Cafe Hopper Review: Froth @ Middle Road

I was drawn to this cafe by its famous coffee jelly. Read a fair bit about it and was thinking of going there to try it out. I have tried the expresso ice cube in Bangkok and so thought this coffee jelly thing should be quite exciting. Froth cafe is located in Big Hotel along Middle Road. Its not that difficult to locate the hotel and perhaps I should have a staycation in the hotel soon.

I asked for recommendation and the staff did. I ordered the Tom Yum seafood risotto, the spicy winglets and of course the coffee jelly. The coffee jelly thing was really a plus point to this cafe. I have not heard of anything like this so far in Singapore or Bangkok. It basically coffee jelly mixed with fresh milk. Before drinking, you should break the jelly at the bottom of the glass and mix it well with the milk. However, as I feedback to the barista, I would actually prefer the coffee taste to be stronger. I couldn’t taste too much of the coffee and as such I felt like I was drinking some milk tea with pearls. The seafood risotto was served with prawns and shells and to be honest I am not a great fan of shell stuff. The good thing is that the Tom Yum taste was strong enough to cover the shell stuff in the dish. I love the tom yum taste to be honest, however, the rest of the ingredients in the dish didn’t quite impress me.

As for the spicy winglets, that’s the saving grace for the visit to Froth. I love the texture of the dish and the chicken was tender and juicy. The juicy chicken was sprinkled with smashed nachos and some shallots as well. Love this combination and truly a good snack for the afternoon.

Overall, my experience with the cafe was a good one. The cafe has a lot of potential given more time to fine tune its menu. They have a lot of fresh food idea and I am sure they will do all the necessary adjustments to make things better. I am looking forward to see Froth grow in maturity as a cafe. Good luck!

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Cafe Hopper Review: Banana Tree @ Keong Siak Street

I went to Keong Siak street specially to visit this Banana Tree cafe, another Korean style cafe serving Korean bingsu. I was so intrigued by their flower pot decorative of their dessert. Not difficult to locate this shop that just started operating about a month or so. I took a cab to Bukit Pasoh and this I was really out of cash by the time I entered Banana Tree. After I have decided on my order, I was told that they don’t take cashless payment. I wasn’t feeling that lousy but I knew that the nearest ATM from Keong Siak is pretty far and the weather was really hot. I guess I had no choice but to walk down the street to hit an ATM. Just when I was packing my bag and getting ready to leave, the beautiful lady boss asked if I work around this area? I said I don’t but I frequent this place. She suggested that I should stay and have my order and come back another day to pay for it. I was feeling rather comfortable with that but the lady boss insisted seeing the hot weather. I took the offer and I really enjoyed my dessert very much.

After I walked out of the place, the first thing I did was to get my cash and pay for what I owe. I was touched by the lady’s trust in me even though I was just a customer. I would certainly want to come back for the bigger pot of flower when I have people to accompany me. Good luck to your new and exciting venture!

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Cafe Hopper Review: Cafe Insadong @ South Bridge Road

First the location map shown on Instagram indicated a wrong place. Instagram map shows the cafe to be on Smith Street in Chinatown and there was not Cafe Insadong there. I decided to take a look across South Bridge Road and lo and behold, the cafe was there. I was so glad that I found it as the weather outside was extremely hard to bear. Temperature was easily 33 or 34 degree Celsius that day. When I stepped in the cafe, I was greeted by one of the staff of the cafe and I feedback to her that the map on Instagram is wrong about their location. She seemed very serious about it and expressed that she would update the info which to be honest I didn’t quite know how that is done.

In any case, stepping into the cafe was already making me feel great as the weather out there was really very hot. I asked for a recommendation as I was really clueless what I should order and it was my first time visiting a Korean-style cafe. I actually found the price a little on a high side for their menu. I ordered the Beef Bugolgi Toast for a light lunch and the Red bean and sweet potatoes for dessert. Both items each falls within the range of $7 to $9. I do find that for a toast or ice dessert to cost around this range ….its a little too pricey. I can easily get a local ice kacang for just less than $3.

I was particularly fond of the beef bugolgi toast as I always wanted to do something with toast and kimchi and I must say they did pretty okay with their combination. I  messaged a group of friends that I was in this shop and one of the foodie friends replied me and said that she doesn’t really like their ice dessert. Well, I tend to disagree with her because you really can’t be too wrong with sweet stuff. But like I said, for this kind of price, I can get two ice kacang when I crossed over to Chinatown Hawker Center. One thing for sure, the korean-style ice kacang did help to beat the heat outside for me.

I guess, its still pretty worth coming here and enjoy the dessert after a tiring shopping at Chinatown…

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Cafe Hopper Review: Mad About Sucre @ Bukit Pasoh (Teo Hong Road)

It was my laze around day and I wanted to laze to a nearby cafe in the same area. However, the cafe that I intended to go had a private function, so I decided to hop to this one which I missed the other day when I was here for staycation. From the time I stepped into the cafe till the moment I left the cafe, I must say that I was very pampered by the staff of the cafe. I stepped in and was greeted by the staff. I was not allowed to order anything until the staff had finished explaining to me all their products on the classy glass display. It was very boutique indeed. They had a few dessert on display and the staff took a lot of pride and most importantly, a lot of heart to introduce all of them to me before I decided on one.

I was ushered to my seat and was made very comfortable there. When my dessert arrived, the staff once again explained in greater details about the making of the dessert and how I should go about consuming it. From his narration of the dessert I ordered, I came to know that this little piece of thing have ingredients from more than 3 different continents and countries. After all the narrative, I finally get to savour my precious dessert served by staff with so much heart and soul in them. With all the narrative still at the back of my mind and my tongue physically tasting it, I must say that the experience was heavenly. The chocolate was smooth and the fill inside this little thing is wholesome and and not overwhelming.

Throughout my stay in the cafe, the staff would regularly, at a very comfortable pace, check on my well-being and asked if I am alright with everything. The attention that I received from them was superb and I felt almost like a celebrity. After I have posted my food picture on my Instagram, they replied to my IG and they actually remembered that I came and remembered that I was writing my poem then and they actually refrained from disturbing too much. I was extremely touched by their service…or I should say more than service to me. They have made dining at Mad About Sucre an art by itself….They are inspirational!

Thank you guys for your hospitality…

 
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Cafe Hopper Review: Doi Chaang Coffee @ Rochester Park

Was at a lost of which cafe to hop to for my off day and decided to consult some of my friends for suggestion. One of my friends reminded me of this thai origin cafe at Rochester Park. I have heard people talked about it but haven’t been there. For Doi Chaang Coffee please do me a favour to Google on your own.

I was really feeling very tired this week and was really hoping that I can find a good resting place for my tired soul. It wasn’t that difficult to find the cafe after all. It wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be but reasonably simple decor…more minimalist style. They are suppose to be famous for their layered cheese cake, especially the matcha flavoured. Sadly it was out of stock this morning. I guess the only reason why it’s out of stock could be that its really damn bloody good. Haha. I ordered the Hokkaido milk layered cake and their iced lemongrass americano. I was quite impressed by the lemongrass americano. The Thai people can make anything out of lemongrass and I guess this time is coffee. The lemongrass favour really made me miss Thailand and I was reminiscing Bangkok and Korat as I savour the coffee. The layered cake was refreshing and very pleasant to my taste. The textual is soft but not looking it’s feel.

I spent a good one hour plus there and started writing my next piece of poem. I had inspiration then. I think this is a good attempt to bring a piece of Thailand to our Singaporean cafe enthusiasts here. Worth the visit guys!

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The Gatekeeper

Cafe Hopper Review: The Lokal@Neil Road

I heard so much about the cafe and looked out some review about the place. Now finally I am here today. It’s not exactly a difficult find but still I decided to take a cab just to avoid wasted walking. The cafe is really located at the corner between Bukit Pasoh and Neil Road. A very nice corner indeed. I walked in and just as I expected, not crowded. It’s a weekday you see and it’s always a good privilege to be able to visit cafe during weekdays, not crowded and you can slowly take your time to savour the coffee and the cafe food. Over the years, due to the cafe culture, there has developed this category of cafe cuisine. I guess it’s the same for The Lokal as well.

I ordered my usual latte and this time with their French toast. They did surprised me with their combination of,French toast, melted ice cream and crispy strip bacon. Lovely combination of sweet and savoury taste. The coffee was something I would really love to have another cup if not because I was hopping to somewhere else later. The overall environment is cosy and with a little pinch of street arts on the wall and at the counter. The cafe provides nice, cosy corners for people to have mini discussion or simply to soak in your quiet time alone!

They have friendly staff here. Was reading somewhere that somebody commented the staff were unfriendly. I didn’t feel that at all when I was there. The lady that served me was even sensitive to my need of my personal quiet solace and thus recommended a corner that I was able to have that. Thanks Germaine if you are reading this.

Lovely place and accessible…So do drop by The Lokal and experience the cafe space too.

The Gatekeeper

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Cafe Hopper Review: Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roastry @ Upper Thomson

This is a new cafe on the block. They took over a corner unit near the former Long House Hawker Center! It was previously Liquid Kitchen and now turned into a boutique cafe! Interior decor is simple but impressive! It’s white in general and even the coffee machine is white in colour. I love the spaciousness of the cafe and cafe goers have enough space to chat with their friends or even sitting alone looking out to the traffic along Upper Thomson road.

I ordered the shrimp and asparagus ragout roll from the menu and was pretty impressed by the creativeness of the breakfast set! The taste was alright and of course you can’t compare them with big western cuisine restaurant! I also ordered the 7oz latte and turned out that the latte is smooth and doesn’t leave behind a after taste. And I was enjoying all of these with a jazzy groove in the background as music!

The overall experience is great and considering that it is only their soft opening! They have not officially open yet and will be soon! You don’t see any cakes in their display shelves for now! A new cafe with lots of potential for growth and development! Just hope that the rent doesn’t kill off creativity and the means to survive!

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Cafe Hopper Review: Old Hen Cafe @ Rangoon Road

This is really a very back-dated entry. I have visted this particular cafe last month or so and finally found time and space to pen this down in my blog. Old Hen is some where that I actually planned to visit. I have heard so much about their cold brew coffee and seen so many nice pictures of the legendary bottle in Instagram. Thus, that Sunday morning after my church service, I have decided to give my normal Starbucks at Raffles City a miss and travel down to Rangoon road for this new experience. The cafe was suppose to start operation at 10am and when I was there two young dudes greeted me and asked me if I was here for the cafe. I replied, ‘Yes!’ They told me that they have forgotten the key to the cafe and the father is sending the key down. It would probably take about an hour before the key arrived. Oh…I was rather amused and surprised by the annoucement. I decided to take a cool morning walk down Rangoon road to see if there’s anything else that would excite me.

I returned to Old Hen and was impressed by the neatness of the cafe and the simplicity of it all. Its a very white based cafe and yes….with some dried flowers. I love the big, long table the most. I asked about the cold brew coffee and was very interested to know what is it all about. Basically it was a unique way of brewing coffee with cold water instead of hot water. Not many cafes have this except for Chye Seng Huat Hardware and one or two more. The cold brew is supposedly effective in extracting out the bitter taste of the coffee and making the coffee smoother. When I took the first sip from the bottle, I did felt that the coffee was smoother and certainly tasted good without the bitterness.

I managed to get Terry, one of the partners of the cafe to chat with me for a very long time. His other partner is his twin brother and they both came back from Australia and decided to start Old Hen cafe together. I thought its pretty cool to start something together like this one….and they went to Bangkok for their barista training. I shared with them my cafe hopping experience, both in Singapore and Thailand. It was such a good time of sharing that I actually walked out of the cafe without paying for it. Yes…I actually did that! I was so embarrased when I found out about it and called them immediately to apologise. I paid them evetually…yes I did….!

Ok, coming back to the cafe…it does have alot of potential to develop further. They definitely need to beef up a little for food….and probably a bit more advertising and publicity. Rangoon Road is emerging quite strongly as a cafe haunt soon…..so they have a good location here.

The Gatekeeper

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Cafe Hopper Review: Clouds and Pebbles @ Central Embassy, Bangkok

This is really a way overdue entry. I was in Bangkok like about two weeks ago and I finally got the time to put in this entry. Was busy with so many things. Anyway I have decided to slow down a little today and let time catch up with me. For that, I decided to make a long way down to Haji Lane – visiting those vintage shops, fashion and cafes….did I mention cafes? Yah I did mentioned cafes. How can I miss that out right? I have not written anything about the cafes along Haji Lane. Soon I will be. For now, let me finish my last of the four cafes that I visited during my Bangkok trip two weeks ago.

Clouds and Pebbles is located at Central Embassy, a brand new shopping mall near Pleonchit Station. This cafe was also featured during the recent Bangkok Bakers Festival. They are famous for their various types of yogurt dessert and trust me they are really sweet to your soul. I almost felt like I was dying of diabetes. Don’t get me wrong! Not that they are not good….just that most of their stuffs are too sweet for me. However, they do serve pretty nice coffee. I ordered a piccolo…yes…they have piccolo. For cafe hopper like myself, we are always excited to find piccolo in the menu. Why? Cos we don’t want to have an overdose of caffeine.

There are many other big time cafes in Central Embassy itself. If you are needing a good cafe chillax right smack in Bangkok city, Central Embassy may be a good one stop station for some of the famous cafes like Audrey Cafe, Harrods Cafe and etc.

The Gatekeeper

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Cafe Hopper Review: Karmakamet Diner @ Sukhumvit Soi 24

This was an arduous find for me. It took me two days, two tries to find the cafe. Eventually it was through another Thai cafe hopper friend that I found the cafe. It’s really quite tuck in at one corner of Sukhumvit Soi 24, definitely not within sight. The trick is, hit Emporium Hotel at BTS Prom Phong, check with the hotel staff where is Karmakamet Diner, they will direct you to this beautifully crafted cafe. Of course, now that I know, I won’t need to hit the hotel anymore, but still thankful for them to direct me to this place.

Once you entered the compound of the cafe, you will have straightaway experience the rustic feel. The grounds are cemented with pebbles and the you will feel like the cafe is situated in some mountain area. Stepping into the cafe itself, you will be greeted with a aromatic smell of herbs and spices. There is a corner in the cafe that sell Karmakamet’s own aromatherapy products. You will also see herbs and spices being planted all over the cafe to bring out the nature feel of the place. Of course, the woody furnishing also adds on to the nature feel. In short, I have simply fallen in love to this haven right smack in Sukhumvit area.

I ordered the ice black coffee and Gravlax Salad recommended by my Thai cafe hopper friend. He said this is a must try. When I received the salad, I can understand why it’s a must try. It has pretty expensive ingredients in it, like fish roe and caviar. The greens are very fresh as well and the overall outlook of the dish is gorgeously decorated. Just looking at the salad would have up your appetite for more. The black coffee is pretty ordinary but I guess their strength seems to be in their variety of cocktails and mocktails. However, it was too early in huge morning and I really don’t wish to have cocktail. I gave it a miss but will come back again for the cocktail one day.

I sat there for a good one hour or more and I felt good just chilling out there and enjoying the aromatic smell of herbs and spices. I took lots of photos here and even a selfie to share with my readers that I visited this cafe haven in Bangkok. This is a must-visit for passionate cafe hopper and you will appreciate more if you experience the arduous find for it.

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