Atlas, not ‘atas’ coffeeshop. Just because this café is located at Bukit Timah doesn’t mean that it is ‘atas’ (meaning ‘above’ in Malay, ‘high class’ in Singlish).
Atlas Coffeehouse is helmed by the team behind Assembly Coffee, known for their Shibuya toasts, waffles and coffee to appeal to university undergraduates. This venture at Duke’s Road, a 5 minute walk from Botanic Gardens MRT on Downtown Line, takes on a rather earthy approach in both decor and food.
ATLAS is the acronym for At-Land-Air-Sea, and the interior reflects part of the theme.
Industrial cemented walls to represent the Land, natural sunlight (and air) pouring in at the window seats, deep navy blue region with white tiles shaped in a wave-like manner representing the Sea.
At las(t), not the usual repetitive brunch fares seen in the usual cafes. Presentation is straight-forward and you can tell they are not going for the bang-on-being-instagrammble direction. (Thank goodness.)
Think Salmon Soba Noodles ($17), Summer Chicken Stew ($17), Buttermilk Waffles ($12-$12.50) with various sauces and atas dishes (I mean Atlas dishes): ATLAS Super-Bowl ($17) and ATLAS Butterscotch Banana Pancake ($18).
The Creamy Mushroom on Sourdough ($12, add $3 for scrambled eggs, $2 for sunny side up) is THE YUMS.
The dish arrived like it is good for two to share, with sumptuous shimeiji mushroom cooked in a mid-rich cream sauce piled on a light-toasted sourdough bread. The kitchen got everything just right, from the creaminess of the sauce, chewiness of the bread, to the combination of ingredients.
Another favourite, the Candied Bacon Buttermilk Waffles ($14) came with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top of thick airy-looking waffles divided into four quarters-circles.
The waffles were well balanced – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with a fragrant aroma.
This came topped with a sweet thought slightly over-grilled candied bacon which looked like a dehydrated bak kwa (Chinese barbequed pork).
The ATLAS Butterscotch Banana Pancake ($18) was freshly made, required a minimum 20 minutes wait. Reminding us of some other ricotta hotcakes served in other hipster cafes, this comes topped with caramelised bananas, housemade Butterscotch & Honeycomb ice cream.
A whiff of buttery fragrance emerged as we sliced through this atas pancake. “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna live!” Texture and taste wise, reminded us of a light and moist banana cake.
(Seeing double? Daniel and Nicholas went down on separate occasions, ordered the same drink, and took shots of the same angle. LOL.)
Coffee beans here was a blend of Brazilian and Guatemala beans and our Mocha ($5) was rich and smooth with a nutty tone.
Had the Iced Mocha too ($5.50) and thought the sweet cocoa powder might had been overpowering, and could be reduced in a minor proportion.
There are cafes that open, and people will flock to. There are some many won’t care less. Atlas belongs to the former.
Atlas Coffeehouse is one of those spaces we had an immediate liking towards, and its easy-going, non-pretentious charm is appealing. It doesn’t need to do too much, or try too hard. Cool place, we like.
6 Duke’s Road, Singapore 268886 (Botanic Gardens MRT)
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 7:00pm (Tue – Sun), Closed on Mon
Reserve by Chope: Atlas Coffeehouse
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape, partly contributed by Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary. Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed, unless otherwise stated.