We have seen more new café additions along East Coast Road, but this “trick eye” themed café should keep customers trigger happy – without a trip overseas to an optical illusion museum.
USD Café (USD stands for Upside Down) at 171 East Coast Road along the stretch where many notable eateries are, is where customers can enjoy a time of photo-taking fun while dining in.
Their menu also boasts a list of specialty coffee drinks, fruit juice, snacks and breakfast items.
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Some interesting facts of USD cafe aside from its insta-worthy aesthetics, their logo was inspired by the owner’s 8 cats with a cat figure incorporated into an ‘8’.
Even their safe-entry sign is upside down.
Being from Malaysia, the owner wanted to bring Ipoh White Coffee to the hip cafe scene and deviate from its ‘old school’ branding.
Diners are free to take photos around the space of the cafe, after they have been seated and placed their orders.
At almost every corner or seat of this cafe, you should find yourself in a photo-worthy position, with upside down furniture hung and fastened from above.
Does the Instagram-mability of this cafe experience ever rest?
Hint, it doesn’t – check out their restroom! One must always resist the urge to photograph someone in the toilet but I found this time to be an exception.
You should find some interesting concoctions among their coffee offerings like the Rosy White Coffee ($7.50), Osmanthus White Coffee ($7.50), Coconut White Coffee ($7.50), Cheesy Salted White Coffee ($7.50), Matcha White Coffee ($7.50), to Cinnamon White Coffee ($7.50).
A good half are available in both hot and cold versions.
One of the more popular drinks on the menu is the Rosy White Coffee ($7.50). The perfume-y rose paste paired well with the chocolatey, light chestnut notes of the Ipoh cold brew.
It was refreshingly-floral, perfect for a sweltering afternoon.
Being the only juice item on the menu, I had to try the Passion Fruit Juice ($7.5) – pure passion fruit juice, honey, and sour plum.
Though charming in its story of homage (to a similar childhood drink the owner had in Malaysia), I found it a bit too sweet for my liking.
Food-wise, there is a lean selection from Egg Mayo Toast ($12), Avocado Sour Cream Toast ($12), Japan Skipjack Tuna Flakes Toast ($12), to Smoked Salmon Toast ($15.50).
The friendly barista recommended the You Are My Sunshine ($10), which is a classic egg on toast dish – semi-molten sunny side egg atop fluffy toast.
Because of the texture lent from the toasted bread with runny egg, there was a pleasant chew I had of this dish.
The Portuguese Egg Tart ($3.50) sourced from a personal friend of the owner’s won me over too.
You could be in flakey egg tart heaven, crunching into the crisp flakey crust, and then sinking your teeth into the smooth custard.
While being a small space, the USD Cafe team managed to bring the experience of the optical illusion museum (once reserved to just Sentosa and overseas), into this homely Katong cafe.
We could see customers – both young and older, having fun and spending a majority of the time taking those mandatory upside-down photos.
A place that can turn frowns upside down.
171 East Coast Road, #01-05, Singapore 428877
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
* Written by Laura Wong @llua who has gained nice life advice from dining at tables with loved ones and once-strangers. Additional photos from Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.