‘Retail shop-cum-café’ conjures up images of being elbowed in the back of the head by casual browsers as you tuck into a meal. Thankfully, this is not the case here: there are wide berths between the Portuguese-tiled tables and the display cabinets, leaving a café that feels bright and comfortable, with ample space to peruse the interior-design artefacts and fashion accessories that are presented like artworks along the walls.
Counter service seems at odds with such stylish surroundings, and having to load a plastic tub with salad – only to hand it back to be plated – also felt slightly strange. Nevertheless, both the pea salad and the Moroccan salad of roasted vegetables were packed with flavour. There is also a seasonally changing choice of deli goods, cakes and pastries.
From the brunch menu, smashed and seasoned eggs with ham on toast were as described, though the bread was sliced rather thick; and croque madame had a tomato and spinach filling replacing the traditional ham.
To follow, toasted banana cake was a triumph of soft sponge, sweet-crusty edges and irresistible melting butter, and drinks (refreshing own-made passion-fruit cordial and Allpress coffee; there’s no alcohol) passed muster too.
So, decent food, if nothing to set the pulse racing. This is more of a nice space to meet friends over coffee, with attractive objets providing a unique backdrop.
Reviewed by Chan Wai Lee