One Man Coffee

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The Upper Thomson food enclave is just starting to get livened up. Adding on to the list of cafes is 3 months old One Man Coffee, which I’ve visited thrice already. If you’re having some trouble searching, just look out for Crust Gourmet Pizza – essentially both share the same space, and I find that a smart move with reference to rental issues. After all, Crust only opens it’s doors after 5 in the evening. Decor wise… yet another hipster layout – think wooden tables on bare cement floors.

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Go for their coffee before anything else – I find them tasting more robust each time and there’s the occasional blend they use from Axil Coffee Roasters. For something savory, go for the Gashouse Eggs or, according to the menu, a.k.a. Toad in the Hole, or (also according to the menu), a.k.a Eggs in a Basket ($10), which is essentially an egg cracked in the middle of a toast. What’s interesting is the smoky bacon jam that comes alongside it – it may be an acquired taste for a few but I rave over it in a mainstream manner.

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Most pastries here displayed in the glass cabinet are from B.A.O and Edith Patisserie, otherwise made in-house. The Salted Caramel Danish ($4.5) was a sweet delight while the Almond Croissant ($4.5) was a pity as it lacked a fresh crisp, even though it was decent.

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We had a lovely cake affair. Our favorite has got to be the Peanut Butter Banana Cake ($6.5) which came from Edith Patisserie, what with those layers of smooth and creamy peanut butter, enhancing the taste of the typical banana cake. As we sank our teeth into the next item – the Lemon Cake ($6.5), it’s airiness and fluffiness could be felt immediately, in contrast to the former banana cake. The tinge of sweet and sour was just right. Lastly was the Chocolate Raspberry Cake ($6.5), which I felt had some texture which made it interesting but a combination a tad unfitting.

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Thank god for the Ham & Cheese Croissant ($6) which offsets the almond croissant. Nothing could go wrong with an uber crispy croissant, even if it’s just basic ham and cheese sandwiched between the layers.

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This has got to be the best, if not one of the best Brioche French Toast ($10) I’ve ever had. The brioche was done just as moist, fluffy and warm as I’d liked and topped with nuts and a dollop of fresh cream. Not that I’m complaining but I certainly wouldn’t mind if it came with vanilla bean ice-cream instead. It definitely scores extra points for that presentation giving it an artisanal, deconstructed look. On my second visit, the french toast had scored even better than the first.

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Unlike some other cafes (which I shall not name), I feel that One Man Coffee is less pretentious and works it’s way towards serving both great coffee and brunch. Main problem’s with the consistency. On a good day my Toad in the Hole would come with a runny yolk in the middle which oozes like a poached egg. On less exciting days the yolk turns out overly cooked and less delectable. I guess there’s always room for improvement, but consistency is by far the key to sustainability. Overall, my impression remains very pleasant so it’s worth the trip down – hurry up now, before it gets as crowded as neighboring Habitat Coffee. Both are equally good, just that One Man gains some extra “hipster” points. I can’t wait to be back again.

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215R Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 574349
Monday – Sunday (except Tuesday) 9am – 5pm

Cedele’s Easter Special

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This Easter, Cedele’s special offerings are back again and they are, without a doubt, committed to Cedele’s love affair with all things natural and nutritious. Special thanks to Cedele for sending over this year’s Easter feature, the Hummingbird Cake. Primarily it’s a banana cake with a layer of pineapple in the middle – what I found interesting. Then it is frosted with their popular cream cheese (as in that of my favorite Carrot Walnut cake I always get from Cedele) and dark chocolate and topped with pecan nuts. It seems like a tacky combination of items at foresight but that’s hardly true once you sink your teeth into this gigantic cake. Everything comes together perfectly and of course it tastes just as well or perhaps even better than the typical, favorite-of-the-crowd Cedele cake. Do I taste some hints of cinnamon too? And also, did I mention that it is also tastefully sweetened with organic unrefined sugar? P.S. it’s also present in all of Cedele’s baked goods!  Here’s presenting more visuals of the Hummingbird Cake shot from my little, space-constraint living room and bedroom.
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That’s not all. Old favorites such as the sweet Apple Cinnamon cake and Chocolate Walnut cake and savory Cheese Onion Mustard Hot Cross Buns are making a return to the menu. New, soon-to-be favorites you can expect are the Chocolate Nest Cupcakes, Midnight Chocolate cookies and Raspberry Thumbprint cookies. For the fans of savory dishes, there’s also a new Easter Sandwich Special with honey paprika chicken filling and avocado slices sandwiched within a spinach bun.

Cedele’s Easter special will run from today, 5th April (Saturday) to 25th April (Friday), so take this time to indulge in Cedele at their following locations at..

http://cedeledepot.com/locations.html 

 

Toss & Turn (Advance orders and selected Easter items sold here)

2 Orchard Turn

ION Orchard #B4-55

 

P.L.T Sandwiches (Advance orders & selected Easter items sold here)

Robinson Point

39 9Robinson Road #01-01A

 

House, Dempsey – The Essential Brunch

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I mean it when I say that House is the essential brunch place. It’s almost been exactly two years since I last stepped foot into this quirky cafe-restaurant. (P.S. you can refer to my 2-year-old review here. Still can’t believe I took those photos though.) Everything felt familiar and it feels as though I’m visiting an old friend of mine. The mismatched furniture, though the same and not replaced, feels irreplaceable instead. How should I describe it? It’s like Alice in Wonderland.  From a homely dining area lined by bookshelves to a cosy tent installment to dining in the outdoors garden, it’s no wonder why some people don’t ever tire of patronizing.

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During my past visit here I tried their legendary truffle fries (my favorite thus far). Since then, they’ve introduced 4 new types of fries to whet your appetite: Pumpkin hazelnut, truffle taro, curry mustard and carrot fennel. So so tough a decision to make on just one since there were only 2 of us.  In the end we went for the Truffle Taro Fries which were straw-cut and a lot thinner than potato fries. As expected, the truffle oil was very aromatic. *inserts relevant emoji*

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House Pancakes used to be a 7-layer pancake stack which I’ve always wanted to try, however after the menu revamp the pancakes are now a more “down-to-earth” version. Inspired by the pavlova, the pancakes are topped with kiwi, passionfruit and strawberries and then drizzled with chocolate sauce. The combination comes across as a tad unsuitable but it turned out well.

I didn’t get to try much of the Black Pepper Prawns with Sweet Corn Salsa and Sunny Side-Up but there’s one thing I’m certain about it: the prawns are really fresh and the sunny side-up is fried with organic eggs.

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The dessert menu at House is even more so recently revamped. On a more accurate note, it is a new dessert menu. Yet again, it’s a dilemma with 10 tantalizing options…

At $15, the Salted Caramel Toastie may not be the most worthy for money dessert considering it just a toast topped with a scoop of ice cream. But it’s more than that. The toasted brioche was as good as brioche can get. Having caramelized walnuts to go along with the toastie upped the level of crunchiness and crispiness. That scoop of caramel biscuit ice cream fared well too, except that it melted all too quickly.

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A petite delight was the Warm Chocolate Toffee Cake, which came out pretty moist and fluffy like a sticky pudding.

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I must say that I was pretty shocked some perennial favorites from the old menu like the strawberry shortcake were removed. Still, the new options all sound promising and if I had the space for more, I’d definitely go for the banana coconut pecan cake.. and possibly a slice of lemon curd cheesecake. Apart from that, I’m grateful for the fact that weekend brunches here remain lovely.

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8D Dempsey Road

Singapore 249672

Monday – Thursday 12pm – 11pm

Friday 12pm – 12am

Saturday 11am – 12am

Sunday 9am – 11pm

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Salt Grill & Sky Bar

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Belonging to the list of the many places I’ve long wanted to go, Salt Grill and Sky Bar sits in the heart of Singapore and is perched 55 stories up high. With the sun shining in from those ceiling-to-floor glass panels, you can expect your lunch to appear exceptionally photogenic. The backdrop? A clean, white romantic table setting contrasted with red standing chandelier lamps. Sky dining at its best. Helmed by Luke Mangan, Salt Grill follows a modern Australian concept together with it’s sister restaurant Salt Tapas and Bar which I’ve yet to try out.

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We were whisked to ION Sky via a separate lift by the ION art gallery. A perk of dining in Salt is that you gain complimentary access to the Ion Sky Observatory (which would cost 16 bucks normally) which takes up the space next to the restaurant. The skyline of Singapore may not be fantastic, but a panoramic view of the island is soothing and stress-relieving nonetheless.

You can't say no to complimentary bread

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Latte($8.50)

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Crab Omelette

Instead of the usual buttermilk pancakes and full Aussie breakfast I thought I would go for something more interesting ie the Crab Omelette ($34). A layer of omelette wraps round some fresh crab meat  and, together with a miso and mustard broth, creates a seemingly light and healthy dish for brunch. There’s also a tinge of herb in the broth which complemented the taste and smell of crab meat.

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And of course the best appetizer is Truffle Parmesan Fries ($14). The one here is definitely going on my list of the best truffle fries in Singapore. These skinny shoe-string fries were adequately tossed in truffle oil and came with an addictive, powering smell.

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Off the brunch menu, we also had the Salmon Eggs Benedict ($31). I thought “For a $31 eggs benedict, it better be really really good”…. and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed, there was not much I could nitpick about their rendition of the classic item.  Instead of lox or smoked salmon, gravlax is used – salmon marinated with salt, sugar and dill. Just when I thought smoked salmon was my favorite, this cured salmon reached a new peak. The colors of the hollandaise, oozing yolk, spinach and salmon directly translates to freshness and quality.

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Passionfruit Martini ($16) 

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If I could, I would’ve gotten everything on the dessert menu – you have items such as a Mocha Brulee ($18) and Lemongrass Panna Cotta ($19) to entice you. Ultimately, I went for the Souffle ($22) and it may be overly sweet but it was balanced out by a nutty scoop of ice cream. Unfortunately the bottom layer was too moist for my liking.

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We ended up spending about $163 for the 2 of us. I’d consider it quite a pricey brunch, even after factoring in the level and type of dining. Not that I would mind coming back though. The Sky Bar on the 56th level seems like a rather sleek place to have martinis too. Another issue I had was with the air-conditioning. With the sun directly above us on a blistering afternoon, I thought a cooler setting would deem us more comfortable. Other than that, it was pretty much a splendid experience.

2 Orchard Turn

ION Orchard

#55-01

Singapore 238801

Culture Espresso – Coffee in NYC

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You’ve not been to New York City if you’ve not set foot in a cafe there. The coffee culture in New York has been taking off since a few years ago and it’s hard to imagine life without a daily pick-me-up for New Yorkers. Over the past 2 years, more than 40 new cafes have entered the coffee scene in NYC – coffee brewing may now be treated as seriously as the money-making business on Wall Street. Thanks to a few recommendations from talented photographer Alice Gao, I got hold of a list of decent coffee bars and cafes and eventually the choice of Culture Espresso in the Fashion District was made.

Nothing beats the warmth from a radiator and aroma from coffee after a chilling, or should I say freezing walk down 4 streets. Like most coffee bars, Culture Espresso has a small, narrow space with marble counters and wooden tables. Oh they have a pretty wallpaper as well. I had a dose of the legendary daily cortado and it sure packed a powerful espresso shot. P.S. Coffees here are chosen and roasted by Heart Coffee Roasters of Portland, Oregon.

And if you’re feeling a little hungry, baked goods from a selection of bakeries are up for grabs, just like the coconut donut I had (below). As for their baked in house chocolate chip cookie, I didn’t get to try it but I’m pretty sure cafes here do not screw up cookies.

More photos right after this!

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