Brunch at The Populus Coffee & Food Co.
There's no better way to catch up with my girls than over coffee and brunch and we headed to Populus Coffee and Food Co. at Neil Road. The sister of Department of Caffeine is pretty new to the cafe scene but they are already drawing a crowd (do make a reservation to avoid the wait).
Coffee is actually a focus here and they even have 3 different blends of espresso- Monolith (comforting and reassuring), Caldera (upligting and refreshing), and Duxton Vice (cheeky and adventurous). It's obvious which i chose! No doubt which i am. Coffee is priced from $4.50. Filter coffee of African origins are available too. My iced mocha was more milky than anything and i couldn't taste the coffee even though the chocolate wasn't sweet.
A brunch hit is the Populus Scrambled ($18) which features eggs with fresh herb melange, marinated feta, and streaky bacon on top of a toasted croissant. The eggs could have been more runny. These were a little more cooked than i like but at least it didn't soak the flaky and buttery croissant. The bacon could do with more browning though. It's a decent brunch option however.
Perfect sweet mornings would begin with the Baked Pistachio French Toast ($19). Well this is actually a candy crusted brioche bread pudding with red wine poached pears, lemon curd, yuzu mascarpone, pistachio crumb, thyme infused pure maple syrup and flowers. Loved the moist fruit chunks (probably apple and pear) in the soggy-ish brioche, complemented with cornflakes bits.
The Buckwheat Pancake ($20.50) in a skillet could be described as a thick pancake or a flat fluffy cake, which wasn't too dry but it wasn't moist either. It was just.. undecided? Likewise, I couldn't decide if i liked this or not. It was simply a canvas for that tangy berry fruit compote, passionfruit curd, and cornflake crumb. It also felt like they kept reusing the same ingredients in the Pistachio French Toast. In fact, we saw many common elements in our dishes. Share this. I imagine I'd get sick of it after a bit.
For something that contrasts with your other dishes, perhaps go with the Harissa Baked Eggs ($19) with sumac! The Moroccan heartiness with spicy harissa chicken sausage would certainly brighten your weekend.
For something more lunchy, go with the grain bowls which use a base of quinoa, Bulgar wheat and pearl barley, like the savory Pulled Pork Grain Bowl ($18). I thought it was a seemingly Asian dish with the pickled cabbage apple slaw and furikake though the preparation and ingredients used were more Mediterranean.
Our surprise birthday desserts were the Dark Chocolate Sundae ($13) and the Earl Grey Chocolate Cake. I was surprised by the rich flavor of the chocolate ice cream even though it had a very light texture. It's a return of the common ingredients of curd, berries puree, cornflakes, yada yada yada which got really old by the end of the meal. The cake sponge in the mix was meh at best.
Give me something no frills like the Earl Grey Chocolate slice anytime. Loved the intense earl grey flavor and it had the dense brownie type of texture.
The Populus Coffee & Food Co. certainly gives its neighbor, The Lokal, a run for their money. Well more options for us i guess. I think i prefer this.
The Populus Coffee & Food Co.
146 Neil Rd Singapore 088875
Tel: +65 6635 8420
Daily 10am - 7pm