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