The Populus at Neil Road can be considered as one of Singapore’s firm favourites when it comes to brunch and coffee.
So when it opens a new concept of The Apricus Coffee & Food Co. at Jalan Kayu, café hoppers would be curious enough and have enough faith.
While there are many prata shops and affordable eateries around this Jalan Kayu area, there is somehow a lack of such hipster cafes for the Sengkang crowd.
Sure, there will be people who think that café food is ‘overpriced’, but there are always the young families, cyclists, millennials (and others) who do not mind a place to just chill and enjoy the vibes.
The word “apricus” means sunny, having lots of sunshine, warmed by the sun.
The space is done up with natural daylight shining down from the ceiling along with sleek design elements similar to The Populus.
The Populus is known to take the standard café menu and gives it a nice little twist by including a mix of palatable international ingredients like slow-roasted Tuscan lamb, crab meat scramble, Greek yoghurt, and Atlantic cod fillet.
The menu here extends this idea.
For the all-day brunch, featured items include The Populus Scramble ($20), Spring Pancake & Fried Chicken ($22), Fish & Chips ($22), Tuscan Lamb Harissa Baked Egg ($22), Hummus & Foccacia ($13), Halibut & Leek ($23), Angus Beef Burger ($22), and Fried Chicken Burger ($20).
These can be paired with sides of Truffle Fries with Parmesan Cheese ($12), Scramble Eggs ($6), and Charred Brussel Sprouts ($12).
Note that depending on the timing you arrive, some items do get sold out early (as reflected on their online reviews).
I went for the All-Day Big Brekkie ($26) for something more substantial.
It came with soft poached 64° eggs, potato rosti, a mix of mushrooms, aerated hollandaise, and seasonal greens.
Giving the dish a bit of weight are the homemade baked beans and the option between chicken harissa sausage or Norwegian smoked salmon.
Unfortunately, I suspect that the kitchen was overwhelmed (when I visited, it was not that crowded yet), and the eggs came looking slightly under, especially when I swept the sauce aside.
The rest of the components were not too bad, especially the juicy and spiced sausage, and slight crispy rosti.
As the Apricus French Toast ($22) is one of the café’s best sellers and most instagrammable item, it was the must-order (I guess).
This preparation incorporates baked vanilla brioche, homemade maple granola, butterscotch, and seasonal fruits. Finally, flowers go on top to give the dish a colourful appearance.
While this dessert-brunch item looked beautiful in the Instagram photos I have come across, the soft serve was already half-melting as I saw the waitress bringing it to the table. (I remarked “melted already” in surprise, and then she walked away.)
My friend quipped that if I came as a food blogger or influencer, perhaps I would get a better-looking plate – I hope that is not the case though.
(After making some feedback up, they apologised for the texture of the softserve, and would “make sure they are up to standard”.)
Objectively speaking, the brioche somehow also tasted better at The Populus with more buttery note and fluffy bread.
To be honest, it was a slightly disappointing outing; but I have provided the feedback and hope that the team as promised would work things through to improve the food and service standards.
The Apricus Coffee & Food Co.
248 Jalan Kayu, Singapore 799472
Tel: +65 6904 1175
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm (Mon, Thurs – Sun), Closed Tues, Wed