Category Archives: Brunch

Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters @Upper Thomson

Opened in October last year, Pacamara has gained popularity for its instagram-worthy delicious menu. Having gone through a process of repackaging, revamping and relocating, the shop appears to have been “born again”. The interiors are whitewashed and minimalist, just like a clean slate.

Why the name Pacamara? I’m guessing it was derived from their El Salvadorean Pacamara Arabica coffee bean. A standard mocha here would not go wrong. It’s interesting to note that their refrigerator offers a variety of juices, ciders, sodas, ales and stouts that is sure to please everybody. On the other hand, their hot brew tea from The 1872 Clipper Tea collection failed to impress my companions or me. Even with its fancy beaker/flask ware. So how did their food fare?

Truffle Fries: To be honest, what can go wrong with fries? I’m not that picky but I get turned off easily by oily fries. So oily that they leave behind pools of oil on your thumb and index finger. BUT thankfully, Pacamara serves awesome non-oily truffle fries. A little less on the salt would be perfect 🙂
Sweet Potato Fries: Seriously, I think we will come to a point when everything can be made into elongated fries. Well, if they are delicious, why not? These alternatives are a delight to your palette. Mildly sweet, they almost make you forget that you’re eating something fried and unhealthy. Be sure to order this to share with at least 3-4 people as it gets a little ‘je lak’ after the 5th one.
Ocean Mac & Cheese: This dish was simply heavenly. Oven baked gometi pasta with crabmeat and prawn, topped with smoked salmon. Every component of this dish was stellar and yet, interdependent. I loved how little seasoning was needed as the savoury cheese and sweet seafood chunks were sufficient to make one swoon with every bite. Once you feel that it’s getting too overwhelming, just pair the next spoonful with a bit of smoked salmon. Your sense of taste comes back to life. Truffle Benedict(Discontinued): Another of my favourite dish in Pacamara, but a shame that it was discontinued when a new menu was introduced 2 weeks ago. Firstly, it was the champion of weekend brunch shots. Taking over Instagram by storm, their eggs benny were photogenic and never failed to garner top likes. Besides its good looks, the eggs benny are actually delicious. Ranked second on my favourite eggs benny list, the truffle-infused hollandaise sauce was a home run. Breakfast Platter: For SGD22, the plate is packed with everything that you can ask for. Multi grain toast, smoked salmon, avocado, hash, thick cuts of streaky bacon, mushroom, tomato, greens and choice of eggs(poached, sunny side up or scrambled) Though the greens look lacklustre and could do with more effort or at least some dressing, the rest of the plate did not disappoint. As always, the breakfast platter makes a safe and reliable choice.

Before I found out that the eggs benny was discontinued, I was constantly craving for it. And now, I’m craving for their Mac & Cheese. If a cafe could serve food that is so impressionable and unforgettable, you know its a place worth visiting again and again.

Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters (Singapore)
185 Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 574333

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-11pm
*No reservations

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Old Hen Coffee Bar

Famous for their cold brew and waffles, Old Hen is no stranger to the cafe scene. A speciality coffee shop, the interior has an simplistic industrial design. The people of Old Hen are very passionate about the quality of the coffee they serve.

IMG_1080You may have seen this familiar picture repeatedly on every social media platform. Their cold brew has received positive reviews and is a must-try for all. For non-coffee lovers, go for their Valrhona Dark Cocoa. Both bottles are priced $6.50. Perfect for our hot tropical weather, diners never fail to order a bottle or two to cool off. In addition, don’t be surprised to see customers leaving with bottles in tow.
Smoked Salmon and Apple Toast: The combination of apples, raisins, cucumber and cream cheese make a great contrast to the savoury taste of the smoked salmon. Simply out-of-the-box and yet “delish”. Chicken Cheese Burrito: Shredded chicken, diced tomatoes, peppers, onions, melted cheese and homemade honey mustard all mixed up and wrapped up snuggly in a burrito. A hearty dish that promises to give you a satisfying and tasty meal. My companion really liked the dish but I was hoping for a more complex taste profile. I found it a little flat and sweet.

Croque Monsieur: Honey baked ham, bechamel(a rich white sauce made with milk infused with herbs and other flavourings) and melted cheese. Not the best I’ve tried but I love how unpretentious and cosy the dish is. Each bite guarantees you with a decadent mix of ham and cheese.

Never mind that “old hen” is a queer choice of name for a cafe, it is pretty smart to be honest. Despite its “ulu” location at Rangoon Road, the one-year-old cafe is easily crowded on a weekday late morning. The next time I’m back, I’m definitely giving their famed waffles a try!

Old Hen Coffee Bar
88 Rangoon Road
#01-03 Singapore 218374

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 12pm-10pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
Sat: 10am-6.30pm
Sun: 10am-10pm

Arteastiq @Mandarin Gallery

There is something very alluring about Arteastiq: a linguistic play between Artistic, and tea. Interior designs are somewhat whimsical; a partition is created by hanging bird cages. Windows face the streets of Orchard, offering a view of Singapore’s most popular shopping district. Besides the view, Arteastiq is mainly known for 2 things: Their tea blends and its art jamming concept. For just $48, you can pretend to be Picasso for 3 hours and paint to your hearts content. Do check out their weekday promotion prices too. Photo 29-12-14 3 01 38 pmIced Lycée Tea: One of the drinks that caught my attention was their iced lychee tea. Refreshing and addictive, it is the perfect drink to cool our hot tropical afternoon. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetHot Ginger Tea: Ginger Tea has an acquired taste and not many can appreciate it. But it is known for its numerous health benefits and cure for common illness. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetGreen Tea Latte and Chocolate Coffee: The green tea latte was unimpressionable, and in fact a little too milky. However, the chocolate coffee was jaw-dropping. Deep, dark chocolate Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetViva Duck: One of my favourite dishes at Arteastiq, smoked duck goes extremely well with the wraps.
Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetPrime Dawn: Pan-fried potato-brocoli medallion, scrambled eggs and cheesy roasted tomato with sausage. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetAnte Meridiem: Cheesy potato gratin with salmon, topped with rockets. As usual, it is hard to find a place who can produce a perfectly seared salmon fillet.

There are many reasons to take a trip down to Arteastiq. Be it to paint or to grab an afternoon tea,  one visit would never be enough to try the menu that they have to offer. To date, I’ve been here three times.

Arteastiq
Mandarin Gallery, #04-14/15
333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867

Opening Hours:
Weekday: 11am – 10:30pm
Weekend: 10am – 10:30pm
Tel: 6235 8370

Canopy Garden Dining & Bar

Making a Quick Statement

A cafe with a garden setting for patrons to escape the huzz and buzz of city life, the menu has a variety of dishes to boast. From all-day breakfast to main courses, the western cafe definitely appeals to customers of all ages. Although it is inaccessibly nestled in the heart of Bishan Park 2, this cafe is fully booked days before and a long queue snakes at the door.  Although it is a pet-friendly cafe, it does not serve food for our pets. But still, both humans and canines never fail to gather.

We Recommend: Chili Crab Pasta (This pasta dish is number one on my list of favourites. Al dente linguine wrapped in creamy yet addictive chilli crab sauce with crab meat drizzled all over.)

Canopy Garden Dining & Bar
1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
Bishan Park 2
Singapore 569931

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thurs, Sun & PH: 9am – 10.30pm
Fri-Sat: 9am – 11pm
Tel: 9116 4666

Department Of Caffeine, more than just a family business

Finally, I venture into the rustic lanes of Duxton Road to check out one of the cafes that has been gathering raves and reviews in our sunny island. The name suggests that this quaint little cafe is pretty serious about the coffee and tea that they serve to their customers. Yet similarly, D.O.C promises to provide comforting and affordable food for the masses. IMG_2524D.O.C Platter: Scrambled eggs and bacon wrapped meatloaf on toasted brioche with tomato confit and cheese boccincini. The eggs were done well, though a little more seasoning would be perfect. And I think the classy plating just made my breakfast look like a million dollars.

IMG_2532Sausages, mushrooms & egg: English pork sausages with mushroom ragout topped with a sunny side up egg on toasted artisanal sourdough. Nothing can go wrong with this power combination, maybe except for the choice of bread. Not really a big fan of sourdough for breakfast dishes.

 

Although I swapped my regular mocha for a banana smoothie, I did not regret my decision. The smoothie was refreshing and a great start for the day. However, being named Department of Caffeine, I silently promised myself that I’m definitely trying its mocha the second round. You heard me right, D.O.C is definitely worth another visit. If you’re not ready to wait for seats, be sure to make a reservation first.

Department of Caffeine

15 Duxton Road
Singapore, 089481

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri: 10.30 – 7.30
Sat-Sun: 9.30 – 7.30
Tel: 6223 3426

Lady Antoinette has arrived.

IMG_6241Antoinette comes from the name Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, who was famous for her lavish and luxurious living. As the name suggests, the menu of this cafe pivots on French cuisine, particularly Parisian patisserie. Delicate, well-crafted cakes and pastries sit behind squeaky clean display glass panels, tempting shoppers that walk along the corridors. So what makes of their brunch menu?
IMG_6233Classic Eggs Florentine: Toasted brioche, wilted spinach, Serrano ham and Hollandaise sauce, this dish is arguably the cousin of Eggs Benny. All the ingredients complement each other resulting in a heavenly combination of flavours for each bite. The poached egg is done perfectly, yolk oozing out at the cut of the knife. But the star of this dish has got to be the Hollandaise sauce. Creamy and well-seasoned, this is one of the best sauce that I’ve tasted so far. IMG_6240The cafe is furnished with posh tables and chairs, and adorned with intricate ornaments, giving diners a lush and luxurious dining experience. Wouldn’t it be great to dine like the queen?

Antoinette
Mandarin Gallery
333A Orchard Road
#02-33/34
Singapore 238897

Opening Hours:
11am to 10pm (Last order 9pm)

Hatched

Brunch eateries have taken our sunny island by storm in recent years, giving many locals a chance to sleep in during the weekends. So its no wonder when an egg-inspired all-day breakfast restaurant pops up in suburban Holland Village, brunch-lovers start thronging over to satisfy their poached eggs craving.
IMG_9480Philly: I was having a bit of a meat craving that day, so I ditched my usual poached eggs for an omelette filled with strips of steak, peppers and onion. The steak might not have been as juicy or seasoned as I had fantasized, but it was good enough to please my tummy.
IMG_9484Papillote: The name of this dish comes from a French cooking method in which food is put inside a folded parchment paper and baked. Although I’m caught scratching my head wondering, it doesn’t stop me from recalling how the concentrated taste of salty smoked salmon is aptly tamed by the light and creamy flavour of scrambled eggs.

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Hatched
267 Holland Avenue
Singapore 278989
+65 6463 0012
Opening Hours: 9AM to 11PM (Last Order: 1030PM) (Tue – Sun).
Closed on Mondays

Five and Dime.

IMG_6132Nestled in the midst of the urban housing of River Valley Road, Five and Dime is at least 15 minutes away from the nearest MRT Station, Somerset. Yet, this eatery is not lacking in patrons on a late Saturday morning. Couples, friends and even non-locals are familiar faces among the crowds here to have their bellies filled with brunch. The setting is a two-storey shophouse that exudes a cosy and homely ambience. If you do get the chance to visit the second floor, you would be surprise to find an actual table tennis table right smack in the middle of the room. This extraordinary table does not only have decorative purposes but serves as a dining table for the customers. This peculiar interior might cut back on the eatery’s seating capacity but as a result, it provides opportunities for different groups of patrons sharing the table to interact. Not really a Singaporean custom, but the foreigners are often the ones to start the ball rolling.
IMG_6125Eggs Benny (Poached eggs on warm brioche with smoked ham, mesculun greens, breakfast potatoes and fruit salad): Personally, I felt that cured ham is far more superior than mere smoked ham in an eggs benedict as the taste level would be far more complicated with the hollandaise sauce and runny yolk. In addition, they could be more generous with their serving of hollandaise sauce. The eggs benny would definitely be more wholesome and stronger in flavour. But for its pricing, the eggs benny is definitely worth its price. You get what you pay for right?

wBig Breakkie (Choice of scrambled or sunny side up eggs with pork bacon, chicken chipolata sausages, baked beans, sauteed mushrooms and thick toast): Nothing can go wrong with pork bacon and scrambled eggs, tasty essentials for a big breakfast. But I’m usually picky at brunch dishes. So things like soggy mushroom turns me off. According to Gordon Ramsay, the chef has definitely boiled the mushrooms, instead of sauteeing them with a fire that’s too low. And baked beans is just too weird for a typical Singaporean having brunch.

Overall, this eatery scores well with its service and interior design. However, its menu and food quality might lose out to competitions in the same industry. I am sure foodies such as Singaporeans are willing to pay the extra dollar for much better brunch. With its inaccessibility to top it all up, I’m sure I won’t be visiting Five and Dime anytime soon.

Five and Dime 
297 River Valley Road
Singapore 238338
Opening Hours: 
Monday – Thursday: 12pm – 10pm
Friday: 12pm – 12am
Saturday: 10am – 12am
Sunday: 10am – 10pm
Serving Time:
Lunch (Mon – Fri) : 12pm – 5pm
Brunch (Sat – Sun) : 10pm – 3pm
Dinner : 6pm – 9.30pm*
Supper: 10pm – 11.30pm*

P.S Cafe

IMG_4415The crowd on a late Saturday morning. Thankfully there wasn’t a need to queue at the Paragon branch. There’s something calming about the interior setting of this outlet. The cosy seating arrangement, the wooden tables, the intricate ornate pieces on each table or maybe the chalkboards displaying specials of the day. Perfect place to relax and enjoy your weekend brunch at. 
IMG_4410Eggs Benny: It seems like my mission in life is to try the Eggs Benedict dish in every brunch outlet. P.S Cafe has their own twist to this dish. Toasted muffin is used instead of the typical brioche bread and thus, the overall texture can be a little tougher than expected. This might not be the best version that I’ve tried but it definitely qualifies as comfort food for a weekend brunch. 
IMG_4408Portobello Mushroom: I’m a fond lover of sauteed mushroom. Portobello, swiss button, shitake or even enko. Hence, I couldn’t resist the temptation when I saw this dish on their brunch menu. After recovering from the initial disappointment of having only 1 miserable portobello mushroom on the plate, my objective palette loved how the fungi was seasoned perfectly and went well with the poached egg. Definitely not enough to fill an empty belly, but sure to tantalise your taste buds. 
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P.S Cafe @Paragon
Paragon Level 3
290 Orchard Road

Wild Honey

IMG_4388First introduced to Wild Honey on my birthday in 2009, I’ve witnessed how much this place has grown and blossomed into one of the most popular brunch places in Singapore. Located snugly in the posh floors of Mandarin Gallery, the small restaurant has a cosy and warm ambience. From wooden chairs to plush cushion seats to high table stools, patrons can be seen lounging in the restaurant chatting over brunch and a cuppa.  

Before you make your order, you need to take a good look at the menu first. The brunch menu is named according to regions and countries, with detailed description of what you can find on the plate.
IMG_4398European: My all-time favourite and a signature dish at Wild Honey, the Eggs Benedict. The eggs benny served here is a notch above other versions I have had. Slightly toasted brioche served with well-seasoned sauteed mushroom, prosciutto, perfectly poached eggs and delectable hollandaise sauce. Let me know if you know of a better eggs benny, otherwise, I’m settling down with this restaurant.
IMG_4400Parisienne: This is the restaurant’s special take on the Croque Madame or ham and cheese sandwich topped with a fried egg. Prepare your taste buds for the rich flavours that this dish can bring. A savoury rendition of french toast stuffed with cured ham, gruyere cheese and Dijon mustard,  served with hollandaise sauce, this dish may just be too overwhelming for one to endure. I personally could barely complete half the dish.  

Wild Honey
Mandarin Gallery
333A Orchard Road
Third Floor

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