One of the rarest and most expensive types of coffee in the world, kopi luwak is also known as civet coffee – named after the civet cat, whose poo the beans are famously harvested from. Civets ingest the beans via the fleshy pulp of coffee berries, and the digestion alters their chemical makeup to ensure that the coffee produced is richer, smoother and tastes like chocolate – after it’s defecated by the cat, of course. So, does anyone care for a crappuccino?
There are a few places you can pick up the rare beans in Singapore but the latest venue boasting the brew on its menu is d’Good Café in Holland Village. Not only that, they’re also one of the few places in town that hang a framed certificate attesting to the authenticity and provenance of their kopi luwak – theirs is from Wahana Estate in Sumatra.
Certainly, at an eye-popping $38 per cup, you’d better be sure you’re getting beans from real, official civet poo. That said, owner Mike Chin doesn’t want the café to only be known for kopi luwak, and there are plenty of other things going for the serious third-wave coffee joint. They also specialise in other single-origin coffee beans, which are roasted in-house – think exotic names like Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, Guatemala Antigua and Jamaica Blue Mountain – and they’ll make it however you like it: siphon, drip, pour-over, or espresso (Chin’s vintage Elektra machine is the cafe’s pièce de résistance); you’re welcome to make your own blend as well ($12 per cup). Or simply settle for a plain ol’ cuppa (from $3.50 for an espresso) and their range of coffee/cream-based ice blended frappes ($6-$8).
Chin’s kitchen crew doles out decent comfort grub (there are all-day breakfast items, mains and desserts) – definitely try the moreish lemongrass chicken thigh with Japanese rice ($17.50) and savoury baked pies ($10.50), served alongside chips and greens.
The only trick is finding the place – it’s hidden in plain sight among the many other eateries and watering holes in the area. You’ll either need to board a futuristic lift inside a ground level facial clinic to reach the café from the front, or there’s an access point from the back via Holland Village Food Centre, where there’s more prominent signage and a cool stained-glass façade.
Inside, the 95-seater houses four concepts in separate areas, each with its own refreshing identity. On the second floor, there’s The Bar with an industrial vibe and The Lawn, featuring warm wooden fixings and swing seats for couples. And at the top floor, families can hang out at the child-friendly Attic, which has movable white furniture, bean bags and colourful box-shaped tables, or enjoy The Balcony, an alfresco setting that’s great for people-watching at night.
Surely, it’s one of the area’s best-kept secrets thus far – part of the appeal is in whiling away a lazy day within its cozy (and not yet crowded) comforts. But don’t count on it staying this way for long – particularly after word gets out about the certified crappuccinos. LMK
|Venue name:||D Good Café||Contact:|
273 Holland Ave
|Opening hours:||Sun-Thu 10am-9pm, Fri & Sat 10am-10pm|