The 2D café trend took a while to come to Singapore.
CAFE 연남동 223-14 at Hongdae, Seoul got much attention a few years back when photos of its interior looking like a webtoon started appearing on social media.
The Korean café was inspired by the hit K-drama “W – Two Worlds” by Lee Jong-suk and Han Hyo-joo, characterised with its black and white interior, which look like a flat 2D illustration in photos.
After similar café concepts have appeared in Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia, it is Singapore’s turn with Café Monochrome at 216 Syed Alwi Road.
The difference is, Café Monochrome will certainly attract a number of instagrammers who need to update their fashion spread aka Instagram gallery. (The other thing is, you probably need a rather empty café for the photos to work well, so good luck with that.)
While this isn’t exactly a fresh concept, you can tell that the team behind Café Monochrome did spend significant amount of time doing up the painting works, while paying attention to details.
The other one thing I noted is, the café space is rather big considering Singapore’s concept, so you may just find a suitable spot for #OOTD pics.
In terms of food, mains offered include Truffle Cream Pasta ($16), Monochrome’s Angel Hair ($14), Mentaiko Pasta ($13), Spicy Baked Fish ($12), Garlic Pepper Fish ($12), and Monochrome’s Brunch ($15).
There are also a couple of donburi bowls such as Wagyu Donburi ($18), Smoked Duck Donburi ($12), Smoked Bacon Donburi ($12), and Yakitori Donburi ($12).
I had the Monochrome’s Brunch ($15) which was considered okay-priced as many similar big-breakfast-plates are edging towards or have gone beyond the $20 price tag.
This plate included grilled sausage, bacon and a sunny side up on waffles made with their in-house recipe, topped with pure English maple syrup.
Generally, the components were on the safe side, perhaps lacking that one thing that could strike a deeper impression.
I enjoyed the caramelised sugared taste of the waffles, though the inside could have been fluffier and more buttery.
The Wagyu Donburi ($18) was served with seared grain-fed wagyu beef on a bed of Japonica rice.
Japonica rice is cultivated predominantly in Japan and Korea, with a much shorter, rounder grain and a glutinous texture which should work well with donburi.
While the wagyu beef slices was flavourful and tender, the rice surprisingly lacked the light fluffiness, and overall probably needed more sauce as well.
For nibbles, get your hands on one of their Specialty Fries ($7), with toppings of chilli crab, mentaiko, truffle or salted egg yolk.
The Chilli Crab Fries ($7) were relatively crispy, with sweet and spicy addictive sauce poured over.
Undeniable that café food is getting more and more expensive in Singapore, but glad that Café Monochrome has kept their menu at a reasonable price-point.
216 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207749
Tel: +65 9239 1240
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon