Friday, May 16, 2014

One Man Coffee - Singular and Whimsical Brekkie Delights

Take a stroll past all the multitude of cafes and food outlets along the row of shophouses along Upper Thomson and you might just miss One Man Coffee.

Why? Because it shares the same premise as Crust Pizza, which happens to only operate from 5pm everyday. One Man Coffee operates from morning until evening.

Walking in, you get a sense that the owners have deliberately kept things simple, from the one page menu to the drinks menu which is pasted on the wall.

Everything is reasonably priced, and despite the moniker, there is actually more than one person manning the place and making coffee.

It serves mostly breakfast fare, and for the most part, it tends to deviate from the usual American brekkie and eggs ben choices, which has become quite tiresome in many ways.

Latte with Art

The coffee, for the most part is very pretty decent. Good beans and good flavor, and for those who like a spot of latte art, you should have a great time taking photos of the coffee art and wowing your friends on instagram and twitter etc.

I had an espresso which had a strong and robust flavor, and just a tinge of acidity for that nice bit of balance. And the coffee selection are reasonably priced, so no complaints on that front.

Gashouse Eggs

The food, on the other hand, was pretty interesting and had that sense of whimsical joy about it. This gashouse eggs, in particular, was essentially thick toast with the center carved out. An egg was inserted and cheese layered on top and the whole thing was baked until the cheese melted into a golden crisp and still chewy texture.

The bit that was taken out was served on the side with bacon bits, and taken together, it proved to be quite a tasty and hearty breakfast dish. I did notice that on a subsequent visit, the cheese and eggs were quite underdone and not as properly executed as on my first visit.

French Toast

Equally delightful was this really pretty looking french toast. Served with a side of jam and fresh thick cream, it looked as if it came from a rustic countryside from France.

The toasted brioche was beautifully done and the aromatic egg flavors were properly infused into the bread and the resulting texture was airy and soft with just a hint of crisp crust on the outside. Paired with the comforting taste of the homemade berry sauce, this was a lovely dish.

Big Brekkie

For those fancying a little more content, the full breakfast set should satisfy the men with a heartier appetite. Consisting of brioche on the bottom, topped with shaved ham and a couple of soft boiled eggs, some greens and cherry tomatoes on the side.

Lightly drizzled with some (I believe) homemade pesto, the soft eggs had the oozy creamy yolk akin to a poached egg. It might not be as mind blowing as the gashouse eggs and french toast, but I liked the fact that they took a different route from the usual scrambled eggs and sausages combination.

The Real One Man?

As for the service, most of the servers looked quite young but all were friendly and knowledgeable. The waiting time could have been a bit better, but still, this seems to be quite popular now and the crowd flow was really good, so I can understand the slight delay in service.

Hipster cafes are now the rage for the younger generation, and despite the fact that they are usually quite overpriced, serving only decent coffee and respectable but boring food, One Man Coffee at least has a few things going for it now.

It has a simple but clever menu, good coffee and affordable prices. Just remember to come before 5pm, as after that, it becomes a pizza joint. I applaud the concept for sharing premises, as with the ongoing escalating rentals, this is rather a good way to manage that aspect of your business whilst still being able to operate out of a popular district.

In the final analysis, One Man Coffee is indeed quite singular. Singularly fun, laced with a creative whim that is also easy on the wallet, it is one of my current faves for a relaxing chill.

One Man Coffee
215R Upper Thomson Road

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