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Café Discoveries

Café Discoveries

So many cafés, so little time. But slowly and surely, I will conquer them all! :)
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua
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F A M I L Y & F R I E N D S

At yesterday’s private lunch event, “Starter Lab Singapore” brought out these platters of sandwiches, all constructed with their made-and-baked-fresh breads, for us to try. Basically, it’s a preview to what they will be offering customers starting at 8:30am on 5th August when they officially open for business.
Served at room temperature, I found the sized-down versions of the sandwiches crafted well.
And although I have never really been into rye bread, the Salmon Smørrebrød turned out to be the one I loved most from this lot. The thin slice of nut-studded bread was made-me-go-whoa delectable, with smoked salmon, house-pickled cucumber and radish, a sprinkle of sumac and housemade crème fraiche layered on in the ideal proportion.
Jostling for second spot in my heart from amongst these Posh Toasts would be the Curried Cauliflower and the Meaty Mushrooms with Ricotta. Coincidentally, vegetarian creations both. Which says a lot, given how much I enjoy meat.
The other thing I think most people will like is that Starter Lab lets you pick the bread to make your sandwich with.

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For a brand with so many outlets, Cedele does some eye-raisingly good quality and scrumptious bakes and cakes. Coincidentally enough, I seem to have been indulging in a few of them over the last week and thought it’s a good time to share what I’ve enjoyed.
Besides the well-balanced Matcha Chocolate Cake my friend Gabriel chose for a birthday cake to culminate his recent celebration dinner, my parents and I shared three items when we popped into the expanded Cedele outlet at Raffles City for tea break. One was my beloved thickly-frosted Carrot Cake of theirs, cut tall and small; the others were baked bars of an Apricot Pistachio and a Pear Frangipane. As far as my parents and I were concerned, they were all faultlessly executed with the respective lovely fragrance and the right texture. Sweetness level was well controlled across the board, something I really appreciated personally.

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A brand new hip coffee brand from Kyoto just opened up on Arab Street but the whole neighbourhood of Kampong Glam in Singapore already boasts a number of very good cafes that have their own strengths. For eg. Muslim-owned @allthingsdelicious, a place I recently took my parents and relatives visiting from the U.K. and New Zealand, for an afternoon snack.
We ordered drinks (the ginger and lychee lassi is lovely), a couple of freshly made sandwiches (their Tuna Melt and the hot-pressed Sriracha Chicken are really appetising with a nice kick of spice plus they both have a generous amount of filling), and a tall slice of Gula Melaka cake (it’s honestly, one of the best I’ve had in a long time and my Aunty Siew Leng was full of praises for it too).
If you are an ice-cream lover, their Affogato which has the coffee served in a cup you can cradle, will be very appealing because they give double scoops of vanilla ice-cream.
I have noticed that this cafe is always full because many people drop in for their bakes which are produced fresh on the premises daily. Here are a few of their offerings you can pick from to enjoy with a cuppa or to take away: sweet or savoury scones, assorted tarts, sticky date pudding and more.

H O S T E D
If you’ve dined at Ken Loon‘s passion project @magicsquare.sg before, you may find the curry leaf cream sauce accompanying the pan-roasted Kuhlbarra Barramundi ($24.90) familiar. Yup, it is one and the same and is still as dizzyingly aromatic and mouthwateringly good as
when Chef Desmond Shen (@dzzfizz) served it back then. Here, you get to enjoy a generous serving of it with a nice large piece of crispy-skinned fish.

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H O S T E D
I would order this again at the drop of a hat.
Although it was a last minute addition to the tasting menu, the Cray Roll blew my mind the moment I bit into it.
Served warm, the brioche bun was unbelievably soft and buttery, and went perfectly with the gloriously rich stuffing of chunks of crayfish tumbled together with ebikko and fried capers in prawn mayo. On the side was a pile of some really decent fries.

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The name says it all, the “Simple Summer Breakfast” at Summerlong has two eggs cooked however you like, sliced avocado, sourdough, baby spinach and half a grilled tomato. You can always choose to make things less simple by adding bacon, a slab of halloumi cheese or a short, thick merguez sausage which is what we did.
For what you get—attractively presented food that is decent in taste—prices here are a little higher than at other cafes but the central location, spaciousness and easy-breezy ambience of this Mediterranean-lite restaurant, as well as the friendly, on-the-ball service of the experienced staff are the reasons why I would return.

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It’s been a while since I last dined here so when it came to deciding where our group should go for brunch today, the answer was obvious.
Without hesitation, I tend to gravitate towards the “Pimp Your Breakfast” section of the menu but the “Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich” caught my eye and that was it - I knew instantly what was destined for my belly.
Between the soft hot dog buns was a very large and very juicy piece of thigh meat. It wore a thin layer of crunchy crumbed coating that made the sandwich more fun texturally. Rounding things out with a bit of creaminess was a dollop of coriander mayo and a generous layer of smashed avocado. The rush of spicy heat that I particularly loved, came courtesy of Chef-owner Darren Farr’s housemade sriracha. Last but not least, fresh lettuce and sliced tomatoes were layered in between.
Verdict: A really solid chicken sandwich that I wouldn’t hesitate to order again.

Figs is one of those fruit that piques my immediate interest. And it is hard to resist when I know it comes with yogurt ice-cream, buckwheat crumble and a drizzle of honey. The salty facet, courtesy of the butter used for the crumble, gives this light dessert an extra tasty edge that I really enjoy.

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Got an early dose of 年年有余 today with this 鱼. To be specific, a Snapper prepared Mediterranean style (serves 2, price; $45+).
Weighing about 600gms, it’s been panfried then smothered in a rich tomato sauce with capers and green olives. Served with the fish are four thick slices of fluffy sourdough which are perfect for mopping up the sauce.

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I’m pleased as punch to have stumbled upon another place that does excellent scrambled eggs.
Here at Rookery, Head Chef Sebastian gets them looking very, very sexy - think super slinky, soft and silky folds. He even finishes with some finely chopped chives and a sprinkle of spices for a boost of fragrance and flavour in every bite.
What’s more, this serving of healthy protein costs only $4++. You just have to say you want the “eggs” listed under the “Add Ons” section of the menu like I did.

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What I’d give to have Wheeler’s Yard’s “Iced Chendol-presso Ball” this very minute.
That frozen sphere is a concentrated hit of intense, aromatic coffee and gula melaka, perfumed with pandan leaves to be released under the heat of warm milk. Being able to control the proportion of milk to flavoured espresso is a big plus for me because I prefer to taste more of the rich coffee.
A great drink to sip on anytime. But perhaps not too late at night unless for whatever reason, you need a powerful rush of caffeine to keep you awake.

So beautiful it hurts but that’s not the best thing about the spread here. You can trust owners @eamesboy and @gpsywhite to make taste the priority. And that is how the Scrambled Eggs on Toast ($10.80+), and they use multi-grain bread, has the eggs cooked with butter and milk till a creamy, almost-runny softness. To finish, very finely-grated Parmesan and a dusting of paprika. The same paprika is trailed over my add-on order of avocado ($4.50+) which was sliced with such mind boggling precision I wouldn’t be surprised if a computer and laser were involved. Bacon and portobello were the other extras I asked for before sensibility caught up with me ($4.80+ and $4+ respectively). There were four slices of the smoky, crisped porky goodness and one hefty, juicy representative for the mushroom. Yes, I may have been a bit greedy.
A word of caution: Don’t get so distracted by capturing the aesthetics you let your food grow cold.

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Can't cook to save my life but boy, can I eat! 😄 (I pay for all my meals unless otherwise stated)

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