Inspired by Korean Café Scene, Two Cranes is a neighbourhood café found in Kovan which serves a focused selection of Korean-themed food, bingsu dessert and hand-crafted beverages.
Apparently in Korean culture, cranes are viewed as iconic creatures which symbolizes good fortune and longevity.
So much so that there is even a crane portrait embedded on the back of the 500 Korean won coin.
What makes them “Korean”?
Their hand-crafted beverages were what first caught my attention.
Apart from the usual latte and cappuccino suspects, there were a range of coffee and tea mocktails served in sleek beverage glasswares, which improves the visual aesthetics and Korean-ish vibes.
Reminded me of the times when I was at back at Bunkasha in Seoul.
Their signature coffee mocktail, Wonda-fu Drink ($6) was a potent mix concocted from espresso shot, coffee jelly and mint leaves served in a cocktail glass.
It was rather sweet with coffee aroma and had a lingering scent of mint. I liked this drink, but my dining companions had mixed opinions about it.
The other two more acceptable options to them were the Sunset Cold Brew Tonic ($6) & Yuzu Cold Brew Cream ($6) which were fruitier in flavour.
While my perception of ade is usually associated to sweet carbonated water, the Chamomile Lime Ade ($6) took me by pleasant surprise.
At first sip, it was rather just citrusy lime and at subsequent sips, the Chamomile tea flavour came as an aftertaste.
Their food menu revolves around Korean food, with noodles and rice offerings such as Jjajangmyeon, Naengmyeon (Cold Noodles) and Bibimbap.
Brunch items available from 9am to 3pm include Two Cranes’ Big Breakfast ($18.90), Salmon Scrambled ($16.90), Simple Brekkie ($16.90), Beef Shakshuka ($14.90), and Spicy Dakgalbi Chicken Scrambled (15.90).
Some of the Korean-style mains available from 12pm to 9pm are Wonda Army Stew ($16.90), Fu Bibimbab ($13.90), Kimchi Fried Rice ($12.90) and Jjajangmyeon ($12.90).
I went for the 8 Treasures Rice Bibimbap ($12) which came with an assortment of ingredients such as spicy chicken carrots, spinach, mushrooms topped with gochujang dressing and sesame oil.
Generally, I find bibimbap can hardly ever goes wrong. My only qualm is that it is too ordinary and can be easily replicated at home.
The serving staff then recommended me their Naengmyeon (Cold Noodles) ($10) which came with a generous serving of chewy buckwheat noodles served in chilled pear broth, which I found slightly underwhelming due to lack of flavour.
There were also some Korean-inspired brunch dishes such as Spicy Dakgalbi with Scrambled Eggs ($13.50), Poached Eggs with Flambé Champignons ($13.50) and Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings ($12).
While Korean bingsu may be considered passé (to some), their flavours such as Tea Bingsu ($12) and Caramel Macchiato Bingsu ($13.50) are made using tea and coffee syrup concocted using their in-house blend.
What caught my attention was the locally inspired Pulut Hitam Bingsu ($12) which came with snow-like ice shavings topped with black glutinous rice, condensed milk, oreo and crushed almond bits.
I think it is a great idea, but execution could probably be improved by doing away with oreo bits and perhaps addition of coconut milk to add more depth to its flavour.
Overall, I liked the cosy ambience at Two Cranes and they have managed to leave an impression on their hand-crafted beverages, but some work needs to go into fine-tuning of their food menu to stay true to the “Korean” branding.
Blk 211 Hougang Street 21 #01-291, Singapore 530211
Tel: +65 8166 0140
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Mon – Thurs, Sun), 9am – 9:30pm (Fri – Sat)https://www.facebook.com/twocranes.sg/
* Written by Lewis Tan @juicyfingers, a self-proclaimed coffee addict. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.