Jewel Café and Bar – OMG. Chic Café in the Heart of Little India
Artisanal coffee house Jewel Coffee opens its Café + Bar concept at Rangoon Road in the heart of Little India. I am very curious, why ‘Jewel’?
Owner Adrian Khong replied in jest, “I was praying very hard for a name. Then while worshipping in Mandarin, I kept singing ‘Zhu-Ah, Zhu-Ah’ (stands for God). ‘Zhu-Ah’ sounds like ‘Jew-el’, that’s why the name. I got it from God!”
Indeed, Jewel is blessed to have a successful first outlet at 1 Shenton Way, and a second 2nd-storey café with its own coffee roaster at the back.
Food choices range from mains such as Miso Presa Iberico Pork ($34), Black Cod ($32), Southern Fried Chicken ($18), Rib-Eye Steak ($35), soups, salads, pastas, burgers and sandwiches. Initially, I can’t help feeling the price is about $5-$10 more than what I expected and would have been willing to pay. At least the prices are nett.
The OMG Burger ($20) is quite a yummilicious crowd-pleaser. I loved the soft sesame brioche buns and fries by the way, strangely. The fillings look like the usual stuff at first – USDA beef patties, crispy bacon, sunny-side up (yes yes), lettuce, cheddar… and luncheon meat!
Are my friends the only bunch that gets more excited over luncheon meat in a burger rather than beef? Apparently many others indeed went “OMG”. This is not the usual M*L*** luncheon meat but sourced after trying out 16 different brands. Talk about being over-spam-med.
Jewel’s Umami Prawn Capellini ($22) feels like a cross-bred of Italian pasta, dry Japanese ramen and Singapore’s Hokkien mee. The thin pasta is not cooked the usual ‘Western’ way, but instead doused in prawn stock so that it would absorb the flavours like how Hokkien mee would have been cooked. The bonito flakes and seaweed add a Japanese flavour, and I like it precisely for being wetter than usual.
If you are craving for some relaxing breakfast and lazy brunch, Jewel has a breakfast menu (try the bacon jam!) from 9am to 11am on weekdays, and till 3pm on weekends. Make your way to the second storey for comfy sofa seats and a view over-looking the entire café while the sunrays hit in from above.
You could see the amount of effort Jewel takes in putting the place and food today. You do not feel that they are some quickly-assembled pieces like some cafes would offer. I would some of the offerings such as French Onion Soup ($8) and Miso Presa Iberico ($34) are not bad, if you do not judge the food by restaurant standards. The main thing lacking for me, perhaps, and ironically is an Oh-My-God moment.
Jewel Café + Bar
129 Rangoon Road Singapore 218 407 (7-10 min walk from Farrer Park MRT) Tel: +65 6298 9216
Opening Hors: 9am – 10pm (Tues-Thurs, Sun), 9am – 12am (Fri-Sat), Closed Mon