You’ll find a bit of magic at this quaint little cafe in Katong. The cosy spot has got all the elements of a good afternoon hideout — good coffee, hearty comfort food, all served in an airy, minimalist space, but we did mean “magic” quite literally. Hit up C Cafe at the right time, and founder Ashley Cho, alongside co-founder Nicholas Wong, will be able to demonstrate a card flourish or two. As a former doctor who taught himself how to brew an absolutely delicious cuppa, you should know then that Cho’s still got more than a few tricks up his sleeve.
The cafe serves up familiar fare that we’d all love on a weekend, or weekday, with Avocado on Sourdough Toast, a range of Tasty Toasties, or an exquisite Golden Waffle served with a generous slab of fried chicken. It’s a menu that the owners and fellow foodies have slaved over for months, choosing to put out only what’s satisfactory to their tastebuds, said Cho during our visit.
An experience at C Cafe is made even more personal thanks to the hands-on Cho and Wong working behind the counter, pulling shots, and even bussing the tables; and in between, enthralling diners with ace card tricks. In fact, this passionate joint venture came about due to Cho’s love for magic. It’s an endeavour so serious that he quit his full-time, more lucrative, job as a doctor, to set up a homely space where he gets to combine his hobby with his other interest, food. Obviously, no illusions of grandeur here — and we can’t help but root for them too. Read on to find out what you should try at C Cafe.
For something a little different on the weekend, C Cafe introduces a C’erious Sundays menu that’s only available on the first Sunday of the month. And yes, there’s free-flow bubbly involved. Think of this as a casual alternative to the chi-chi Sunday brunch — this time, with an iconic charcuterie board as the star of the show. This is then served with a side of tasty snacks, as well as free-flowing champagne, wine, or beer.
Cheese boards have been all the rage recently, and you can serve up an equally fancy one at home, but I’ve got to say, C Cafe serves up a mean curated one full of quality meats and gourmet cheeses. These are on rotation every month depending on the produce, and is accompanied by fresh and dried fruits, nuts, pickles, honey, and homemade hummus. The choice of wine, beer, and champagne are specially picked out by Cho and Wong too, and I’m quite certain you’ll be safe in their hands. The red that I tried was not too acidic, but rich and full-bodied, which paired well with the blue cheese and nutty camembert.
C’erious Sunday is held on the first Sunday of each month, with three slots per session: 10am – 12pm, 1pm – 3pm, and 4pm – 6pm. Priced at $88 nett per pax. Reservations can be made via +65 8875 1122.
One of the prettiest dishes on the menu, this fancy brunch staple sees smashed avocado on artisanal sourdough toast, topped with pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds for that extra crunch. There’s also thinly-sliced radish for a fresh bite, feta cheese for depth, and a savoury homemade hummus artistically smeared on the side, one that has hints of garlic and lemon to lift the sweet mashed chickpeas. You may also add on smoked salmon, honey baked ham, sous vide chicken, and poached eggs. I am, admittedly, a fan of the millennial-favourite avocado toast, and this was an enjoyable one where the creamy avocado was seasoned beautifully with salt and pepper. Those twin poached eggs, runny as they come, made the dish even more delightful to look at, while the smoked salmon addition made this a good filling meal that you’d be satisfied with.
I also tried the Golden Waffle, where a light waffle is combined with an even crispier but juicy fried chicken thigh. This hearty American-style dish is then finished with a drizzle of maple syrup and French butter. If you’ve never tried this before, don’t scoff at how weird it all sounds together — the mash-up of sweet waffle and spiced chicken is actually a really decent sweet-savoury match, and here, they’ve done this right by recognising the true star of the dish, the chicken. It’s served up juicy, warm, and especially tasty due to that crispy skin, nicely complementing the softer waffle both in taste and in texture.
At C Cafe’s counter sits a fancy-looking coffee machine called the Aremde Nexus One, which fits the minimalist setting. Its see-through structure’s also built to enhance social interaction between the barista and diner, which we experienced while watching Cho craft our orders of a Flat White and Iced Cafe Latte. He does this with skilled hands, right down to the free pour where the self-trained barista gave us a pretty rosetta atop our flat white. This is a special Brazil-Ethiopia blend put together by the owners from local roasters Compound Coffee Co., the kind of blend that I personally love. It’s rich and full-bodied, more nutty than acidic, which then tapers off creamy on the tongue. If you’re not intending to dine in, but happen to be in the area, go ahead and get this to-go.
Elsewhere on the menu are also the popular Tasty Toasties on sourdough bread, where you get to choose from succulent chicken breast, thick-cut leg ham, or smoked Norwegian salmon. Instead of the usual sweets and cakes, the desserts at C Cafe are also of a healthier variety, whether that’s a Chia Seed Pudini or Tropical Acai Bowl, which makes sense if you’re heading over after a yoga or spin class. Stay tuned for more additions to the menu too — last we heard, they’ve got plans for a dinner menu that includes pizzas!
Address — 477 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427683
opening hours: 8am – 6pm, Mon t0 sun
Tel — +65 8875 1122 (whatsapp only)
More information on Instagram and ccafe.com.sg.