Does Singapore need another coffee joint? The answer apparantly is YES. This new kid on a block is not exactly a stranger to the café scene as owner Andrew Lek is former barista from Strangers’ Reunion.
Department of Caffeine, otherwise known as D.O.C, took over the defunct Broadway Café at Duxton Hill and upped its coolness factor by a thousand times. (Broadway used to serve Nespresso.) I am here because fellow café hoppers keep raving and raving about this place. Must check it out.
My fellow coffee addict friend Gavin who tried almost every single indie cafe in Singapore thought that their Five Sense coffee beans makes for a very well-rounded cuppa – not too acidic, not too strong, almost tea-like. And he liked it especialy if it was pulled by Andrew Lek himself, though he acknowledged D.O.C has a good team of trainee baristas who are not too bad themselves.
The semi-industrial woody ID, choice of music, display and magazines (somewhat reminding me of Maison Ikkoku’s tick all the right boxes – very clear about how they are targeting. The hip. (That’s you yah, I suppose.)
Food wise, other than a mouth-watering looking Pulled Pork Sandwich ($13) and D.O.C Meatball Sandwich ($13), their salad offerings are fairly varied such as Moroccan Carrot Salad with Cashews, Raisins & Coriander, French Beans, Mangetout with Hazelnuts & Orange, and Roasted Beetroot with Baby Spinach. There is always something new.
Their D.O.C Breakfast Platter ($18) of scrambled eggs, bacon wrapped meatloaf on toasted brioche served with tomato confit & cheese bocconcini is photogenic good stuff. Not mind-blowing yet, but one of the less common occasions where you felt every single item of the platter deserved to be there.
Comparatively, the Mushroom Medley ($14) sautéed in white wine & herbs on brioche toast topped with sunny side up egg was not as exciting a medley I wished would be, on the dry side and felt it needed some kind of sauce to level it up.
Department of Caffeine seems to be one of the fewer cafes who works hard for their food offering – the newcomer probably needs some time fine-tuning, but has a lot of potential.
With so many cafes sprouting out, Department of Caffeine is one which stands out from the rest for its coolness quotient. I can’t pinpoint what it is exactly, but you would feel at ease here without the sense of it (or the customers) being over-pretentious (for the time being). Its small, its cosy, almost reminding me of some of Melbourne’s cafés,
THIS is the next place to see and to be seen in. The rest can go to Ah Huat for all I care.
Department of Caffeine
15 Duxton Road Singapore 089481 Tel:+65 6223 3426
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 7.30pm (Mon to Fri), 9.30am – 7.30pm (Sat to Sun)