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

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.

Had the chance to dine alone whilst working from the office; wanted to drop by other places but found myself hitting Curious Palette instead — one of the spots that is rarely exercised even when eating alone around the office.

Wanted to go for something more substantial, but found myself eventually going for the Kaya, Coffee Butter — the very same item which I had went for when I first made my return to the cafe when dine-in was just re-instated after moving into Phase Two of the Circuit Breaker. The aesthetics of the dish had since changed — gone were the days of the square sliced toast stacked up with the soy sauce bottle one would often find in coffeeshops that contains their Espresso Shoyu; now the items come with toasts sliced in triangles, and the Espresso Shoyu comes in a saucer instead.

The Kaya, Coffee Butter Toast was what I remembered it to be — the crisp, old-school toast that it came with resembles that of Ya Kun’s Kaya Butter Toast; just sliced slightly different and comes slathered with ample portions of Kaya and Coffee Butter for a balance note. Perhaps of the way the toasts are being sliced now, the flavours of the Kaya and Coffee Butter are also a bit more pronounced this time — the Kaya being all smooth and carried a distinct note of the caramalised coconut jam; all that without being overly sweet nor grainy as the commercial variants available in supermarkets, while the coffee butter carries an alluring bitter undertone that cuts through the usual saltishness of butter which is an interesting flavour profile that brings the usual pairing of coffee with Kaya Butter Toast straight into the toast itself. The sous vide eggs that accompanies the Kaya, Coffee Butter Toast comes wobbly with molten egg yolks — the best sort of eggs with Kaya Butter Toast that we so much enjoy in the traditional Hainanese breakfast, and comes accompanied with Espresso-infused Shoyu; do go easy with the dousing of the Shoyu considering how the Espresso Shoyu comes with a rather deep, earthy and saltish note that is more intense than the usual light soya sauce that some will enjoy their eggs to go together with.

The Kaya, Coffee Butter is probably one of those items that is rarely seen being ordered at Curious Palette — after all, the other items on the menu would probably appeal to the cafe-goers a lot more and are also more substantial in terms of portion size. I do enjoy their twist to the usual Kaya Butter Toast though — one that can only be pulled of by an establishment that specialises in specialty coffee; and is something I would consider having again for a light lunch/brunch at Curious Palette.

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Checked out the new Steep at Dunlop Street — a new cafe that is within walking distance from Rochor MRT Station that serves up usual cafe staples ranging from breakfast plates, eggy dishes, pasta and small plates — the cafe also serve up a beverages such as specialty coffee, tea and bottled juices as well.

Can’t fathom how some folks can bear expectations of how the food could have carried a similar monochromatic theme as the decor of the cafe (what are you eating anyway?), but the French Toast here does certainly looked the part considering the splash of colours from the fruits included — looked pretty appealing. This was pretty much a textbook definition of a French Toast here; bread that is soaked in egg wash for a slight eggy flavour, whilst coming with fruits such as blackcurrant, kiwi and strawberries for a slight refreshing zing — the fruits being relatively fresh and not overly sour, though the chewiness of the granola may not work well with some who prefers their granola to be more on the crunchy side. Whilst the Honey Thyme Syrup was a nice touch considering how it attempts to incorporate a herb-y note to the dish (seemingly a trend these days), I do wish that they would use actual honey of a more floral nature (acacia honey, perhaps?) that would further elevate the dish — the syrup somewhat “cheapened” the feel of the item, whilst also being rather strong on the notes of thyme that felt a tad odd to be had with a sweet item considering how thyme would usually compliment a savoury item more.

It seems that Steep does seem to have a bit of potential given the set-up; a spot that has seemingly placed quite a bit of emphasis on the environment to ensure that patrons do feel comfortable and at ease within the surroundings. That being said, we felt that the food was rather average — likely due to the quality of the ingredients used; perhaps also due to us ordering the wrong items. But in all fairness, Steep does work well as a good hangout for those who are not too picky with what they are having — just probably need to have some expectations managed with regard to the food served.

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Visited the new Fuel X over the long weekend — a new cafe that had recently opened its doors at The Venue Shoppes situated at the busy junction where MacPherson, Potong Pasir and Bendemeer intersect. If the name does some familiar, that is because Fuel X is by the same folks who have brought us concepts such as Refuel Cafe (at Bedok Reservoir), Fuel Plus (at Morse Road; in between HarbourFront and Telok Blangah) and Refuel II (at Jalan Bukit Merah).

The menu at Fuel X is rather extensive — with items ranging from the eggy dishes that one would expect from a cafe for brunch, to salads, burgers, pasta and entrees, there is definitely something for everyone. Off their “Eggs & Such” menu, the Cauli-Eggs Ben is one of the items that caught our eyes — a dish that is a spin-off from the usual Eggs Benedict that sees elements such as guacamole, fried spicy cauliflower, poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce and Feta Cheese served on naan bread, giving it an interest Asian twist. First impressions of the naan bread was that the bread felt a little dry, though we could see why the guacamole is being added — gives the naan a slight butteriness which improved its texture by quite a fair bit, whilst also being a vehicle to bind all the other elements together; the nuggets of fried cauliflower were crisp and not particularly greasy, whilst giving a soft crunch as one chews through the cauliflower within. That being said, despite its description of being spicy, we did not really detect much of a hint of spiciness with this one — could have been a easily brought out with a sprinkle of paprika and/or pepper. The poached eggs were a little disappointing in this one; cutting through the eggs only revealed soft yolks that do not seemingly flow (they did got it right for the other item we ordered though), and the Hollandaise sauce did felt a little too stark in its sourness and lacked creaminess. The arugula included helped to balance out the heavier fried items and the naan, but I did enjoy how the feta cheese cuts through the typical bitterness of the arugula for a more palatable note.

Despite the slight inconsistencies in this dish, Fuel X does serve up pretty decent cafe fare that were once-upon-a-time all the rage when cafes started to sprout up in neighbourhoods; dishes that cafe-hoppers are bound to enjoy and something which they are seemingly good in after all these while at their other locations. Given its relatively accessible and centralised location, Fuel X is a rather convenient spot to visit, though does require some walking from Potong Pasir MRT Station if one relies on the train to get around; do be prepared to wait a little for seats though — visited them on a weekend lunch service and we were placed on the waiting list with two other tables ahead of us when we arrived before 12 noon; just something to note if one intends to make the visit!

Opened to much anticipation of the cafe-hopping community, Five Oars Coffee Roasters has finally started their operations in Hacienda Grove at 6 Upper East Coast Road; their new space taking up the entire ground level of the private property which is meant for retail or F&B. One of the most distinct changes here at their Upper East Coast Road space will be in the design language in the style of decor — whilst their previous space at Tanjong Pagar features a largely white interior with wooden accents aiming for a minimal yet slightly Scandinavian influence, the new space is more industrial with a dark colour scheme and features furniture with wooden accents, walls replicating that of exposed bricks, and plants to spruce up their entire space.

Offering two different menus for day and night service, the Crab Scramble is one of the items that is served in the Day menu — available from 8am to 5:30pm daily. Featuring elements such as Housemade Sourdough, Scrambled Eggs, Crab Meat, Avocado, Ebiko, Feta and Togarashi, the item here does remind us slightly of a rendition of a rather similar item that is served at The Brewing Ground that has recently made its rounds on social media of the late. The version here at Five Oars Coffee Roasters is pretty decent — the housemade sourdough comes with a bit of tension to the bite; carried a slight hint of tanginess that stems from the fermentation process of the sourdough, though the scrambled eggs felt more like a runny omelette here (nothing wrong with that though), and adds a little moisture of the sourdough whilst blanketing the shredded crab meat within that carries a natural sweetness typical of crustaceans. Didn’t quite notice the feta cheese in here, but the Togarashi does provide for a slight kick of spiciness to tickle the taste buds, while the Ebiko does provide for slight popping sensation if one manages to bite into one.

Felt that this current rendition of Five Oars Coffee Roasters is one that seems to carry a more matured
character of their former self previously at Tanjong Pagar Road; the food menu seemingly felt more curated, while the decor is also straying away from that of the former location — something that carries a stronger identity as the former outlets felt more like a continuation of the branding left behind by some concepts which they somewhat share a connected past with. Whilst the food is decent and the offerings would most certainly attract cafe-hoppers at large, the service at their new location does seem to come with teething issues — largely due to waiting time for seats that can stretch up to an hour on the waiting list, and another hour for food to be served. Service staff were visually busy, but we wished they could pay more attention to the build up of the crowd outside that are looking to be placed in the waiting list, and pro-actively check with loitering patrons who were sent in but not assigned with a seat (they seem to have forgotten to assign us with one after calling us up to enter the cafe; no one came to us while we stood for nearly 20mins around the counter). Perhaps a spot that is better to visit when the crowd dies down — but then again, with its popularity, Five Oars Coffee Roasters is a spot that cafe-hoppers would definitely added in their list of cafes to check out ...

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There’s been some talk about Gentle Roast, which had recently opened their doors at Upper Thomson Road — the new cafe being situated along the stretch of shophouses where Habitat Coffee and Yi Jia Bakery & Cafe is, taking over the former premises of the now-defunct Maneko Japanese Restaurant.

Offering a variety of items ranging from sides to mains such as brunch plates, burgers, pasta, and large plates featuring meats or fish. Opting for the Gentle Cheese, it is described to be a dish that features Grilled Mozzarella & Cheddar on Sourdough, Crispy Bacon, Chicken Sausage, Mini Hash-brown, Salad. The dish is overall rather decent, though the plating could have been better executed — felt a little haphazard with the salad greens hiding the other components such as the hash-brown and chicken hotdog. The sourdough itself comes relatively fluffy and carries quite a good bite, comes with a crusty exterior that carries quite a chew — all that whilst topped with melted mozzarella and cheddar for that slightly stretchy, oozy and gooey texture that provides for a slight savouriness. Wasn’t too much of a fan of the crispy bacon — the fried turkey bacon was somewhat oddly chewy and carried quite a bite instead; more with a hint of added sweetness amidst the savouriness, and comes with a fried “skin” that felt a little greasy which also disintegrated with the bacon easily. The chicken sausage was more of a chicken cheese sausage; somewhat of a crowd-pleaser and similar to those slightly premium ones sold in supermarkets. Felt that the greens were a little dry, but that is where the cheese sauce, which tastes like melted processed, sliced cheese, on the side comes in — makes for a rather palatable dressing that is otherwise easily overwhelmed by the heavier cheesy flavours going on for the toast.

Gentle Roast isn’t quite the space that I would be rushing to return — food does seem rather decent but its offerings do feel a little distant from what other cafes in Singapore has; perhaps an attempt to appeal to the more hipster audiences. Still, a rather decent spot for a cafe meal in the area — though the Matcha cake is something I may return for!

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Outram Park is one of those places where it seems to see a number of rather promising bakeries and patisseries pop up; the recent openings of Dolç Patissiere and Lematin Patisserie has provided more options to the consumer in recent times — Pickle Bakery is the newest of the lot, having recently opened at Everton Park.

Much like Chu & Co., Pickle Bakery is also run by folks who were previously from Micro Bakery & Kitchen — the space do feel relatively similar with limited seating space both inside and outside of the shop, though Pickle Bakery does lack the vast al-fresco dining space that Chu & Co. has given how Pickle Bakery is a shop set up in the void deck of a HDB block.

We were at Pickle Bakery early and we were a little spoilt for choice on what to get — the bakes seem generally split in between these categories; Sourdough Buns, Croissants/Swirls and full loaves. Eventually we did find ourselves taking away the Figs, Blue Cheese and Walnut sourdough bun, and it certainly did not fail to impress — the sourdough bun comes with a solid bite, but comes with just enough tension without having to take too much effort to chew it off; makes it a really decent takeaway bun to grab-and-go. Amidst the firmness of the bread, it is also noted how the blue cheese seems to be rolled into the dough of the bread rather than to be used as part of the toppings such as the fig and walnuts — not only did the sourdough carry that distinct, natural tang that comes from he fermentation, there is also a lingering saltish-ness that gives the bread a contrast of flavours. That is also where the caramalised figs come to play; carrying a soft crunch akin to caramalised apples, its sweetness compliments that savoury and tangy notes of the sourdough bun, while the walnuts provide a slight hint of nuttiness to bring both elements together, yet provides an occasional crunch for added texture to the bun. Needless to say, its flavour and texture contrast immediately won our hearts, and was something we would readily order again in a heartbeat.

Things are indeed shaking up in the local bakery scene in Singapore; there has been an increasing number of artisan bakeries which had opened their doors of the late — such examples include The Bread Rack, Chu & Co. and Lematin Patisserie of the late. Despite many other bakeries such as Woodlands Sourdough, Mr. Kneady’s, Micro Bakery & Kitchen etc. being all rather established names in when it comes to sourdough bread, Pickle Bakery does offer their baked in their very unique style just as per all the other bakeries that have recently sprouted just far. Being more of a hidden gem during our visit, Pickle Bakery is certainly a name to watch in the F&B scene; a space that is likely to garner its own following just like the many establishments serving similar items as them for their take on the breads they do — wishing them for all the best for everything that is to come!

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Opened to much fanfare, La Fez Cafe & Bakery is one of the few places which had gotten much hype in social media of the late — located just right beside Kota88 Restaurant in Springvale along East Coast Road, La Fez Cafe & Bakery serves up Moroccan-inspired fare; a spot that Muslims can also consider checking out for how it is Muslim-owned. Do note that La Fez Cafe & Bakery is still in its soft launch phase at the point of writing this post, and they are fine-tuning their operations during this period

One of the items that had gotten much attention online is the Majorella Shakshuka with Feta Cheese — an item which features poached eggs, spiced tomato and pepper sauce served in a traditional tangine; essentially a traditional Moroccan earthenware pot, whilst also served with sourdough toasts on the side. There are plenty of Shakshukas served in other establishments apart from La Fez Cafe & Bakery, and their version was one which I found to be satiating — their rendition does come with a satisfying zing and was pretty refreshing and tangy from the spiced tomatoes; rather tasty especially when dipped with the bread with a slight hint of pepperiness and a slight punch of cheesiness from the Feta Cheese if one manages to pick up a piece. Due to the lack of meat in this variant, there is also none of that gaminess that some may associate with the variants of Shakshuka that features lamb sausage as one of the condiments; instead, this version works pretty well as a brunch item for its bright, tangy notes. That being said, some may find the lack of molten, gooey egg yolks in this version a downer; mostly something that can be attributed to the use of the traditional tangine which helps to keep the dish warm throughout the entire time. Would also prefer if they could allow patrons to switch up the sourdough toast for flatbread; the latter already being an option with sourdough toast to be opted for as a carb for the Turkish Poached Eggs — while the sourdough toast comes warm with a soft and fluffy interior that works great for soaking up sauces like that in the shakshuka, I wasn’t a fan of the sourdough for its slight blandness in general, though was well-crusted on the exterior; not withstanding the fact that serving it up with flatbread may be more fitting to its theme of being a Moroccan-inspired cafe.

La Fez Cafe & Bakery is indeed a promising spot in the east of Singapore dishing out Moroccan-inspired cafe fare — apart from its brunch offerings, the other mains also showcases the use of Moroccan spices and cooking methods, be it being cooked in traditional Moroccan earthenware or baked from their fire oven. There are already plenty of cafes and bistros in Katong to begin with, but La Fez Cafe & Bakery is a spot that would like garner its own following with its unique offerings, not to even mention about how it also dishes out Muslim-friendly fare. A spot worth checking out at least once, especially if already at the neighbourhood.

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Visited the new Café Aux Bacchanales which had recently opened their very first overseas outpost in Singapore at Plaza Singapura — the Japanese-French establishment is almost like brasserie, cafe, and boulangerie all under one roof, and originates from Japan. It takes over the former premises of Eggs & Things in the mall, and serves a decently-sized menu that features a selection of soups and salads, entrees, meats (think Steak Frites), sandwiches, galettes, crepes, pastries and cakes — all that with an extensive beverage menu that carries a wide selection of alcoholic beverages to coffee and tea.

Felt that the meats were a little steep for my budget on the day of the visit considering it was a meal out that was completely unplanned for — so the Galette Au Jambon & Champignon works as a lighter item that worked better for the wallet. Wasn’t really expecting too much out of it but I would say that this was decent — their version of the Galette will work well for those who prefer softer, fluffier crepes in general; nothing close to the crisp, browned out crepes that French Fold or Gather serves, and seems to be of the eggier sort rather than the buckwheat rendition that is trendy these days. What is evident is the eggy fragrance of the crepe, lined with stretchy melted cheese that encases the shoulder ham within — a somewhat slightly more premium cut that wasn’t too greasy nor saltish, yet of a cut slightly thicker than your typical supermarket ham that comes off the packet. Coming with fried Enoki mushroom over the top, I liked how those provides a light crispness to the dish with an added texture, while the shaved cheese provides a slightly more pungent savouriness to the dish. Wasn’t too much of a fan of the button mushroom; seemingly raw and comes with a rather strong hint of earthiness that stood out quite a bit on its own, but all’s well when one breaks the egg yolk for that molten, golden goodness that helps to bind everything together with a silken texture.

Given the prices at Café Aux Bacchanales, its probably not a spot that I would think of dining at in Plaza Singapura; the steep prices does somewhat make it lesser of an establishment for the hipster crowd, but more of a spot that tai-tais may gather as a mid-day break from all the shopping in town — the menu and ambience seemingly being more tuned towards a more mature crowd. That being said, I am still pretty inclined to revisit Café Aux Bacchanales for the various bakes that they carry — items that I have already eyed on include the Paris Brest and the Tarte Tatin au Crème Chantilly; perhaps somewhere to consider given its proximity to the workplace!

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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!

The space at Cloud Mohammed Sultan which houses the likes of GelatoLabo and Glass Roasters had just seen the introduction of yet another new tenant who had just moved into its premises — Pleats, which is also the tenant which oversees the hot food service for Cloud Mohammed Sultan Road focusing on wood-fired brunch plates.

Visiting them before their official launch, the menu from Pleats isn’t displayed anywhere even on the online version available through scanning the QR code on the table — do make enquiries with the friendly folks from Glass Roasters for Pleats’ offerings at the current stage. The Truffle Portobello Open Face Toast is just one of the two items available during the day of our visit — a simple sandwich that is served in an open-faced format, the bread used seems to be akin to that of a focaccia; it’s lightly airy, spongey yet well-crusted — sufficiently dense and crisp from the toasting before being spread with truffle paste to carry that slight hint of aroma that perfumes the open-faced sandwich lightly. Coming with chunks of roasted portobello over the top, the portobello mushrooms were bouncy; comes with a distinct earthiness that was well complimented with the stringy and stretchy melted cheese over the top — a crowd pleaser on its own. The item also comes with garden salad on the side; drizzled with a simple vinaigrette for a zingy note that cuts through the cheesiness and carb-y nature of the item.

Simple as it may be, but Pleats offerings do feel well-executed despite being something that one can put-together at home. For one, I was pretty impressed even with the bread that they have used: likely one that is made from scratch in-house and a joy to have even on its own. Given how Cloud Mohammed Sultan Road had always lacked a hot food option, Pleats is a welcome addition to the space, which compliments what Glass Roasters and GelatoLab has to offer; makes Cloud Mohammed Sultan Road a one-stop destination for cafe-hoppers to check out with items from three different operators to choose from.

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Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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