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Café Invasion

Café Invasion

Discovering coffees, mains and desserts served in the local café scene.
Siming T
Siming T

Although the café belt along Upper Thomson received flocks of diners during weekends, occasionally we just had to brave the crowd to get that hearty breakfast fix.

And so the Breakfast Platter (S$24.00) did the trick. This brunch item comprised two eggs of your choice of doneness, and came with all those good stuff as shown on the photo. The only thing that shocked me was that they started to adopt a “No Pork, No Lard” policy. Halal certification in the near future? Maybe... but that would have meant that the pork sausages and thick cut bacon that used to be there would be replaced by chicken or turkey substitutes. Breakfast just seemed imperfect without perfectly-crisped bacon.

I was seriously intrigued by the selection of desserts in their lunch menu. Although there were only four to choose from, each one of them seemed interesting on its own.

We all know that chilli and chocolate could create sparks if done well. And that was what this Chilli Crack Cake (S$16.00) was all about. Yes, for a dessert that came in this size it was not so pocket-friendly, but I was really nodding with approval when I tasted the chilli in the predominantly-chocolate dessert; there were spicy notes but no burn involved.

While the alcohol was hardly noticeable within the chocolate mousse by the side, this was a good dessert that rounded up my meal with a pleasant and positive touch.

While I wasn’t exactly sure if I would classify Meating Place as a café, they do serve some interesting protein-based mains and a relatively nicely-done coffee.

The Wagyu Tender (S$25.00) was a Japanese-inspired rice bowl that came with horseradish lemon cream, Onsen egg, shredded crispy potato and a generous portion of sliced beef. The best way to take this dish was perhaps to mix everything together to get a balance of flavours and textures.

I felt that it was quite a saucy dish with the short-grained rice well-covered with sauce and runny egg. Although all the ingredients could be savoured without being overpowered by one another, I did appreciate having that glass of water after this just to wash everything down and cleanse the palate a bit.

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The first impression of this place when I saw the menu was that this café served their food at affordable prices. Because of that, it made sense to order some additional appetisers for sharing, such as their Truffle Tater Tots (S$7.00).

Though I would not really pin much hope on the minute portion of shaved parmesan for flavours, the tater tots were just addictive to make one want to pop one after another into the mouth.

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At S$8.30 for 2 quarters of waffles, I would say that this portion was just right for two persons, given the overall sweetness of the ice cream with the add-on portion of Azuki red bean. In fact, who would have guessed the Azuki would be as big as a scoop of their Madagascar vanilla ice cream?

While there was nothing to rave about for their waffles which was slightly buttery and not in the perfect fluff and crisp ratio that I would surrender to, I thought that everything else on the plate made this dessert enjoyable. And when the sweetness was overpowering somehow, the piped butter helped in cleansing the palate a bit.

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As a response to the decline in business at Jewel Changi Airport, Café Morozoff introduced a price cut for their pasta dishes, allowing diners to get a plate of pasta at only S$10.00 (usual price S$12.50). On top of the price cut, they would even throw in a beverage or pudding for free, making the deal very attractive.

There was quite a large portion of pasta, with large chunks of diced chicken tossed in mushroom cream sauce that tasted strangely familiar. Though I could use a bit more intensed flavours here, the overall satisfaction was still pretty good in relation to the price point.

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In the day, Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar would serve their Brunch menu until 4.00pm, and one of the loveliest items in the Eggs section was their Steak and Eggs (S$24.00), which came with a 150g ribeye steak, cooked to preferred doneness.

While the dish also came with homemade entrecôte sauce, the steak on the plate was already well-seasoned, thus tasting just as good without that additional sauce. Who needs bacon for breakfast when the steak was this good?

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Shown in this picture was the aftermath of dropping the Chocolate Dome (S$18.00) from a height. It was the playful and theatrical part of the meal, whereby I had two options when this first came in a dessert cup: drop it from a height (plastic gloves provided) or to break it with a spoon.

Putting the gloves on, I then held the chocolate bowl in my hands, lifted about 30cm from the plate, and released it to watch it fall and shatter, only to discover some little surprises hidden by the scoop of Earl Grey ice cream, such as honeycomb, cheesecake and mixed berries. Don’t forget to top it up with some caramel sauce and condensed milk for added sweetness!

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One could never get tired of seeing Pulled-pork Burger (S$16.00) from café menus especially if they were done well, and I thought that the one at The Communal Place was executed quite nicely.

Flavoursome pulled pork was actually complemented with that beautiful brioche bun and some coleslaw added crunch with a little creamy texture. Kind of like a perfect instance which one could have excuse not to share the burger with your dinner date.

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One could never get tired of seeing Pulled-pork Burger (S$16.00) from café menus especially if they were done well, and I thought that the one at The Communal Place was executed quite nicely.

Flavoursome pulled pork was actually complemented with that beautiful brioche bun and some coleslaw added crunch with a little creamy texture. Kind of like a perfect instance which one could have excuse not to share the burger with your dinner date.

#BurppleEatup
#BurppleBeyond

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One would seldom find a whole fish served in a Western-oriented restaurant, but I liked the novelty that The Communal Place had introduced, which was to bring sharing plates to the dining table.

The Spanish Barramundi (S$24.00) was visually stunning with all the brightly-coloured accessories that came with it. The acidic Pico de Gallo Salsa was refreshing and appetising, and could easily mask off any fishy smell (not that I could pick up any in the first place). However, one must snap out of the admiration of the dish quickly before the crispy fish skin would turn soggy from the vibrant sidekicks.

If you have an Ang Moh friend who had not seen people eat fish done this way, this might be a good place to introduce to them too, so that you could show them that even the fish head could be devoured.

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It’s a different interpretation of Kaya Toast at The Affogato Lounge, because for S$4.50, I got for myself three half-slices of toasted sandwich bread. Accompanying this all-day brunch item was a scoop of unsalted butter and a piped Kaya cream, so one could spread the two smooth and creamy stars on the toast as desired.

Upon putting everything together, I thought that there were some missing elements in this version of the Kaya Toast. Firstly, the butter was somewhat tasteless because of its salt-free nature. While the Kaya had prominent notes of coconut cream, I thought that it was a little too smooth unlike the familiar Kaya I would usually associate with, also with a lack of burst of Pandan leaves and sugar flavours. Putting the toast aside, if there were a little more contrast on the flavours and textures of the spreads, I might derive more satisfaction from this easy breakfast. On the other hand, if a smooth butter-cream texture was what you would look for, this might actually work well for you.

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Siming T

Level 8 Burppler · 951 Reviews

First world problem: What to eat for the next meal?

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