Department of Caffeine

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Special reservation for one, please.

To say I was happy to finally arrive at this little brown-hued nook is a severe, severe understatement. I had been meaning to visit for a full year, believe it or not. The urge was uncontrollable, and now being the holidays, I found myself a pathetic excuse to go all the way to somewhere like Tanjong Pagar just to be woken up, enlightened, seduced by a cuppa joe and (fingers crossed) good brunch fare. Even though I had breakfast. But still. This will only be a half review since I went alone, armed with a frown-faced stomach and On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt (finished the whole thing in that one sitting). If I ordered anything more, such as their acclaimed and gorgeous buttermilk waffles (those come in all varieties, they even have valrhona chocolate ones with honey butterscotch?!), I might have received one too many a glare. The fact that I appear a weirdly skinny alien to many won’t help. The irony would have been annoying, and might’ve put my own stomach to shame. I should also like to note that they spelt butterscotch wrongly (please refer to the first picture), which tainted my first impression of the place, as spelling and grammar is of utmost importance in any state or occasion. To me at least. Come on. Scotch.

Anyways.

Caffé Mocha– $5.50

Smoked Salmon and baby spring onion scrambled eggs on toasted English muffin with brown butter– $15.50 (NEW! They said)

The Caffé Mocha, in other words Mr. childish mock version of a proper capp, was of a rich, plump brew, though the caffeine knob could have been turned up just that bit more. Wonderful, was my first thought. I should have remembered my unkind intolerance to milky, more sweet or chocolatey coffee though. The funny thing was, this substantial cup of warm, rich mocha came a considerable amount of time after my food came, which was confusing and admittedly rather disconcerting. It’s fine if it’s the other way round, for you can ponder your ongoing life crises whilst trying to appear demure as you sip at the cup’s brim, taking in the more comforting aroma, letting your ashen thoughts dissolve in the steam and liquid right under your foam-tipped nose. Ah, and if you want some seriously professional latte art, this is the place to come to. Lovely, but after a while, perhaps due to the chemistry of the chocolate-infused brew, the top was splotched with popped air bubbles, and my once-beautiful swan faded into the deep chocolate of the river it was contained in.

I was debating whether to order the scrambled eggs or the smoked salmon quiche with a large side salad. There were the waffles, but I knew it would be a waste if I didn’t finish it. And I knew they had French toast, stuffed with all sorts of wonderful like maple syrup bananas and greek yoghurt with berries, but I came to the heart-numbing realisation that it was just not available that day.

Pain, pain. But a quiche, Alex, is not nearly as exotic as something with brown butter, I told myself. It was that, the smoked salmon and words ‘baby onion’ which made me decide to spend a painful 15 bucks. 15.50! I made a careful note to not shell out all my savings before this mid-term break. The plate arrived within 10 minutes, which was impressive, the steam rising up like wispy gaseous intestines (remember that I’m the worst with descriptions. Remember). The scrambled eggs were of a bright and buttery hue, mellow but shining with the purity of fresh eggs, whipped to perfection with some cream and great lashings of butter, I supposed. The smoked salmon was not in the least bit too salty and complemented the rest of the dish so kindly, so perfectly. Even the side salad was lovingly dressed up with a tart lemon vinaigrette, to spice up and add a cutting contrast to the heavier, denser flavours of English muffin stodge and buttery egg. Then again, it was that English muffin which had a little bit of a problem. Perfectly toasted, a generous size, but to be frank, soggy.

I said it. Soggy. I appreciated the usage of brown butter here, though to be fair they could have done the browning process a little longer (and let my coffee come first, ha) to bring out the signature nutty notes of well-done brown butter. Its craggy loveliness, akin to the texture I had this morning for my first breakfast (which I slathered with almond butter, honey, banana and cinnamon y-u-m), was totally destroyed due to the heavy-handedness of the butter. Too much of it made the otherwise nicely crisp inside a mushy mess, and this was exacerbated by the moisture of the smoked salmon and slick golden scramble which lay like lazy bums on top.

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The components served to feed off each other in the best possible way. Just that… muffin. Just that. I would come here again for that damn French toast, waffles and coffee. And for goodness’ sake, some friends.

Rating: 4.75/ 5.0

15 Duxton Rd, 089481
6223 3426

Café hopping is annoyingly expensive. I do this in the name of coffee. I do this in the name of good and beautiful food. I do this…

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