Category Archives: singapore

Lucali BYGB

lucali12

I chanced upon the profile of this restaurant during their pre-opening phase: An outpost of Lucali in Brooklyn – a popular neighborhood eatery characteristic for its thin-crust pizzas and BYOB policy. A collaboration between Mark Iacono from the parent Lucali and Gibran Baydoun of BYGB Hospitality. A grand opening so highly anticipated that bookings were mostly full for weeks.

lucali1

lucali8

Hopping in the line of high hopes, I made my reservation 2 weeks in advance and on the day itself, brisk walked through the Kallang Riverside Park to the old industrial building at Kampong Bugis where the restaurant is tucked in.

lucali5

The interior – wooden tables and benches, part concrete part tiled floors, bright and airy with lots of natural light streaming in – sets it apart from the rustic BK neighborhood vibes of the main branch and was right up my alley.

Parked at a table for 2 with a view of the Kallang River (riverside dining at its best in Singapore), we looked through the simple, concise menu – a pizza, calzone, 3 types of pastas, a few appetizers and a few desserts.

lucali6

Drinks-wise, no BYOB here, but instead there is a fair range of sodas, homemade bottled cocktails and wines to choose from the fridge.

lucali9
lucali7
The Original 18” Pizza Pie ($55), served at only 1 size, is the signature. Don’t forget to add toppings (at $5 each), otherwise your pizza will come plain with just sauce, basil and cheese.  From the list of toppings – extra side of sauce, pepperoni, anchovies, onions, sweet peppers, mushrooms, olives – we added pepperoni and mushrooms. Freshly wood-fired and out from the oven, the pizza was quite satisfying, from its crispy thin crust to the sauce. The size was also more manageable than expected for the both of us (females). However, admittedly, we could list better pizza joints we’ve been to.

lucali2

lucali3

We also had the Cacio e Pepe ($35) comprising long fusilli seasoned with pecorino and black pepper. The highlight was the perfect firm, al dente texture of the fusilli, which I’ve not experienced in a long while. This could have been a superb pasta except for the unfortunate fact that it was too salty.

That was how my bill came up to be $115 – including water charged at $2/pax, GST and service charge. Prices are surely on the higher end here, even higher than in NYC. (Eg. The pizza with 2 toppings here costs $76.50 after GST and service charge, while that from NYC will cost about $53 SGD after tax, 20% tips and exchange rate conversion).

lucali4

I enjoyed the food, but can’t help feeling this sense of getting pinched as I left the place. Oh I miss rustling among the hippies in Brooklyn.

66 Kampong Bugis, Level M, Singapore 338987

Wed – Fri 5pm to 10pm

Sat – Sun 11am to 10pm

Tel: +65 8284 1325

Mornings at Apartment Coffee

apartment1Have you not known about my obsession with all things white? My day-to-day wearables, the places I like to immerse myself in, my photo-editing style of always increasing exposure. For me, it is synonymous to cleanliness, to light, to minimalism. As opposed to the antonymous dirtiness, darkness and clutter. Three words that put my mind to unrest, that sometimes put me in fear.

apartment2In consistency with my white obsession, I therefore like daytime – mornings, especially. Mornings where the sun is unobstructed in a cloudless sea, where the most part of my room is naturally lit up through translucent curtains, where light and shadows are juxtaposed appropriately for a photo. Such mornings are days where I gain more drive and inspiration to live more fulfilling-ly (moment of shock as I realise that this word does not exist).

apartment4On such mornings, there are a few options:

  1. It is a typical work/school day, so I get on with the grind, albeit with more positivity
  2. It is my free day, so I admire the weather while reading/surfing/eating/doing absolutely nothing from the comfort of my nook
  3. It is my free day, so I put on a white outfit (preferably) and get to a café at its opening hour. That café should preferably have a nice white aesthetic.

Option 3 is my favourite. Interestingly, or dismally, it is also the least go-to option out of the 3 due to practical reasons. Which is why I cherish such option 3-mornings even more.

apartment3Recently, one of such mornings was spent at Apartment Coffee. It was my third time at the white-washed, minimally-themed coffee house since its opening in late 2018. On usual afternoons, the space is packed comfortably with customers and conversations spill across everywhere. All the more I have to be pressed to reach as early as possible, best if at 9am when the closed sign is flipped.

apartment9Like the previous two visits, I had perched myself on the wooden high stool for the coffee bar counter and called for my usual order of White. I am always fond of the smoothly textured milk + espresso here, though those who prefer very strong and robust flavours may not. One day I will get the filter. Oh, no takeaways here unless you bring your own tumbler.

apartment8Whilst waiting for my coffee, I would swoop up my phone and camera for a good round of photo-taking. This time a few people got caught in my photos, for I arrived an hour past 9.

apartment7Interior-wise, I dare say this space is my best-loved. The white walls, ceaseless coffee bar, brown wooden stools and tables and large windows put together remind me of Scandinavian design. Due to its location and windows, sunlight enters and leaves, creating brief moments of contrasting light and shadows that I so love to admire.

apartment5
The only bummer I experience here is sound – too much of it being resounded as more people stream in. And if only I could pair my cup of joe with a buttery, flaky pastry from Chye Seng Huat Coffee. Cherry on the cake. La cerise sur le gâteau.

apartment6

161 Lavender St, #01-12, Singapore 338750

9am – 6pm daily

Double Up Coffee

doubleup10Despite gloominess from that global health situation which I will not go on to elaborate on, the first quarter of 2020 has seen a pretty fair boom in new cafes in Singapore. This is after a lull in the previous 2 years that had more than slightly depleted my usual excitement in café-hopping.

doubleup9Opened last November without much fanfare is Double Up Coffee, located along Jalan Klapa in an enclave that houses several other well-known cafes. Just recently, it started to gain attention from social media postings.

doubleup6
doubleup5
Reaching early on a weekday morning, I had the luxury of the entire space to myself. The non-air-conditioned porch of the café is decorated with a few potted plants, colorful chairs that emitted vibes of old school Singapore, and skateboards plastered with stickers and upcycled into tables which might be my favorite bit of the interior.

doubleup8 Stepping through the glass doors, I was first greeted by the concrete coffee counter, followed by another sitting area furnished with small stools and tables. The minimalist concrete-themed setting was predominant.

doubleup2
doubleup1Small and simple, the menu is has 3 sections – Business (i.e. coffee), Pleasure (i.e. non-coffee) and Chow (i.e. pastries). Having always been more of an espresso person (vs. filter), I opted for the Spro with Soy Milk ($5.50), while my friend got herself the Iced Spro with Milk ($6). Spro here refers to espresso. Though my soy espresso was a tad limp, I loved the iced espresso with milk for its smoothness and non-acidic aftertaste. I later found out that beans here are sourced from Bearded Bella.

doubleup3
doubleup4The sole pastry available that day was the Blueberry Crust ($5.50), which I thoroughly enjoyed for its lightness and flakiness.

doubleup12Rather than a comfortable spot to do “work from home” whilst sipping caffeine, I see this spot as one where I can hold light conversations and, from time to time, empty my mind and daydream.

7 Jalan Klapa, Singapore 199319

Wed – Mon 10am to 6pm

Apollo Coffee Bar

apollo10

My time spent on cafes this year has seen a drastic reduction compared to the previous years and I attribute it to various reasons – wanting to focus on school work, saving for travel, getting a little tired of visiting the same good old favorites and just because there were barely any new cafes which I took a liking to.

apollo1

But very thankfully, I got freshened up after visiting the newly opened Apollo Coffee Bar. Having heard that it is reigned by the people behind Atlas Coffeehouse, Lunar Coffee Brewers and Columbus Coffee Co., it was hard not to build expectations and I went with fluttering feelings.

apollo2

Being a North-Eastie, the location of the café at Serangoon Gardens feels homely and brings back faint memories of brunches at the now defunct Arbite. The café was lively on a weekday morning and I naturally found myself at the quieter “backyard” lit with sunlight via a transparent roof.

The menu is split into the brunch (9am – 4pm) and lunch menu (12pm onwards), with some familiar dishes from the sister cafes (i.e. pancakes, waffles, soft serve) that I haven’t had in a long time but decided to try new dishes instead.

apollo4

Having read good reviews on the Breakfast Burger ($16.50), it went straight to the order list. True enough, there was barely anything to fault at this satisfying dish – the back-bacon slices were thick and juicy, the cheddar-chive scrambled eggs were creamy, and the homemade brioche bun fluffy and savory.

apollo9

Featuring poached pears topped on buttery potato bun French toast, the Honey “Prench” Toast ($18.50) tasted best when I cut up a small piece of toast and soft pear and swiped it with a dollop of tangy lemon curd, a dash of fresh cream and a controlled serving of sweet honey before sinking my teeth into it.

apollo13

The Super Nutty ($15) Açaí bowl was well-balanced with fruits and nuts and I liked the distinct dark chocolate-y taste in the berry blend.

apollo11

A more ordinary item, the Smashin’ Avo ($16.50) was decent but the one thing that left a memorable note was neither the avocado, the soft boiled eggs nor ciabatta but surprisingly the cherry tomatoes which were drizzled in a special sweet sauce.

I also tried the Truffle Fries ($9.50) which although was not the best in Singapore, still had a distinct truffle fragrance and taste sufficient for us to clear the plate (and forget to take a picture of it).

apollo7

Drinks-wise, I felt that the Matcha Latte ($6) was on the sweeter side, while the Mocha ($5.50 for reg 7oz, $6.50 for large 9oz) was good and consistent with the ones I had at Atlas and Lunar. I would also recommend to stick to the coffee here, after having a rather weak and limp Chai Latte ($6) on my second visit.

apollo14

Having only ordered from the brunch menu, I wouldn’t hesitate to be back for the lunch menu, which is further divided into small and large plates, and also their homemade pastries and cakes on display at the counter.

65 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555961
9am – 10pm Tue to Sat
9am – 7pm Sun

%d bloggers like this: