I still dearly miss the coffee and cafe culture from my college days in Melbourne. I miss eating at Twenty & Six Expresso, getting a perfect cup of coffee almost anywhere I go and chilling with my friends at another new haunt. If only I could go back, but life isn’t about that. It’s always about going forward and I guess I’ll have to try and make do with what’s in Singapore at the moment. I guess growing up I never really took to believing that Singapore could have the same oomph that Melbourne has in terms of food and cafe culture. I’ve always associated it with the kopitiam rich dark and black coffee, toast and half boiled eggs as the standard breakfast fare. Lunch includes something along the lines of chap fan or a plate of beehoon. But now, there are so many cafes just sprouting out well, everywhere. I could say I love food as much as make-up, nails and hair.
I’ve been trying out a few cafes here and there lately just to get a taste of the past, but there’s always something missing. I’m on the hunt for Melbourne – like cafes. What constitutes one? A rustic looking cafe with innovative and delicious brunch food and desserts. A great cup of coffee is an absolute must have. I guess you can call it a hipster haunt – you know a random bike parked on the side, glass bottles with a single flower in them and wooden rustic tables and chairs against a concrete wall. Maybe a potted plant here and there.
Jacob gets off days really spontaneously because he’s a chef so we try to utilize these off days as much as we can to explore our new home. We met in Melbourne too and we both had a little bit of a culture shock coming back after a few years. So today, we decided to explore Craig road – home to two cafes the Selfish Gene and the more established The Plain.
Selfish Gene is a relatively new cafe (from what I hear) and serves brunch, breakfast and great coffee. In fact, the skinny late I ordered was a good cup of coffee. It had a slightly bitter note from a very aromatic roast and was rich and intense like the ones I had back in Australia. Jacob ordered The Breakfast Plate – standard breakfast fare – sausages, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, ham and toast. It was a good breakfast but nothing absolutely fantastic. Maybe I’m a hard critic. I ordered a chicken salad that didn’t come with dressing on the side. In all honesty, the mono leaf salad and chicken slivers could have been done better. I would say I’d come for the coffee and maybe that’s about it.
Walking down Craig road, we decided to grab some dessert at The Plain. The Plain serves about the same thing but has a slightly wider range of desserts, more eggs, and a lower price tag. I liked the food but again, something’s missing. The ambience was off. It was too dark. Call it the A&F of cafes. The people were chill but scoffed at how we only ordered only one item off the menu. After grumbling in a corner with other staff, they returned to say that we don’t accept tables with only one item orders. You could have seen the waitresses face after we called for one lemon tart. We were full after all.
This dessert trolley was pretty cool. Although I wished for more innovative desserts than tea cakes and tarts. They still all looked pretty delicious. I wouldn’t call these dessert dishes. They’re tea-time snacks.
Nonetheless, we got a lemon tart and after called for a pink lady apple juice just because we had to order another item.
Anyway, the lemon lime tart was yummy. It came with a slice of passion fruit and yoghurt. Mix the yoghurt and passion fruit together and slab it on the slice. The pie was creamy and delicate and was really well done with the yoghurt.
Overall, so far the “I found a perfect cafe” count is still at zero but we had an amazing day. Go to Selfish Gene for the coffee if you must and try the lemon tart at The Plain to see for yourself.
Hope you have a great Sunday!