since my weekday afternoons have been completely dedicated to FYP, i only have my precious morning and evenings of the holidays to go out and get some…social life.
thanks to chooby and her yellow Beetle, we managed to have brunch and visit two coffee places all in 3 hours 😀
i’ve had an eggs benedict craving for the longest longest time (in particular the one at Wild Honey) so no prizes for guessing why i chose Hatched for brunch.
located at 26 Evans Road, it’s pretty accessible by public transport because you can simply get off at Botanic Gardens MRT and then walk 1 bus-stop (against flow of traffic) before you turn right into Evans Road. not long after, you’ll see Evans lodge, which is directly opposite CCAB.
unfortunately, we were under the assumption that a monday morning will not require reservations, and as a walk-in customer, we were brusquely dismissed us into the “banished” corner outside of the cafe: which is their ‘al-fresco’ area, albeit still in an stuffy but air-conditioned lobby of the building, with a prime view of the lone security guard at his desk, and a very oddly designed water fountain.
i had to self-service and steal the menu from their front counter because we were literally out of sight and out of mind from the cafe staff. to order, we went back into the restaurant and told a waiter our orders, and added that we were sitting outside. to which, he asked “which table? 3rd from left? extreme end?”
er, is that question even valid? we are the only two sad little people outside because you previously refused us a seat inside.
so friends, please make a reservation if you don’t want to be treated like a second class customer.
well, i was hoping that their eggs ben would make up for the nasty first impression of the place
poached eggs, draped with Hollandaise sauce, and layered on top of Black Forest Ham and half of an English Muffin. served with salad and homemade mash potato.
again, Eggs Benedict taste best when it’s served with parma ham ala the one at Wild Honey. so this ham version was very mehhh and failed to impress me. one egg was also not filling at all, which defeated the purpose of having brunch ):
the poached egg was gooood though! after watching a youtube video on how poached eggs are cooked (let’s just say it ain’t easy at all), i’ve a new found respect for poached eggs. also putting that down on my future husband wishlist: “able to poach eggs”
from the scrambled eggs menu, it consists of scrambled eggs folded in smoked salmon and placed on top of toast. the white cream on top is chive cream. served with sauteed potatoes and tomato with i have no idea what’s on top of it. looks like mint jelly but doesn’t taste like it.
i had a bite from gen’s plate and immediately regretted eating my pathetic lone ranger of an eggs ben. the salty taste of smoked salmon complemented the sweetness of the scrambled eggs perfectly. perhaps, if i make a reservation here the next time around, i’ll try this!
we took a sneak peek at their interior while paying for the bill:
brunch is never complete without some good coffee from a quaint indie cafe nearby. so gen took me to Papa Palheta, which is located at 140 Bukit Timah road. from the main road, turn left into Hooper Road and then make a right turn into a dodgy alley. you won’t miss it cos there’re soooo many (luxury) cars parked there.
the baristas are the epitome of indie: oversized spectacles, washed out cotton tees, and a disheveled look that screams “i spend more time caring about art and coffee than about being neat”.
we came in from their back entrance, and already i felt like i was sucked into a typical Dan Humphrey (from the Gossip Girl books and not TV series) place to chill out with books, cigarettes, and good coffee. it’s tucked well away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore, hence the ability to create a very chill atmosphere.
parking is a bitch though, skills in parallel parking and navigating narrow alleys is a must if you are coming here by car. if not, you can always take a bus down from Newton and walk in.
even if you’re the polar opposite of indie, you will agree that the coffee they serve here is a breath of fresh air from those you’ll find in commercialized coffee chains. even a Starbucks lover like me will assure you that the overpriced Toffee Nut Latte is nothing compared to a cup of Papa Palheta.
we were lucky to get two seats in their “tasting room”. it’s not really a cafe, you see (Papa’s does not have F&B license). people mostly come here to buy coffee beans, or to ‘taste’ the coffee (hence the method of payment which i will talk about in awhile). nonetheless, i had a good time watching how the baristas go about brewing the coffee, and even observing what indie people do to while away a lazy monday afternoon.
other than that, it’s not exactly conducive to chill because there are barely any seats, and it’s just way too quiet in there to have a conversation without someone else eavesdropping inches away.
both taste the same to me really, although gen says that the latte is stronger. explains the high i was all afternoon at TTSH. managed to collect 5 entries in just 1.5 hours LOL!
the thing that surprised me the most was that they don’t charge for the amazing coffee they make. you “pay” for your coffee by putting a tip into the tip bowl. of course, it’s a well-known fact that Singaporeans are stingy, so there is a little sign that gives you a rough estimate that a cup of coffee costs between $4 to $5. i paid $5 for both mine and gen’s because it was the best coffee i’ve tasted.
after picking MS up from his house, our coffee breaths let slip that we had secretly enjoyed good coffee and bought none for him. so gen pacified him by driving to Loysel’s Toy (which incidentally, shares the same owner as Papa Palheta) at 66 Kampong Bugis, a short walk away from Lavender MRT and opposite Kallang Park.
i think that was a Piccolo Latte, which i was curious to try but did not (but nvm i will try next time). created by a local award winning Barista, Piccolo Latte just means “small” latte. you can read more about it here!
gen insisted that i had to try the coffee here after coming all this way. we shared an iced Mocha, which is priced at $6 (which makes that about the same as that in Starbucks).
the ice mocha was very ‘nong‘, compared to other diluted versions of ice mocha elsewhere. it takes awhile to mix the coffee and chocolate though and i wish they had already mixed it before serving, would save me the trouble and a lot of unpleasant bitter sips before it was thoroughly mixed.
contrary to it’s location, which i find quite unique since they took the bottom level of a warehouse and made it look pretty cool, they’ve received countless of bad reviews that the atmosphere is lacking authenticity. from pretentious crowds to snobby baristas who think they know coffee better than you do, reviews claim that the authenticity in good coffee should’ve stopped at Papa Palheta’s.
whatever it is, it’s still worth an experience travelling to new places to try new coffee. if you can be bothered to queue hours for Starbucks 1-for-1, or take a shuttle bus all the way to Utown just because the Starbucks is new, you surely can give up some time to taste coffee that is un-commercialized (for the time being) and tastes just as good.
for the moment:
Papa Palheta > Forty Hands > Loysels
next, i’m going to try the coffee from Cuppachoice and Oriole Cafe!!