Assembly Coffee, Singapore

evans lodge just got more exciting with this (relatively) new kid on the block. opened some time late last year/ at the start of this year, assembly prides itself on good coffee and is the perfect place to stop and get a cuppa if you’re in the dunearn road / bukit timah area. i’m not big on coffee but am still very pleased with this addition to the area’s offerings because the food is good too!

i visited on national day with three friends; we were looking for somewhere convenient to have a spot (or more) of tea, and assembly coffee fit the bill with its waffle and cake offerings, its location and ample parking right within evans lodge itself. it was packed when we arrived at 2.30pm but we were lucky enough to snag a table for four just as a couple was leaving. assembly occupies a rather small shop unit in evans lodge – when its not too packed i can imagine it making a really nice and cosy place to chill with a book and while the afternoon away, but when it was packed like how it was when we visited, it can get rather cramp and stuffy.
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where we were seated (by the window on the left, semi-hidden in the pic) was bordering on uncomfortably hot and i think it can probably be attributed to the lack of sufficient air-conditioning and the strong sunlight coming in through the windows that day.

besides the coffees they are known for, assembly offers simple breakfast/light brunch or lunch-type food items. here’s the food menu:
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and the drinks menu:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we were all really full having just come from respective lunches, so we passed on the mains and headed straight for the sweet dessert offerings. wasn’t difficult to agree on what we wanted – the four of us ordered a waffle and brick toast to share. i was so tempted by the cakes on display in the counter (i wonder if they’re outsourced?) which included exciting things like horlicks tarts and dark chocolate-pistachio-cranberry cake (mmmm…) but was reminded by my teatime companions to exercise some self-control and rein the omnipresent greediness in me in.
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cake display mmm…

considering the crowd, the food was served in a relatively decent amount of time. first up, the famous earl grey caramel waffle:
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earl grey caramel waffle – waffle with homemade earl grey caramel sauce topped with new zealand natural vanilla ice cream and strawberries ($11.50)

i wasn’t disappointed by this waffle! it was wonderfully crispy on the outside (which made eating the edges delightful) but moist and fluffy inside. the vanilla ice cream that topped it went very well with the caramel sauce. the first of my only 2 qualms is that the earl grey taste could have been a little stronger! till now, i can’t tell if the earl grey is just in the sauce or if it is infused in the waffle batter; i only tasted it fleetingly in some bites so can’t quite figure out where the subtle earl grey flavour was coming from. secondly, i thought that the waffles could have been lighter within as i felt that the inside of the waffle was a little on the dense side; you can tell from the picture below that they are very moist inside which is great but at the same time i think they could be a little lighter and airier (for lack of a better word).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
but of course i’m comparing the waffles here to my favourite waffles at creamier, so the benchmark is set pretty high 😛 this still made for a highly satisfying waffle mmm yes…

we also had the brick toast:
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assembly’s brick toast – “shibuya” inspired honey brick toast topped with vanilla ice cream, artisan honey greek yoghurt and fruits ($12)

back view:
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this plate of toast was a real show-stopper; its the kind of thing other patrons stare at curiously (aka enviously) when they see it being served to your table and wish they had ordered too. the centre of a super thick slice of toast is cut out and into little blocks, while a scoop of ice cream sits pretty within the now empty core of the thick toast. i quite liked this but the general consensus among the four of us was that it was bordering on being too sweet and we all preferred the waffle. its basically really thick toast that’s fried (i think?) till its nice and crunchy on the outside, but that remains soft inside. it was coated in sugar and honey which made it very sweet, but we realised that was probably what the greek yoghurt was for – to balance out the sweetness of the ice cream + sugar-coated toast combi. taken with the yoghurt and fruit, it became much more enjoyable and was actually quite addictive; crunchy outsides and fluffy insides paired with ice cream and finally dipped in yoghurt. sounds rather odd i know, but actually tasted quite interesting. the greek yoghurt was a refreshing addition. 

we also ordered an iced latte but i only had a sip of it so i can’t say much about it:
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iced latte: $5

they are extremely serious about their coffees here though (look at the number of people working hard behind the counter), so i’m sure it was very good, and much needed in the heat!!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

i’d definitely return to assembly coffee again if i’m looking for somewhere to have a light meal around the area; what we had that day satisfied me enough for me to want to try their savoury offerings as well as some of that yummy-looking cake! a (very) belated welcome to the ‘hood, you guys! 😉

Assembly Coffee
26 Evans Lodge
Singapore 259367

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my teatime companions – old and very dear friends :’)

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clearly i am the only / the most patriotic one among the 4 of us… (#happybelatedbirthdaysingapore #loveyoulongtime) all decked out in red & white to show my love for this amazing city that has given me so much, and has always kept the foodie in me 129843094829304% satisfied!!!

The Missing Pan, Singapore

tried this new kid on the block a few days ago, and my friends and i were very pleasantly surprised by it! adding to the small mix of eateries around the coronation plaza area, the missing pan now provides an alternative to choupinette (which is just a few doors down) and little diner (further down the road) if you’re looking for a spot to have some brunch/cafe-style food.

it looks like a pretty small space from the road looking in, but there’s actually a second storey which has a good number of tables and if you’re lucky enough, you can get one by the large window on one end which is perfect for watching the world go by below you. there’s a very casual and laidback vibe and we were one of just four tables when we visited, so it made for a really nice, bright and airy environment to have a good catch-up over good food.
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they call themselves a bakery and brasserie, and serve a range of cold and hot cafe foods, along with breads and cakes displayed at the counter on the first floor. here’s the menu:20140107_12223620140107_122247

the over hangover and french toast salpicon were not available when we went 😦 i was quite disappointed because i thought the french toast sounded pretty special and would have liked to see if this unusual combination of french toast toppings was a hit or miss! nevertheless, we were happy with our 3 options – the eggs benny with smoked salmon, croque madame, and the rosemary rosti stack.

service was pretty efficient and we were soon presented with these goodies:
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first thing that struck us was the rather generous servings – clearly meant to be a hearty meal rather than a dainty pick-at-your-food type of cafe, which i liked!

i think my favourite of the lot/the one i was most pleasantly surprised by was the croque madame:
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croque madame: gammon ham, gruyere, parmesan, egg (croque monsieur has no egg) grape foccacia – $14

i thought it didn’t look as appetising as the rest (especially in the picture above, i realise… oh dear), but it tasted so good!!! here’s what i think is a better picture, after we flipped the top half over to form one big tasty sandwich:
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the gruyere was delicious and my only regret is that i didn’t have more of it more when it was freshly made and brought to the table because after a while, it was naturally less melty than before. the gammon ham was yummy (not the processed sort), and topped with an egg and parmesan, everything came together deliciously. the bread was possibly my favourite part of the croque madame – the foccacia was so wonderfully soft and fluffy, and it was (rather unusually) topped with grapes, which added a very nice mildly sweet touch to the general savouriness of the whole thing. it wasn’t as heavy as i thought it would be; i really enjoyed their rendition of the croque madame and will be back for more!

next up, the eggs benny:
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62 degree eggs benedict with smoked salmon: avocado, seaweed crumbs on sourdough with in-house hollandaise – $22

they were out of avocados when we visited, so they replaced them with spinach which was alright, but i think i would have preferred avo. i can imagine the texture and bite it would have added to the mix, particularly if it was chunky avocado! also, who can resist avo on toast??? the eggs were perfectly poached as you can probably tell from the picture, but here’s another one for the yolk to have its chance to shine:
20140107_124751exactly the way i like them in all their runny yolk glory – sooo gooood!
as for the salmon, it wasn’t really raw smoked salmon which i was expecting; the salmon was actually almost like tataki, lightly seared on the outside and more raw on the inside. the hollandaise sauce was also tasty and satisfying without overdoing the creaminess. however i felt that the sourdough left much to be desired! it seemed like it wasn’t properly toasted when it arrived at our table – it wasn’t warm at all and the crusts were thus a little chewy, almost making me feel like i was eating old/stale bread. we ended up picking the toppings off the sourdough and leaving the 2 slices more or less untouched. what a difference from the amazing foccacia in the croque madame! this dish would have been good if the bread were better toasted.

last but certainly not least, we had the rosemary rosti stack:
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rosemary rosti stack: bacon, sunny-side egg, tomato, grilled zucchini salad – $16

this was yummy! even the side of grilled zucchini salad was really good and was gone in no time. the zucchini was naturally sweet and perfectly grilled – charred in all the right places, giving it a nice subtle smokey taste but not a burnt taste at all. the rosti was very well done, crisp on the outside but cooked perfectly through. and though you can’t see it from the picture, it had bacon hidden within! topped with an impossibly perfect sunny side-up, we were pleasantly surprised that this dish wasn’t as heavy as we thought it would be. it wasn’t too oily, and was something different from the regular brunch options you get elsewhere.

finally, we ordered a dessert to share. these were the desserts that were available that day, besides what was listed on the menu:
20140107_133714we needed to put name to face (cake) before making a decision, so headed downstairs to check the display out:20140107_134117

settled on the brownie cheesecake which came recommended by the staff.20140107_134350

don’t think there is really any form of scale in the picture, but the slice was rather big! a generous serving, just like their mains. the cake was good, though i wouldn’t rave about it or consider it something i would return for. the combination of brownie and cheesecake was interesting, and it was surprisingly not overly sweet or heavy. taste-wise the cheesecake layer was like light japanese cheesecakes, though texture-wise it was denser than that. as for the brownie layer, it was moist and chocolate-y just as it should be. worth noting that from 2pm-5pm, they offer a free drink with every cake order!

all in all, missing pan is a nice little addition to the neighbourhood that i wouldn’t mind returning to if i’m looking for some good and reasonably-price cafe food. oh and there’s a 15% student discount, so its a great spot for students of schools in the area to have a nice meal. they also sell breads at the counter on the first floor! 20140107_134133

The Missing Pan

619D Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 269724