong Kong Breakfast Bagelwich, the bagel sandwich includes elements such as smoked ham, tomato spread, cheddar, truffle scrambled egg — all that in between a toasted sesame bagel. Taking a first bite into the bagel, one would notice how the bagel carried quite a firm bite; sufficiently dense but not too heavy — well-sized given how it does seem a little smaller than other bagels, though somewhat thoughtful considering how it’s pretty hefty on its own. Going down to the condiments, one would notice how the Hong Kong Breakfast Bagelwich tasted somewhat like a pizza in a different form — we especially loved the punchy tomato spread that is nothing short of refreshing and tangy; seemingly the driver here while the truffle scrambled eggs felt more like an omelette which was still comforting and carried a slight whiff of truffle that didn’t overwhelm the entire bagel sandwich. The smoked ham provided a meaty bite, while the cheddar added a good savouriness that binds all of the items together. Only felt that the bagel sandwich seemed to lack greens; would personally prefer a garden salad to come alongside so that the plate could look less sparse, though I wouldn’t have mind if they include spinach leaves for a more balanced touch.

Something I had quite liked about The Food Peeps Coffee & Deli is how they seem to make brunch food that seems simple, yet so comforting and flavourful. The food items offered here are seemingly mostly rather basic fusion fare, but they do them really well — something that warms the soul. With such satisfying brunch fare, it is little wonder how they have since gained quite a fair bit of popularity ever since their move to Sago Street; a more visible and convenient location for those whom find it difficult to find them previously since they used to be hidden behind shrubs from the main walkway beside Six Senses Duxton. A spot that avid cafe-hoppers should add to the list to visit; also one that I would be pretty excited to revisit as well!

Checked out Butler Koffee’s newest digs at 39 Neil Road over the weekend; the coffee stand previously located at 333 Kreta Ayer Road had since moved into its new space which it shares with Beng Who Cooks. With their move to their new home, Beng Who Cooks/Butler Koffee now serves up a whole new brunch menu, and also does carry bakes from Nuage Patisserie is located at Kampong Bahru.

With the brunch menu comprising mostly of Tartines (or open-faced sandwiches, if you may), there is also a Tarter Puff and a Legendary Mushroom Soup being listed in the menu here. We found ourselves going for the Crab Tartine — the item features sourdough, mayonnaise, blue swimmer crab with mustard grain and salad. As much as how basic the item may look on first sight, I liked how the Crab Tartine here is executed pretty well; pretty glad for how they used a good sourdough here that came with a fluffy centre and crusty exterior that gives quite a good bite — it also carried a tinge of tartness from the fermentation process of making the sourdough, which is pretty much the way I like my sourdough to be. Stacked above the sourdough will be the leafy salad that also comes with arugula; provides for a slight bitter note that surprisingly cuts through the umami sweetness from the shredded swimmer crab meat over it. Also liked how they are pretty generous with the crab meat here; enough to bring a burst of fresh crustacean sweetness for the dish. The mustard grains here was a thoughtful touch; gives the dish a hint of earthiness, while the slight douse of mayonnaise above adds that creaminess that gels all the different elements in the dish together without being at all overwhelming. All in all, a very well thought-out dish that attempts to touch on a variety of taste categories that is beautifully rounded off in one package.

It is collaborations like these where diners like us benefits the most — where notable establishments all come together to provide a wholesome experience from coffee to brunch to desserts all in a single seating from different merchants; it is indeed something that we sometimes take for granted. Rather than looking at it in entirety, perhaps it is better to just slow down, appreciate the creations of the various brands offered here and enjoy what each of them have to offer — that way, there will be a greater appreciation for each of the merchants for their craft; be it Butler Koffee’s expertise and knowledge on coffee, the details placed and execution of the food from Beng Who Cooks, or the dainty, yet delicate bakes from Nuage Patisserie, each has definitely got their own story to tell and worth a visit on their own.

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Amoy Street Food Centre may be closed for upgrading works, but Mad Roasters ain’t resting on their laurels — apart from their Joo Chiat location being still up and running, they have also recently started operations with their pop-up operations at Moonstone Bar, as well as a brand new outlet at Depot Heights Shopping Centre, which is also their very first individual location with a cafe-esquire setting. Decorated rather simply, the interior design seems to suggest function over form, though we still found the slightly tropical theming somewhat welcoming despite its simplicity. Apart from serving up their usual Cinnamon/Chocolate Babka, they do also serve up two new savoury items at Depot Heights Shopping Centre — the Grilled Cheese Brioche, and the Avocado Brioche Toast.

The Brioche Grilled Cheese is a relatively simple grilled cheese sandwich that comprises of Cheddar, Herbs and Laminated Brioche. I liked how the portion of the sandwich here is pretty suitable for a light bite — probably something I wouldn’t mind having when I am feeling peckish considering how grilled cheese sandwiches at other cafes tend to feel like an entire meal affair (and sometimes, comes full with a bowl of tomato soup at the side to dip in). Given the ingredients that go into the making of the Brioche Grilled Cheese, little can go wrong in here — oozy, melted cheese that is all savoury that comes in between two slices of bread; but if there is anything that stands out in this variant, it would have been the Laminated Brioche. There’s no doubt that the brioche did carry that distinct hint of sweetness lingering subtly at the back of the tongue here, but one could also easily notice how the brioche comes with a layered texture almost akin to that of a croissant — the brioche having went through the same exact lamination process thus the unique texture; pretty interesting indeed.

From just simply a hawker stall, Mad Roaster had come a long way, especially given how it has rode through the waves of COVID-19 being an operator of a hawker stall in The Central Business District. Nobody quite knows what else the pandemic will bring, but this is definitely an exciting phase for the folks behind Mad Roaster whilst staying true to their roots of not just being yet another name in the F&B scene, but also one that cares for the community at large.

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Pretty stoked about visiting Pure Imagination at Great World City ever since having chanced upon it whilst scrolling on social media — the establishment is located right beside Softhaus (yet another concept by Janice Wong with an emphasis on ice-cream), whilst placing a focus on bean-to-bar chocolates that features chocolate made using from cacao berries from different sources of origin. While the outlet does look generally takeaway in nature, there are seats located behind the main counter area for dine-in; passers-by would instantly notice Pure Imagination serving up small cakes, pastries and light bites alongside some of their other products such as cookies and edible crayons available for retail. Less prominent will be their food service — the outlet features a kitchen for hot food behind the chocolatier operations, and the menu carries a range of waffles, brunch items and desserts (yes, including two plated desserts brought over from 2am:dessert bar) to choose from.

The Bacon & Egg Cocoa Waffle is one of the items that probably set the alarm bells off for some; that sort of savoury-sweet combination which is probably controversial at best to the purists who just cannot see how chocolate can be served with something savoury — we ordered this item considering how Pure Imagination focuses itself over their bean-to-bar chocolates, and how it just falls right into that theme. At $18, this is one waffle that would fit about one hungry individual just about right — was pretty surprised how the waffle here does come full-on savoury; not quite the typical buttermilk waffle and while it isn’t quite that plush and dense waffle that some will prefer, this one more cakey and interestingly, did feature nibs of ham and chives within with a light savoury note. The waffle does match the crisp rashes of bacon very well; provided that contrast of savouriness to the waffle with a slight chew as well, while the sunny side-up came with that molten yolk that is all runny and seasoned with salt and pepper. Really appreciated how that chocolate sauce did carry a distinct tartness but comes with a rich texture and bittersweet note towards the end which I found to be especially luxurious and didn’t felt overly sweet nor “heaty”. As peculiar as it might sound, it does work as a good accompaniment especially to the bacon; the only item of which the cocoa element is being drenched on — almost similar to that of maple syrup on savoury waffle but way more luscious, dense and some may call “sinful”, though strangely still fitting.

While other Janice Wong’s other locations have been primarily more takeaway-based; usually focusing more on their Chocolate Bon Bons, I was actually pretty surprised how Pure Imagination actually has a dine-in area and even carries a full menu that includes mains, sides and desserts — an alternative location to 2am:dessert bar especially for those who are into the Yuzu Cheesecake and Chocolate H2O there (personally a must-have for me now that I have tried it here). Yes, I have previously lamented the fact on how Softhaus felt rather commercial — I am glad how to Pure Imagination has stuck closer to its roots here. Hoping that they would be able to further roll out more chocolate-centric products here that educates the public on bean-to-bar chocolates, though it is a convenient location for a brunch hangout, or if one is looking for a more casual (though limited) 2am:dessert bar experience with some savoury dishes to have alongside.

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Can’t believe it’s the second time seeing them move out of their premises — the first time from their former space as Prodigal Roasters when they were still at Blk 625 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 just a short distance away from Yio Chu Kang MRT Station, and now again from their premises at Blk 82 MacPherson Lane — this one being due to the location that the HDB estate that they are situated at being slated for en-bloc.

In line with their last weekend at MacPherson, they have brought back their iconic Grilled Cheese Toast that was introduced in their menu ever since they had made the move here — we were told that the Grilled Cheese Toast is best had with Lychee Bacon and Scrambled Eggs from the add-ons being opted so we just went with those too. Liked how the toast still tasted much consistent to what we have had previously when they had first opened their doors here — the cheese all stretchy for the cheese pull and being suitably savoury; the add-on of lychee bacon stuffed within gives it an additional contrast of savouriness typical of that of cured meat with a subtle sweetness — all that amidst the soft and fluffy, yet toasty milk toast that not only hints subtly of the fragrance of milk, but also crusty from being toasted. The creamy scrambled eggs makes it the perfect breakfast for those who are looking for something more substantial — runny, and comes with cracked pepper that antes up the overall flavour.

Hadn’t been back to this outlet as much as I should in the last year or two, and haven’t really given a lot of the items (pizzas or not) a try — but it’s definitely sad to see them go once again for a place that prides over their pizzas that they make from scratch (yes, even down to the dough) and comforting brunch fare, and also a spot that knows their coffee well. With the closure of their MacPherson outlet, they are also sharing a space with Gather The Misfits at Rangoon Road where they will still be dishing out their pizzas as a dinner-only offering with a slightly wider variety of pizzas as compared to their “Pizza Party” menu previously at MacPherson Lane — and I guess I will see them at their new digs pretty soon to check those out!

Thks fr the mmrs.

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Hello Arigato is a spot that I have been wanting to drop by for a while — made a walk-in attempt previously but they were unfortunately fully-reserved for the night so had to end up elsewhere; so we made a reservation the second time round to avoid any disappointments. Run by the folks behind The Refinery at King George’s Avenue, they have taken over the former premises of the short-lived Gentle Roast — whilst the interior did go through much changes, one can still find traces of Gentle Roast still living on especially in the tableware and cutlery that Hello Arigato uses; some part being used as decor, while others still being used for the orders served up at the table. The menu comprises of items such as Japanese Sando, Donburi and Pasta, while they also do offer a variety of sides as well as bakes such as the cruffins which are making their rounds on social media. Beverage options include specialty coffee (only available during lunch service), hot/cold brew tea, soft drinks and a variety of non-alcoholic spirits and alcoholic beverages.

The main star here might be the Gyu Sando, but we found ourselves wanting to go for something slightly more adventurous with a fusion touch — and that is how we found ourselves going for the Otah Sando instead, which features elements such as Breaded Muar Otah, Kaffir Lime Sambal, Coconut Mayo, Cucumber in between Japanese Milk Bread. First impression based on the name does reminds me of something mum will suggest to prepare if we do ever have a slab of Muar Otah in the fridge with some leftover bread in the loaf, though the descriptions do suggest a more artisanal creation. In true blue Japanese style, the Muar Otah comes coated in Panko — the flaky breadcrumbs that form the golden brown exterior of the Otah suggests influences from the usual Katsu Sando that features a fried fillet of pork in between bread. The exterior is undoubtedly crisp, while the Otah itself is rather generous in portion — a thick slab that carried the slight hint of spiciness and chunky fish meat typical of the slabs of frozen Muar Otah offered in supermarkets; liked how the Otah still managed to retain its soft and moist texture without being all dried-up from the frying. The other elements such as the Kaffir Lime Sambal, Coconut Mayo felt less obvious, though the hint of zesty lime and lightness of the creamy coconut mayo helps to bind the Otah with the other elements in the dish, and gave a rather refreshing undertone against the crunchy sliced cucumbers and soft, yet crusted, toasted Japanese Milk Bread.

Given how Hello Arigato is still on its soft launch phase and the menu offered is in-line with its soft opening, Hello Arigato does seem like they are off a good start — the zen vibes do make for a relaxing spot for some conducive catch-ups over some Japanese-inspired cafe fare. Upper Thomson may be a spot that is already filled with some pretty established names in the cafe scene, such as the likes of One Man Coffee and Colombus Coffee Co., but I guess there is still space for Hello Arigato — pretty stoked on what else they have to offer once they kick into full launch mode!

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Wasn’t really looking for quite the full meal when the colleague wanted to have Hangawi Korean Food for lunch when I made a trip back to the office — lucky for me how there is always La Teh Cafe as a fallback option given how they share a common seating area with neighbours Hangawi Korean Food and Pasta & Co. so one wouldn’t need to fuss over what to have even if opinions differ.

Yet one of those items that I usually wouldn’t quite order and subject myself to order because of how such items are rather easy to put together at home, I must admit how that the Luncheon Meat & Egg Sandwich is actually a pretty decent item to order for comforting fare outside of home. Those sandwich buns are reasonably pillowy and soft — does remind me of those buns that accompanies some western dishes from Western cuisine stalls at hawker centres; all with that somewhat flaky and crumbly browned crust over the top. I appreciate the amount of effort to make this as wholesome as it can get here at La Teh; apart from the rather sizeable slabs of luncheon meat provided that was surprisingly not too salty, the sandwich here comes with leafy greens, tomato slice and mayonnaise — gives the sandwich a refreshing crunch, a good bite and slight tanginess, alongside just the right amount of creaminess from the mayonnaise. The egg pretty much upped the game here with its texture; while it does come with a reasonably molten yolk, I was actually more impressed with the crisp edges of the egg whites that gave the sandwich a textural boost — all that whilst not being too greasy.

After having tried a few of their offerings on-and-off, it seems to me that places such as La Teh do have quite a purpose after all — one may be able to argue how such items can be easily thrown together but it fixes those cravings when it hits unexpectedly and making it on the spot just isn’t an option; not to mention its rather affordable price point at $3.70 that works as an alternative for a full meal given the portion size. I thought I would never see myself saying this, but the Luncheon Meat & Egg Sandwich is that soul food that catches me — something homey that touches the heart.

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Opened by the same folks behind The Breakfast Club which is located inside The Coffeeshop by Yaowarat at Kovan, Joji’s Diner has been one of the few places which I have been looking forward to visit for quite a while. The American-themed diner presents some vibes that are similar to that of now-defunct Billy Bombers with a retro vibe of the 1950s; features red leather booth seats with an interior that is decked in bright hues of yellow on the walls, and black and white tiles for its flooring. The menu features items ranging from all-day breakfast and Rosti (my personal favourite from The Breakfast Club), to bigger items such as burgers, hotdog buns and even a Chicken & Waffle — patrons also get to choose between beverages such as tea, coffee, or milkshakes aside from floats and soft drinks.

Visited Joji’s Diner on a rainy weekday night for dinner and was craving for something hearty but not too heavy — the UFO Plate somewhat fit the bill, featuring elements such as 2 home-made pancakes, bacon, eggs, beef patty and baked potato. Going straight for the pancakes, the pancakes here are noticeably lighter and softer than most; some whom prefer slightly more dense and firm pancakes may sit on the fence with this one — there again, their variant is nothing short of fluffy, and works well with the maple syrup served on the side to go along; there was also a subtle hint of cinnamon going on that made things feel rather interesting with this item. Moving on to the two sunny side-ups, they came well-executed with a molten egg yolk with fully-cooked whites; works best when had with the baked potatoes which are diced cubes of potatoes that were soft to chew on in the inside with crisp, golden-brown exterior — they have also seasoned it with paprika powder for a slight hint of spiciness that should do just fine even for those with low tolerance to spiciness. Giving the breakfast plate a hearty feel, the beef patties actually exceeded my expectations — they come smaller than the average burger patty; a pretty good size considering how many other elements are already served in the UFO Plate, but I utterly enjoyed how tender these were with a crisp crust from the grilling process. Never mind about it’s slight greasiness, but it was sufficiently savoury with a slight hint of flavour from the herbs (rosemary?), and nothing gamey with a constant texture throughout without any veiny or fatty parts that were difficult to chew. And not forgetting the rashes of bacon; loved how crisp they were — no doubt sinfully salty given the nature of cured meat but the execution stays true to its American diner theme.

Heard that there is usually a queue here to dine-in; guessed I must have been pretty lucky considering I made my way here during a heavy rain and was the only one waiting for seats (took around 25mins) — the queue did start to build up as I was finishing my meal and the rain started to clear up a little. That being said, the food speaks for itself here — The Breakfast Club has always been known for affordable breakfast fare served in a coffeeshop, and this remains true at Joji’s Diner with most items priced below $13 — the only two exceptions being the Morning Wood and Farmer’s Plate breakfast platters that costs $17.90 and $21.90 respectively. With such retro interiors, affordable prices and well-executed food that no doubt reminds us of those greasy American diners that we often read and hear about, it is little wonder how there is a constant stream of people waiting to dine here; a spot that is definitely worth checking out at least once!

Heard from a friend that the favourite place had been serving up some new mains and a new donut at their East Coast Road branch — and needless to say, a trip down to try the dishes is pretty much mandatory, since I am quite into trying anything new that comes out from them.

Between the two new items (the other one being the Aglio Olio, Miso Garlic Prawns in White Wine Sauce), I found the Pan-Seared Salmon, Creamy Jap Udon with Sushikko Ebiko to be my favourite — perhaps because this was pretty much their take to the classic Carbonara with a twist. One could also easily argue that this item is likely to be a spin-off from the usual grain bowl (with Japanese Udon), considering some of the elements used such as the sous-vide egg, Kale, Salmon and Sushikko Ebiko — even the aesthetics of the dish seems to tell so. We really liked how the cream wasn’t particularly cloying with this one, even though they were pretty generous with it so that the Udon beneath gets laced with it. The Japanese Udon was also pretty chewy and provides for much of the textures going on in here, while the pan-fried salmon comes flaky and sufficiently moist with a crisp, savoury skin — essentially what I would have expected it to be. The crisp, shredded kale gives the dish a further textural impact with the Sushikko Ebiko whilst giving the dish a more wholesome feel; the former with its light crispness while the latter provides for that popping sensation as one chews upon them. Hidden amidst all of that within the cream sauce are slices of bacon — the part where the dish replicates the good ol’ Carbonara the most together with the sous-vide egg; the bacon providing that slight saltishness of cured meat that gives a further contrast of flavours to the cream sauce, while the sous-vide egg yolk giving the dish a silkier texture as one breaks the yolk and mixes it into the dish.

It seems that the folks behind Brawn & Brains have been revamping some of their menu items a little — while new dishes such as this and the Aglio Olio, Miso Garlic Prawns in White Wine Sauce have found a place in their menu, there are also other new items such as the Sea Salt Caramel Donut, and Dark Chocolate Babka with Ice-Cream and Caramel Sauce being spotted on the menu at their East Coast branch. The BB Sourdough Waffles has also seen a slight twist with the infusion of thyme as the BB Sourdough Thyme Waffles — perhaps a tweak made with the current trends of flavoured waffles served with ice-cream and herb-infused waffle cones. Always liked how they are always constantly coming up with new items gradually with a tedious R&D process here, keeping things fresh for patrons even though they have been around for 8 years and counting. Meanwhile, my eyes are probably set on the Dark Chocolate Babka with Ice-Cream and Caramel Sauce the next time I head to this outlet …

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Spent the day off heading all the way out to the East early to check out the various new cafes around the Joo Chiat neighbourhood — the area is quickly becoming one of the most hip hangouts around the island considering how there are just so many F&B establishments that had just recently moved into the ‘hood; from renowned names such as Common Man Coffee Roasters, Windowsill Pie and Apiary to newcomers into the scene such as Sevens Cafe, one could totally draft out their East Coast (Brunch) Plans in various combinations just to check all of them out in multiple visits.

Being a cafe that is operated by a property developer (i.e. Sevens Group), Sevens Cafe is located beside their property showroom, Sevens Atelier; the space is pretty much aesthetically pleasing with its chic and modern style featuring arches and plenty of natural elements such as wood. The cafe does offer quite a wide spread of options ranging from all-day brunch to burgers, mains, pasta and sides — also available are a selection of bakes such as tarts and roll cakes, while the beverage menu features specialty coffee brewed using beans roasted by Cata Coffee (yes, the Cata Coffee often associated with Woodlands Sourdough during their Serene Centre days) and a good selection of tea.

Visiting the cafe in the early morning, we weren’t really into the heavier mains but didn’t really want to go for the other items such as the Cheese Toast with Ham, 7S Big Brekky (i.e. their Big Breakfast platter) etc.; and that was how we found ourselves settling to share the OZ Buttermilk Chicken Pancakes in the early morning. Described as “Crispy Buttermilk Chicken and Pancakes with Pink Peppercorn Maple Syrup and Whipped Butter”, the OZ Buttermilk Chicken Pancakes was a rather fair attempt on chicken and waffles by the sort of establishment that it is. While the pancakes do look sort of commercial, it does it’s job being sufficiently fluffy and carried a wee bit of sweetness (not sure if that was from its own, or by the pink peppercorn maple syrup) that provided much of the flavour that went considerably well with the fried chicken. The fried chicken, whilst being all crisp on the exterior and with juicy flesh, tasted a tad bland — could certainly do with some brining or marinating for some flavour. The pink peppercorn maple syrup sounded pretty interesting on paper, but there wasn’t a distinct peppery note that would have supposedly given the item a slight spicy kick; instead, it just felt pretty much like a typical maple syrup.

Given the type of establishment that Sevens Cafe is, the OZ Buttermilk Chicken Pancakes is a decent attempt on comforting soul food that is to be served up as a brunch item. Whilst one should probably not expect too much of the items served here, it is undeniable that Sevens Cafe does make for a pretty great spot for a catch-up sessions with friends or a spot to get productive alike — the cosy decor being something which we particularly appreciated during our visit here.

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SYIP has been one of those spots that have gained much attention during the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) period when dine-in is restricted — the cafe had opened its doors close to the end of that time, and is located along the same stretch as Old Hen Kitchen along Owen Road.

Savoury French Toast isn’t a concept that is unheard of — in fact, countless iterations of such French Toast do exist, with the iconic ones that had a mark in the cafehopping scene being the French Toast Salpicon (a French Toast that comes stuffed with chicken, spinach and mushrooms and assortment of fruits over the top) from the now-defunct The Missing Pan, Savoury French Toast that features bacon originating from now-defunct RONIN (which lives on in the menu of Gather and PUNCH), and the French Toast from The Lokal — yet another rendition featuring house-cured bacon that no longer exists in their current menu; all these making their mark in the yesteryears of the cafe-hopping scene. While one may argue that it’s less controversial to offer savoury French Toast, the use of burrata in SYIP’s rendition is still a relatively fresh take — one that also actually turned out pretty well. For one, the thick toast (assuming that it’s brioche) have soaked up the eggwash really well here — there are some French Toasts out there that feels half-hearted, but I like how the bread here is already pillowy soft, eggy and custard-y on its own, and forms a great base for a sweet, or savoury rendition of the French Toast alike. Coming with the burrata over the top, I like how the cheese isn’t watery here; it’s reasonably creamy — but it’s how it comes lightly savoury that matches so well with the toast’s inherent sweetness. For those who prefer it just a degree sweeter, a slight drizzle of the maple syrup served on the side would do just enough to ante up those notes sufficiently. While the bacon is more of the chewy sort here, the sweetness from the maple glaze provides a balance to the typical savoury notes of the cured meat — essentially putting it into the same balance with the maple syrup, thick toast and burrata that further enhances the flavours of the entire dish.

Having also tried their other items such as the Seafood Rosé Linguine, Kahlua Tiramisu and SYIP Black Coffee, I must say that SYIP was one of the few places that left a strong impression — all the items we have had were on point; pretty rare to find a cafe that does everything on the menu so well. A space that is certainly worth making the trip for — somewhere that cafe-hoppers should most certainly add to their list of places to visit!

Ventured out for the virgin dine-in experience post-Heightened Alert because I needed to get a haircut; couldn’t stand how everything was touching the ears and just couldn’t really go together — decided to drop by for a peaceful dinner at the neighbourhood coffee since I was missing out some cafe vibes after all these while.

Added to menu fairly recently (or at least it wasn’t served during the time when I first visited them), the Truffle Egg Mayo Croissant is a classic favourite — an item that some may call basic, but at least also one that is pretty comforting for some. It doesn’t disappoint for those who know what they are going for — the buttery, flaky croissant that encases a creamy egg mayo that perfumes of a light truffle aroma; evident enough to notice, but not overwhelming to taste buds, and comes with leafy greens for a refreshing crunch. It doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel here; just something that warms the soul.

Was good wanting to go for a usual Flat White but found myself blurting out “Orange Expresso” — maybe because I just wanted something slightly more beverage-like for dinner. Sowl Coffee is one of those places that makes their fruit-infused soda from scratch — extracting juices from the orange and all; their rendition isn’t too gassy, and the citrusy notes do cut through the fruitiness of cuppa relatively well. A surprisingly light rendition of the beverage which didn’t cloud the taste buds.

Sowl Coffee is that sort of place that Woodlanders will grow to appreciate in their neighbourhood — a pleasant option to have considering how there seems to be a lack of specialty coffee joints in this area; and without doubt, a place that I wouldn’t mind hitting especially when things get busy and heading out of the neighbourhood just simply isn’t an option.

Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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