The new cafes at Neil Road are having strange names. There is Apiary which serves ice cream, and Epiphyte.
An epiphyte is a plant that grows harmlessly upon another plant or tree, and this café is conceptualised as an infusion of food, art and nature.
The owners believe that dining becomes a personal affair here, and they try to appeal to the 5 senses. (It is true, there was a light fragrance of jasmine when I entered the shop.)
There is an indoor vertical garden (lovely orchids I must say) and art pieces from the co-owner’s personal collection.
Fitting to the theme. Swee.
Their signature items and desserts include the Pink Risotto ($22), Chicken with Indonesian Spices ($21), Grilled Striploin ($27), Crab Cakes ($13), Twilight which is a ‘galaxy’ style chocolate cointreau mousse cake ($10) and Terrarium ($8, +$3 for shot of rum).
The Terrarium, a floral-garden dessert which blends with the vibes and feel, is the most widely instagrammed dessert here so far.
It was served in a whisky glass with green sponge cake, dark chocolate soil, fresh mint custard and apple compote.
Though I am not a rum person, the dessert really only worked when the alcohol was added, giving that overall combination that extra flavour and depth.
I initially thought that the separate components didn’t gel together than well, both texturally (maybe too dry) and taste wise.
The Twilight was like how its name implied. The cake brought my friends and I out of reality and back.
Containing Cointreau orange curd, chocolate sponge, and marbling chocolate mousse, this was probably one of the best versions of “Galaxy Cake I had in Singapore.
During the second visit, I thought that the glaze wasn’t as stunning, and orange a tad off-balance.
With that said, the bakes are promising and can ‘fight’ with some of the bigger players in Singapore..
The Chicken with Indonesian Spices ($21) is the best-selling main so-far. Two cooking methods are involved, braising and then roasting, for a tender inside with crisped skin. The accompanying sambal verde is made from scratch.
This Pink Risotto ($22) would be a head-turner, though I recall nearby Initaly had a similar version, but in a brighter pink.
No added colourings. Just beetroot.
I liked the consistency and creaminess of the risotto, though the scallops could be to the saltier side.
Epiphyte is a promising bistro-café, both in terms of dessert and savoury offerings. I wished they could have worked that garden-theme further, to incorporate that element more into their mains.
47 Neil Road 088827 Singapore (Near to Outram Park MRT Station)
Tel: +65 9451 8873
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm (Mon – Thurs), 10am – 1am (Fri – Sat)
* Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.