Eastsiders, we are coming for you! May’s edition of Kafe Kakis features three delightful places to drop in for an unforgettable bite – whether it is at a floral wonderland with your pampered pooch, or a dreamy space that takes you right to the wonders of Morocco, check out our recommendations for your (socially distanced) hangouts.
(Update as of 16 May: Given the dine-in restrictions at eateries and restaurants until 13 June, the following places also offer take-away and delivery options.)
Café de Nicole’s Flowers
Within a quiet neighbourhood in Telok Kurau lies Café de Nicole’s Flowers, a garden-themed café that will delight all five of your senses. The café is hard to miss, with an elaborate floral archway demarcating its entrance. Within, the space is adorned with wispy flowers cascading from the ceiling. In line with its garden theme, a corner of the space is reserved as a flower shop, and the sweet perfume of flesh florals permeates the air as you enter.
Their menu is as elaborate as their setting, with an extensive range of specialty floral-inspired beverages, all-day brunch items, and perhaps the most exciting for all, soufflé pancakes, a must-try with any visit.
We opted for the Strawberry Soufflé Pancakes to start our meal. Get your Instagram filters ready for this one, as you won’t want to miss out the classic jiggly pancake shot! Feast with your eyes first as the pancakes come laden with a light cream and strawberry sauce, with fresh strawberries scattered throughout the plate, accompanied by a scoop of strawberry ice cream – a portrait of indulgence.
The pancakes are light, fluffy, and airy, with each bite akin to biting into a cloud (if clouds aren’t just condensation, that is). Generous dollops of cream and strawberry sauce ensure that you get a bit of both with each bite, and the strawberry ice cream provides a nice contrast to the warm pancakes. As a whole, however, the dish was a tad too sweet for us, and an element of tartness or acidity would have been good to cut through the richness.
For a savoury option, try out their Brioche Bread Toast, topped with torched brie cheese, truffle honey, pear, pecan nuts, and crispy prosciutto. Sounds like a lot? It is, but in the best possible way! Every bite will have your taste buds firing on all cylinders, as the crispy and salty prosciutto, mild sweetness of the honey, smokiness of the torched brie, and mildly acrid tang of the pecans, work together in harmony. We did feel that the brioche was slightly lacking, however; while its texture was sufficiently fluffy, it lacked the richness and butter fragrance that characterises brioche buns.
End your meal with a Perfect Couple, a beverage comprising Uji Matcha and sweet potato with soy milk, topped with milk foam, and served with a lilac rose bud to complete the look. Much like the rest of this café and its offerings, the beverage is one for your Instagram feed, with gorgeous hues of purple and green swirling together. Much like how it looks, the flavours meld together in a perfect marriage, with the earthy matcha balanced by the mild sweetness of the sweet potato. Our only gripe is the slightly grainy texture of the sweet potato paste, which may not appeal to everyone.
224 Telok Kurau Rd, #01-01, Singapore 423836
Monday to Sunday: 9am – 10.30pm
La Fez Café & Bakery
Joining the wide selection of cafés in the east is La Fez Café & Bakery, a pink-themed, Moroccan-inspired café that opened earlier this year. Gold accents and nature elements are contrasted against a carefully curated selection of homeware, which includes a chandelier that is handcrafted in Morocco. For those looking for a pleasant afternoon interlude or a place to beat the heat, La Fez provides the escape from reality you didn’t know you needed.
The menu at La Fez Café & Bakery is fairly extensive, with a good selection of bakes such as focaccia bread, as well as mains that include prawn, fish, lamb and beef, and house-made desserts.
We decided to go with a classic brunch option, the Majorelle Shakshuka with Feta Cheese. Served in a tajine, which describes both a conical Moroccan earthenware pot and the dishes which are served in it, this rendition of Shakshuka was a well-balanced one, with the addition of feta cheese providing a creamy contrast to the sweetness of the tomato base. Mushrooms, onions and tender capsicum slivers are complemented by the addition of soft, pillowy eggs, with the runny egg yolks lending an additional dimension of richness to the dish. Our only gripe would be the house-made sourdough, which we found to be slightly tough. Still, expect a generous, hearty, and comforting dish that’s good for sharing.
We were also delighted to find that they were running a 1-for-1 promotion on pastries and desserts when we visited, which is available on weekdays from 2pm-5pm. Floral, fruity and delicate, the Raspberry Lychee Rose Minaret, one of the newest additions to the dessert menu, did not disappoint. Tangy raspberry filling sits atop a rose cake base, which is surrounded by a light yet flavourful mousse that melts on the tongue. The tartness of the raspberry balances the sweetness of the mousse beautifully, while the moist rose cake base acts as a subtle backdrop to the medley of flavours offered by the raspberry lychee rose mousse. Crunchy pink chocolate balls delineate the border of the dessert and provide textural contrast. Slicing into the sleek mousse – an experience one of our colleagues likened to cutting butter – also revealed the presence of real lychee bits.
Fans of cream cheese will enjoy La Fez’s intriguing reinterpretation of two classic desserts through the Hot Baklava Cheesecake, which features cream cheese and pistachio nuts nestled in a bed of filo pastry, sweetened with syrup like in a classic Baklava. Despite cheesecake and baklava being fairly rich dishes on their own, this fusion dish proves surprisingly light on the tongue, with just the right amount of sweetness. The flaky filo pastry and pistachio nuts also provide a nice contrast to the soft cheese, replacing the traditional graham cracker base that comes with cheesecake.
01-03A 907 East Coast Rd, Singapore 459107
Tuesday to Thursday: 11.30am – 8pm
Friday: 11.30am – 10pm
Saturday: 9am – 10pm
Sunday: 9am – 8pm
Closed on Mondays
Nestled in an unassuming stretch of Sims Place, Teahouse 1973 introduces familiar flavours with a twist, as a fusion café that serves both Malaysian and Western fare. Deep green upholstery, black tables and subtle lighting lend the space a chic elegance, an unexpected addition for a neighbourhood eatery.
Look out for the usual suspects when it comes to Western fare, as the place offers classics such as the Beef Burger and Seafood Pasta. Tea-lovers will also relish the chance to live their high tea dreams through the Afternoon Tea Set. At just $35++ for two people, this set includes a selection of homemade cakes and a pot of fruit tea.
We started the meal with the Mushroom Soup, which was served with a slice of garlic bread. While the soup was satisfactory, we felt that the bread used could have been softer to help soak up the soup.
When the Curry Chicken + Nasi Lemak came, we were surprised at the size of the portion, which we would recommend sharing. With a fluffy mound of blue nasi lemak rice topped with a heap of sambal, this dish was well-executed, especially the sambal, which held a pleasant balance of dried shrimp, spice and sweetness. Little side dishes of achar and sambal petai complete the dish, alongside a hard-boiled egg and a smattering of keropok pieces that line the side of the dish. A massive chicken leg protruded from a generous bowl of curry, which was complemented by the fragrant addition of curry leaves. We found the curry chicken to be a tad too oily, and certainly not for the faint-hearted or those with a low spice tolerance, as it packs a fiery kick. Thankfully, the chicken was relatively tender, pairing well with the rice.
The restaurant also offers a wide range of beverages. The Iced Passionfruit Tea featured a cloud of real passion fruit seeds and syrup at the base of the cup, and was a great palate cleanser, while the Yuzu Tea provided a homely, fragrant option that was not too sweet or tart, to end the meal on a comforting note.
Blk 53 Sims Place, Singapore 380053
Tuesday to Sunday: 11am – 8pm
Closed on Mondays