Cafe Review: Cafe by Day, Bar by Night

Posted by May Espino on

They say you’ll never go hungry when you’re in Upper Thompson. With so many great options to choose from, this area is one of Singapore’s food and drink havens. Just when you thought you knew them all, another café has joined the line up to make your brunch choice just a little bit harder. But don’t worry, we’ve got it covered, read on for our review of the new all day dining venue offering an amazing selection of food and beverages – Birdy’s.

Birdys coffee

Located in a local neighbourhood, Birdy’s menu ranges from your good ol’ brunch menu to some hearty meals that will leave you wanting more. Not only do they offer satisfying food, but also their beverage selection is one to keep your eye on! Owners Kass and Jas, the duo behind Freehouse, have brought their a-game here with a collection of craft beers and wines sourced from all over the world. Pair this with Birdy’s head chef's beautiful menu, with his emphasis on local ingredients, and you're in for a treat. Since Jas is lactose intolerant, most of their offerings are dairy free but this doesn’t mean it’s boring! Anyone checking out this place for the first time must try the ‘Nut Butter Toast’, sourdough topped with banana, homemade cashew butter and drizzled with raw honey!  Don’t miss out the owner’s personal favourite as well – the not so average overnight oats topped with pistachios and berry compote – delicious!

Birdy's nut butter toast

It’s also very rare to see a Spirit coffee machine in Singapore and to find one on the bar here is such a delight. Jas and Kass have been regulars at Forty Hands since the beginning and so it’s no surprise they opted for a CMCR blend with intense and complex flavours of cherry and caramel notes from their coffee blend. You can also get some tips from the man behind the bar if you want to know which drink (coffee, wine or beer?) to pair with your main or sides!

Birdys Spirit coffee machine

With the ongoing trend of minimalist and an all-white design, Jas wanted to create something that uses neutral colours and whispers elegance. The use of warm tones makes it feel instantly cosy; perfect for a Sunday brunch with your girls and also a place where you can still enjoy beers with the boys!

So when you think of your next brunch or dinner destination, don't think about trekking into town anymore. Head up to Birdy’s and let them bring you quality food without the need to travel far (well if you live north at least!).

Birdy's
215F Upper Thomson Road, Singapore, 574349
Opening Hours:
Monday, Wednesday & Thursday: 10am - 11pm
Tuesday: Closed
Friday: 10am - 12am
Saturday: 8am - 12am
Sunday: 8am - 4pm

Instagram: @birdysallday

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Cafe Review: What, Where, When and Wai

Posted by May Espino on

Tucked in a small corner of the Clifford Centre, you’ll find the newly opened Wai Cafe. Owners Dayton and Kent are bucking the trend of vast cafe spaces instead opting for a tiny space right in the CBD. With Dayton’s former experience as a flight attendant and Kent’s devotion to great coffee, there’s no doubt in our mind that this place will be you next favourite hangout spot!

wai cafe common man coffee roasters blog

Like most successful entrepreneurs, Dayton and Kent started with a dream, to own a café where they can share their passion for good coffee. Kent, who still works as a lawyer, grew up in New Zealand and experienced first hand the cafe revolution that has occurred there over the last decade. On coming back to Singapore, he sought to find the perfect cup of coffee and soon became a regular at Common Man Coffee Roasters. Dayton on the other hand, was born and raised in Malaysia. After moving to Singapore, he starting his career as an airline cabin crew but has always had a passion for F&B. Dayton is in charge of the day to day running of the cafe and his calming nature paired with a bright smile and outstanding eye for service leaves us in no doubt this place will win some regular customers of it's own in no time.

wai cafe blog review common man coffee roasters

On my last visit to the cafe, I managed to sit down with Dayton and have a chat about his vision for the cafe, plans for the future and his favourite way to enjoy a brew...

M: What is your vision for Wai cafe?

D: Coffee tastes in Singapore are evolving fast and there is an emerging independent cafe culture, particularly on weekends.  We wanted to bring some of that downtown so people can make it part of their busy week.  All in a cute cafe just minutes from thousands of offices.

M: What's your plan for the next 5 years? Expansion? 

D: Our model is based on the personal touch and this means we are likely to keep it small, local and independent.  We are keen to have a distinct offering from the chains, which dominate here so there won't be franchises or 10 outlets islandwide.

M: What makes Wai cafe different from the rest of the cafes in the CBD?

D: It is one of the only independent cafes downtown.  We are exclusively committed to the best coffee - beans from our friends at Common Man, our wonderful team of local baristas and our hard working Synesso MVP, in a friendly, relaxed space we have made our own.

M: I am visiting your cafe for the first time, what should I try?
D: The good old flat white - works so well with the 22 Martin blend! 

So if you happen to be in the city, grab your favourite cuppa and pair it with a delicious fresh croissant - I'm pretty sure that this won’t be your last visit to this awesome place!

wai cafe blog cafe review common man coffee roasters

Address:
#01-08 Clifford Centre, 24 Raffles Place, 048621

Monday – Friday: 8am - 5.30pm
Closed on weekends

IG: @wai_cafe

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Discover the Dark at Ngee Ann City!

Posted by May Espino on

The Dark Gallery, Ngee Ann City 

No longer content with just bringing their dark indulgences to Millenia Walk, owners Li Hui and Dashel, have opened their second outlet in Takashimaya along the Orchard Road. The new outlet is a much larger space allowing for a dedicated retail area, featuring chocolates (of course), single origin cacao, and coffee from both CMCR and some great international roasters.   

The concept stores vibrant lights and open layout make it hard to miss as you enter the basement level of Takashimaya. As the name suggests, it’s a gallery that showcases chocolates and confectionary, with luxurious ice cream in a wide array of flavours to compliment the sweet bites. The Gallery also sets out to encourage people to discover more about cacao origins and try lesser known varieties of chocolate.

The design of the café in itself is an ode to all things chocolate, from the shades of colour to the textures used in the fixtures and furniture, nothing escapes the luscious treatment. It makes for a very enjoyable environment to relax in.

Besides the sweet stuff, there’s no doubt that coffee plays a major role for Dark Gallery too. They feature CMCR Espresso as their house blend, with hints of cherry and complex flavours it pairs beautifully with the cacao.

You can also sample a their wide selection of single origins as pour over; the best way to enjoy a brew is to sit at the bar and strike a conversation with their friendly barista who will be more than happy to recommend you his favourite cup.

If all the options on display is a bit overwhelming or you’re a newbie to the game, Li Hui recommends their single origin platters. Opting for a platter allows you to choose a selection of ice creams or pastries which are then laid out enticingly on a wooden board, with origin information for each of the cacao so you learn as you eat. I tried their exclusive Chocolate Soufflé made from 66% dark chocolate with pure vanilla ice cream on the side. It was as sinful as it sounds and though it maybe a little old fashioned it was devilishly good!

 

Dark Gallery is a place perfect to enjoy some time with your family and of course, caters for the hardcore chocolate lover too, so head down and indulge your sweet tooth!

 

Address:

391 Orchard Road, #B2-29 Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238872

Opening Hours:

Monday - Sunday

1100-1000pm 

Social:

IG: @discoverthedark

W: https://thedarkgallery.com/

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Cafe Review: Breezy brunch with a view

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

The first thing that hits you as you step into Panamericana is the huge windows which allow an expansive view of the ocean. Yes the ocean is dotted with container ships, but hey, this is Singapore and we’ve come to think of these as part of the beauty right?!?

panamericana common man coffee roasters

Situated right on the edge of Sentosa set against the lush green golf club, Panamericana is a casual eating and drinking spot, perfect for those long weekend brunches with friends. It’s menu, inspired by the 14 countries that the Pan-American Highway crosses, offers up small and big plates during the week and evenings, as well as a brunch menu on the weekends perfect to soak up last night’s booze or line your stomach ready for the day ahead.

panamericana interior common man coffee roasters

Whilst the menu is predominantly an ode to meat (with an Argentinian fire-pit in middle of the dining room!), we were impressed by the number of great vegetarian dishes on the brunch menu.

panamericana pancakes

Along with the usual suspects of pancakes, salmon and poached eggs, there is also a chickpea quesadilla and scrambled eggs with smashed peas and avocado.

panamerican scrambled eggs common man coffee roasters

When it comes to drinks, as we've already hinted at, it’s the booze that takes centre stage at this joint with a comprehensive beverage menu of cocktails, spirits (two pages dedicated to whiskey!), wines and beers. The bar regularly mixes up new concoctions such as ‘Grown Up Fanta’ and ‘Tommy’s Margaritas’ depending on the mood of head bartender, Ricky Pavia, alongside refreshing juices, smoothies and of course, coffee if you aren’t in the mood for some booze. They are currently pouring some delicious San Fransico, from Guatemala as Nitro cold brew! 

panamericana common man coffee roasters

So weather you are looking for a breezy spot to while away your weekend or fancy watching some ships pass in the night, take a trip down to Sentosa; we promise you won’t be disappointed!

panamericana common man coffee roasters

Address:

Sentosa Golf Club, 27 Bukit Manis Road, 099892

Monday – Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday - Friday: 12pm – 11pm
Saturday - Sunday: 9am – 11pm

t: +65 62538182
e: info@panamericana.sg
w: www.panamericana.sg

 



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Cafe Review: New Found Gem in a Hidden Valley

Posted by May Espino on

Market Valley

In recent times, River Valley has become one of the most bustling streets in Singapore where some of the best cafes and restaurants are located.  From Australian-inspired cafes, authentic Japanese restaurants to French bistros, name it and this area have it all. Before 2017 ended, another small café opened along River Valley and jumped on to the long list of new Singapore café’s you have to try.

 

Market Valley is a family run business, which was started by Sam Ong and his other siblings when they realized that despite the volume of F&B in River Valley there was an unmet market for a simple coffee and sandwich concept. Sam had been spending a lot of time in the area as his brother worked at a local barber shop, it wasn't long until he was inspired to fill the gap and open a place himself.  Sam felt confident in undertaking this task after living in Melbourne for some time which gave him the opportunity to learn more about specialty coffee and taste some of the best coffee he has ever tasted.

Although Sam does not consider himself a person who essentially needs caffeine fix everyday, coffee is still a very important part of their menu. Expect to be served with 22 Martin from the hopper, or if you are lucky enough, be surprised with blends like Lucky Basterd or CMCR Espresso on some days. Sam knows that his cafe is only a small place yet he understands the importance of investing into a Synesso to provide only the best coffee to their customers.

 

I love how simple their menu is, yet everything is so delightful. They offer different varieties of sandwiches, wraps and healthy salad bowls too. A personal favorite was the Philly Cheese Steak, which did not disappoint at all with that generous portion of beef and cheese! After having this tasty dish, I ended it with a well balance cup of flat white well made by their in house barista.

 

Market Valley is sure in my list of places that serves amazing food and coffee with a really affordable price tagged in it. If your office is just around the corner or you happen to be in the area, make sure to drop a visit and try some of their awesome sandwiches and coffee too!

 

Address:

222 River Valley Rd, Singapore 238280

Operation Hours:

Monday – Friday: 10am-8pm

Saturday: 8:30-4pm

Sunday: Closed 

IG:

marketvalley_

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