In a short span of two months, we have seen a couple of exciting new café openings in Singapore. This is showing no signs of stopping, yet.
Situated along Purvis Street which has a few other classic names such as Clinton St Baking Company, Salted & Hung and Saveur, SLATE. (or branded as “S L A T E .”) is a new Aussie-styled café by day and an Asian contemporary tapas bar by night.
Am not sure if the space in between the name would work to their advantage, especially when it comes to branding and online searches. Also, do not confuse this with “SLAKE” which is located at Swan Lake.
The trend of serving brunch food during the day and transforming into a bar at night has become quite common of late, with Communal Coffee at Prinsep Street and Canteen Bistro at Stamford Road being a few examples.
S L A T E . reminds me of a prim and proper Aussie neighbourhood café with hints of fun and funkiness, thanks to the medium-blue coloured furniture, energetic vibes and upbeat music.
There are different menus you can expect here, from fuss-free lunch sets, more elaborate dinner, light nibbles, to brunch menu during the weekends.
Food-wise, some of the signature items include Oxtail Ragout Rigatoni ($16), Avo Toast ($13) and Pork Burger with Fries ($15). Take note items may differ depending on what time and when you head down.
The Brunch menu that is only available on weekends does look more interesting.
There are some items that I would be keen to try, such as the G&G Sandwich ($16) with black truffle gruyere sauce, and the Mid-East ($15) featuring a Beetroot Tahini Spread, Turmeric Egg Salad and Roasted Butternut Squash.
The recommendation from the server during lunch was the S L A T E . Chicken Rice ($14), included with Kopa grilled (a type of oven) chicken thigh, sunny side up, house made atchara and garlic rice.
Considering this brunch place is surrounded by many renowned Hainanese Chicken Rice shops, I did think that their version was worthy of mention.
Succulent chicken pieces, the atchara (a type of pickled green papaya) balancing out some of the savouriness, and generally tasty yet not overly garlicy rice.
However, do take not NOT to arrive too late for lunch, as they only serve small bites after 2.30pm.
Tip: If you wish to indulge in their mains, make sure to visit before 2.30pm.
The friendly server recommended to me the Bun Set ($7) that’s only available on weekdays from 2.30pm to 6pm.
Their house made soft bun is served with salted cultured butter, guava and sour plum jam and a tea or coffee. Only 20 pieces are available daily.
I really enjoyed the guava jam. One bite and the fragrance of the guava fills your mouth. I couldn’t really taste the sour plum, but the tanginess of the entire jam makes you go back for more.
The bun itself was very fluffy and airy. Together with the guava jam, it was gone within seconds.
I chose the Flat White which came with the Bun Set and it was served in a beautiful blue cup.
You can choose any tea or coffee from their menu if you order the bun set but do note that it’s an additional $1.50 for Iced, Mocha and Chocolate drinks.
The coffee beans are sourced from the famous Industry Beans Coffee Roasters from Sydney, and it was smooth and well-balanced but if I found it slightly milky.
The server kindly explained to me that in terms of small bites, the Edamame ($8) and Chicken Meatballs ($12) were crowd favourites.
The chicken meatballs reminded me of Takoyaki balls when served, as it was topped with generous amounts of bonito flakes and nori.
Paired with their house made tare sauce and garlic mayonnaise, the dish had a nice Japanese twist to it. However, I did find the taste of mustard to be slightly overwhelming.
I loved how the meatball contained some pieces of chicken cartilage which elevated the entire meatball in terms of texture.
I also tried their Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Brownie ($6) which was quite fudgy.
What I enjoyed was the slightly burnt chocolate aftertaste. This might be quite heavy as a dessert, so I suggest sharing it with a friend.
I am slightly divided over S L A T E. There are items here and there which are indeed promising, but overall it doesn’t have a clear direction in terms of cohesiveness and branding.
S L A T E . is still in the midst of expanding their menu, though I really think before that expansion, they can look at enhancing and highlighting which are their star dishes for clearer identity.
S L A T E .
24 Purvis Street, #01-00, Singapore 188601
Tel: +65 6261 1724
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 10:30pm (Mon – Thurs), 10:30am – 11:30pm (Fri), 9am – 11:30pm (Sat), 9am – 4pm (Sun)
* Written by DFD’s Café Correspondent @__sy_g. Songyu is a food and travel blogger whose hobby is uncovering hidden hipster cafes. Additional input from @DanielFoodDiary. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.