Sunday brunch at Rouse on Dunlop Street was a comfortable, laid back affair. I was pretty elated to step into the well-furnished space after passing through the throngs in Little India (the crowd was no joke). The people behind this little hole of comfort certainly did a great job of converting an old electrical shophouse unit into a hipper cafe. Though intentional, the left wall gave off the appearance of peeling paint unpretentiously, while the right wall was bare concrete. There were also light bulbs hung by overlapping ropes, stacked crates served as some tables and mismatched chairs. Definitely going for the warehouse x minimal feel. A mirror runs along half length of the wall and even though mirrors are great for giving the illusion of a more spacious cafe, we thought it was a tad weird to eat right in front of the mirror.
The team at Rouse includes dedicated baristas who serve up pretty decent coffee using beans from Dutch Colony Coffee Co. My single shot of espresso ($3) and espresso with milk ($4.80) that I ordered subsequently were both robust and with a slight tinge of acidity.
Unlike your usual order of eggs benedict or waffles with ice cream that you might expect here, the options from the brunch menu are not just about that conformity. From items such as the sweet “Goldilocks” ($10.90) consisting of quinoa, greek yogurt, bananas and honey to the savoury Crabby Patty ($17.90), Rouse proves that it is not “just another new cafe in Singapore”. We opted for the Quinoa Quake ($16.90) – lemon dill yogurt, poached egg and smoked salmon served atop a quinoa patty, which seems like an alternative to eggs benedict. Though the special creation and interesting lemon dill yogurt sauce that we liked, we felt that the quinoa patty was too soggy, dampening the dish as a result. Luckily, the Muesli Brioche Toast ($14.90) was better than expected. I liked the textured french toast which came with a certain degree of crunchiness.
As we were saving stomach space for our next cafe, we (sadly) left out desserts, which feature various types of cakes sourced by the cafe from an independent baker and recently, from Ice Cream Cookie Co as well. The cakes on display are always rotating, so you’re always in for a surprise. Despite not having them, I thought they looked drool-worthy enough. I’ll be back. One thing I appreciate is the passion of the team of employees here to serve customers better. Their friendly, goofy service is becoming a rare sight amidst the boom of cafes, so I’m never taking that for granted.
36 Dunlop Street
Mon, Wed – Thur 11am to 9pm
Fri – Sat 11am to 11pm
Sun 10am to 7pm