Cafes, Coffee & Brunch

Cafes, Coffee & Brunch

If there's anything worth dragging yourself out of bed for....
Christabel Tan
Christabel Tan

We're all familiar with the Spiced scrambled ($18) and Eggstraordinary eggs & snags ($24), the latter of which arrived with, uh, overcooked yolks, but there's been little talk about the Salmon, pistachio, rosti ($25).

Every component of this pricey, pescatarian-friendly option was pretty much on point. What's not to like about pistachio-crusted salmon, cooked to perfection, perched atop a crisp and golden brown disc of potato rosti?

Well, the watercress and rocket salad could've merely existed in all its stark rawness, if not for the uplifting citrus mint mayo.

This is ideal if you want something that straddles the line in between "indulgent" and "healthy".

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No bridges were burnt in the making of Bridge of Marrow ($14). Smoky and straight to the point, it demands your undivided attention. The buttery amalgamation of bone marrow, breadcrumbs and garlic, when spread onto sourdough, is nothing but decadent.


The small plates at Sideways are, frankly speaking, superior to the mains. I was awash with despair once the last piece of Sicilian Crostini ($15) disappeared from the plate. Even as the next attraction beckoned, a lasting impression from the kiss of creamy burrata, a buffer for the nduja's fiery heat, lingered. Alas, my rare encounter with spreadable pork (salumi) ended all too quickly.


The Firebake bread board ($10) deserves a spot on every table. A selection of assorted breads, including the likes of house made woodfired sourdough and fruit loaf, is served with salted Norwegian butter and Greek olive oil. Adding on a side of their delectable tangerine-hued house made kaya ($1), with fragrant floral notes, is a must.

There’s also the toasted sourdough milk bun with kaya (and butter, of course) at $3.50 - breakfast for one, sorted.


After noticing several enticing photos of this Pumpkin Kale ($18) salad on social media, I didn't have to think twice whilst ordering.

Roasted butternut pumpkin and crunchy, charred onions sit at the forefront, atop a base of crisp kale that was a little too finely chopped for my liking. They are joined by a scattering of spiced pumpkin seeds and marinated goat cheese. I'm personally an advocate of feta as pairing best with pumpkin, but it doesn't hurt to occasionally switch things up. Clearly, this isn't a salad that's delicate or mild in flavour. The hit of sour and salty, along with those sporadic bursts of mellow sweetness, is unmistakable.

Fun flavours and textures aside, I get that it's not the most affordable salad around. You are perfectly capable of recreating it at home if you put in the effort to source for quality ingredients.


Do I know anything about African cuisine, let alone their curries? Not at all.

Despite being relatively unfamiliar with most of the curries and stews under "From Mama Africa", the one that caught my eye was the Swahili Fish Curry ($29). Red snapper features in what appears to be the priciest dish on the menu.

The concoction of tamarind, coconut milk, home curry paste and habanero yields a curry that's sour and spicy, without being overbearingly rich. Savouring this with some of that refreshing tomato salsa (served on the side) is non-negotiable; let those contrasting temperatures collide.

Maybe it's just me but there was a certain idyllic quality to this dish: doesn't it look like an island of fragrant coconut rice surrounded by a "sea" of curry?


The Shabsouka & Soft-Boiled Egg Toast ($11) won't give you the same pleasure as dipping crusty bread in a skillet of shakshouka, but it'll do.

Spiced beef in a tomato-based sauce, feta cheese (lacking), green chilli, cherry tomatoes and shiso sprout on toasted rye - could it possibly pass off as spicy spag bol on toast, minus the pasta? The portion size was just right, and with it being hearty, I was filled up rather quickly.

The eggs, though, were a sight to behold. All it took was a soft prod, and out came oozing a stream of liquid gold.


I was welcoming towards the addition of crabmeat to the (some might say) already perfect trio of English muffin, poached eggs and hollandaise in FOCR’s Crab Benedict ($21). As much as I enjoyed the golden-brown soft-shell crab with mentaiko sauce, although it being deep-fried didn’t help, this dish was just way too creamy and cloying.

It got jelak and a little “one-dimensional” halfway through. The crab meat was sweet and fresh, but that was that. Even the ebiko did little to liven things up (ikura would’ve been a better but also pricier alternative). There simply wasn’t much going on. My taste buds were craving for something more, waiting to be perked up.

Don’t have this all to yourself; your best bet would be to order a bunch of other dishes to share. That’s what I’ll be doing on my next visit – I already have my eye on the Beef Tartare and Baked Eggs.


It may not be the most cohesive dish out there, but having just returned from my favourite city Melbourne, the Eggstraordinary eggs & snags ($24) certainly took me back.

I've never cared much for asparagus, roasted or not, which I mainly eat out of obligation. For me, it was all about the spicy chicken harissa sausage, and crumbed crispy soft boiled eggs (the vegetarian equivalent of scotch eggs), with oozy yolks the colour of sunshine.

Both were balanced out by the sweet and zingy freshness of rocket leaves with balsamic and Parmesan shavings, tomato and beetroot purée.

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Customizing your plate at FlagWhite is not as dangerous as you might expect, unless you go overboard while ordering, as every food item under "Flag Your Brunch" is $4 or less.

Having yet to recover from my excessive holiday feasting, I decided to start my day on a more wholesome note, opting for sourdough ($4) with a side of butter, poached eggs ($4), sauteed mushrooms ($3), smoked salmon ($4), roasted pumpkin ($3), and a side of salad greens. Every component delivered, making for a hearty and satisfying brunch I thoroughly relished.

This alone served as a reflection of the honest-to-goodness comfort food you can find here - a laid-back spot to while away a lazy afternoon, book in hand.


Standardised breakfast plates are a dime a dozen nowadays. You may not give much thought to the Gastrosmiths Breakfast Plate ($22), amidst the other attractive menu offerings available, but hey, don't knock it till you try it.

I must commend the silky scrambled eggs, that almost outshone the other elements: crispy bacon, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and a Nürnberger sausage. Each plate also comes with a slice of toast, which I believe is made in-house, and a little saucer of currant compote (a refreshing change from the usual berry jam). Ask for a side of butter.


I know next to nothing about Goan cuisine, and so cannot vouch for the authenticity of this dish, but a quick Google search proved to be useful in describing Goan-style curries as "intense" and "tangy". Sounds about right.

Gastrosmiths' Fresh Prawn & Wolf Fish Curry, Prata ($20) may not sit so well with those who insist on SPICY curry, but you ought to give it a chance. It tasted as vibrant as it looked, being tangy, robust and piquant, which can be attributed to a base of tomatoes, tamarind, and white wine.

I was more than happy to shamelessly wipe the entire plate clean with the accompanying crispy, charred, non-oily prata.


I'll desert you for desserts

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