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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Afternoon Tea at 20F Specialty Coffeehouse @ Jalan Besar

20 Foch Road, Singapore 209261
Tel: 6291 4940

20F Specialty Coffeehouse is a new kid on the Jalan Besar block. Other than the name just taking after the address aka 20 Foch Road, and how a 60-year old traditional medical hall / clinic has been transformed into a cafe, I cannot find much information about this place.  Okayyyy, so they do have a day menu and a night menu - like some other cafes and restaurants.

The restored cafe carries a strong vintage vibe because of the retained tiles and window grills, but the furniture and coffee equipment are certainly a modern touch, so this cafe brings back a sense of nostalgia in the bustling settings.

At the back of the cafe, along the walkway to the lavatory, is a little space where books, trinkets and gift items are being showcased and retailed.    It was raining and we got wet even in the tiny lavatory stall, because the front part was not sheltered, strangely.

We took a while to browse their menu,  all the while keenly aware that one of their specialities is the Duck & Waffle (SGD$22.00). Unfortunately we had a very meaty meal earlier on, so would have to give this a miss. We were here for desserts and coffee. After some deliberation, we placed our orders at the counter.

The Salty Caramel & Bacon Waffle (SGD$12.00) was made up of half a buttermilk waffle that was crispy in texture, crispy bacon strips, salted caramel ice-cream and espresso Kahlua sauce. *H expertly doused the sauce over the waffle and ice-cream, giving it some artistic plating so it looked good. The salted caramel ice-cream was good, as were the bacon strips. However, the entire creation didn't seem to sync in terms of flavour or link. We felt like we were just eating separate items on the same plate - pile on the ice-cream, pile on the meat, pile on the topping - kind of feeling. There was no harmony between flavours.

The House Lemon Curd Cake (SGD$5.50) was soft and fluffy in texture, layered with thick, citrusy layer of lemon curd. This was a light dessert with a stronger flavour, and the zesty taste was refreshing. We liked this, and was grateful that the crew at the counter recommended this over the Lemon Curd Tart (SGD$4.50) I'd originally wanted to order instead.

Time for coffee of course. The Latte (SGD$5.00) and Piccolo (SGD$4.50) both came with pretty latte art. The feedback was that the hot coffee beverages were rather decent; average.

The 20F Iced Coffee (SGD$6.50) was frothy-looking, and half a glass full. The feedback on this was rather positive.

A couple of us tried the Christmas Special- the 20F Christmas Iced Coffee (SGD$7.00), with a dash of rum and raisin. The bottom of this luscious coffee drink was laden with melon seeds, dried cranberries and raisins, and the rum flavour was very faintly detectable. I personally liked this drink, but thought it might help better if we were given a larger straw or long spoons to scoop the goodies at the bottom, so they would not get stuck to the tiny black straw, hindering our sipping of the aromatic iced coffee.

Overall, we felt that the food here still has to be improved upon, but then of course we'd only had a couple of items. I wished the person who came up with the names of the dishes, and the descriptions, would revise them, or get someone else to do it because firstly, the menu description was confusing; and secondly, the title and descriptions both did not flatter / sound apptizing.

Other than that, service was to be commended upon - efficient and attentive.

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