JQ Chef Café, not JYP from Korea, JP Morgan or JJ Lin. JQ is the initial for Chef Johnny Quek, ex-chef at the World’s First Full Butler Sky Dining at Singapore Flyer, who has opened a cafe at Toa Payoh Central.
Not many cafes in Singapore are named after their owner, unless they are confident of the chef’s branding.
Bringing his team over, Chef Johnny Quek has taken over the space once occupied by Les Patisseries (which has shifted to Upper Thomson).
JQ Chef Cafe has such a similar shopfront as Les Patisseries, we actually walked past the cafe twice initially without realising there was a change.
The “déjà vu” interior with the same chalkboard menu, same furniture, same vibes.
Their offering is straightforward – 3 items on the brunch menu (serving from 11.30am – 2.30pm daily), 3 pasta dishes and some cakes.
Looking at the 3 brunch items: Eggs Benedict ($11.90), Eggs Royale ($11.90), Big Breakfast ($13.90), our initial thought was… em, boring? Same-same.
Both the taste and presentation of the Eggs Royale ($11.90) were surprising good, perfectly poached eggs with runny yolk set on top generous slices of smoked salmon.
The brioche used was soft and fluffy, added with crunchy and refreshing greens. with hollandaise sauce that eluded a subtle citrusy touch.
The Waffalo ($9.90) is the combination of 2 words: Waffle + Marshmallow.
Waffle was crispy and airy and came with 2 scoops of chocolate and vanilla bean ice cream, 2 Pepero sticks and torched marshmallow (Manhattan Fish Market style) before serving. A pretty decent waffle for its price.
The Tiramisu ($7), Chocolat Truffle ($7), Cheese Cake Brownie ($7) and Tarte Au Citron ($6) on display looked familiar – supplied by Les Patisseries until their kitchen is more stabilised at a later date.
The addition of another café in the heartlands is definitely heartwarming, especially from a chef who has experience in the upmarket F&B sector and able to serve quality and yet affordable food to the residents.
JQ Chef Cafe
Block 186 Toa Payoh Central #01-428, Singapore 310186 (Toa Payoh MRT)
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 4pm, 5pm – 10pm (Mon-Fri), 11.30am – 10pm (Sat-Sun)
* Written by Daniel’s Food Diary Cafe Correspondent Nicholas Tan @stormscape.