Monday, January 12, 2015

Promising New Cafes in Singapore - The Daily Press, 23 Jumpin and Nunsongyee

Yes, cafes have been the target of mainstream media for the last couple of months. It's hard to keep one going, half of opened cafes close after less than a year etc.

All this negativity in the media is not going to stop the growth of this particular sector of our F&B industry. Quite the opposite.

The younger generation seems far more likely to invest in a cafe venture than to slog it out in the hawker centres. And that is a fact.

But it is true that not every new cafe is a great one, or even a good one. Then again, out of nearly 10,000 hawker stalls around this island, how many are really worth trying? I think the percentage of worthy hawker stalls is probably lower than that of worthy cafes.

Nevertheless, there are very promising new cafes that have sprouted out and The Daily Press in Toa Payoh Lorong 1 is one such eatery. Operated by a young team with accumulated F&B experience, they have the passion and the dedication to make this a very notable and worthwhile venture.

Korean Fried Chix SW

Instead of competing with Creamier with waffles and ice cream, The Daily Press is all about savoury mains. They have a selection of interesting sandwiches including Babi Pongteh nonya inspired ciabatta and a very tasty Korean Fried Chix SW that is both price friendly and delicious.

They make their own sauces and everything is put together fresh, the way I like it.  Coffee is good and the lady barista spends a lot of time honing her pouring skills. The team might be young, but I definitely appreciate their attention to detail and their strong customer service.

23 Jumpin

23 Jumpin near Tai Seng MRT is also run by a 20something young man. His mom does the cooking and this very family oriented business is also very cosy indeed. The coffee is more than serviceable and the latte art is surprisingly quite fine.

Duck Confit

For a cafe located in the heart of an industrial area, I was pleasantly surprised to find duck confit on the menu, and whilst it is not the most refined duck confit I have ever had, I liked the effort put into it.

The plating may be simple, but the mom certainly takes the extra step to make it visually appealing. The food itself is very hearty and well executed. And the duck confit was better than the ones you find in a number of restaurants. Service is friendly with a distinctly homely feel about it.

Nunsongyee Korean Dessert Cafe

For something more Korean, Nunsongyee may be a bit tough to find. But once you discover it, you will realise that it is a very spacious and comfortable cafe adorned with high ceilings and a cabin feel.

Serving mostly Korean bingsu, there are also Korean rice cakes and rice sticks on offer and they all make a decent meal. The highlight of this establishment is their snowy, snowflake desserts and despite the high price tag, they are actually really awesome. Korean Ice Kachang, and then some.

Mixed Berries Bingsu

Their shaved ice are so fine that they really do resemble snow as you dig into them. The portions are big so expect to share with another partner when you order one here. We tried the mixed berries and it was just marvellous, spoon after spoon.

Finished off with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, the toppings were generous and plentiful. Still, the attraction was the really fine ice and you will lap it all up in zero time. Nice, friendly service too.

So, there you have it. A trio of exciting and promising new cafes that have popped up in the last month or so. Ignore the maintstream press as they seem to want to encourage the younger generation to take up street food.

The real exciting food adventures seem to be in the cafes these days and at least there, we have enterprising young food makers taking some risks and finding some creativity with their menus.

Cafes are a good ground for culinary creativity as the diners are far more wiling to try new stuff and instead of harping on authenticity and preservation, we are more likely to see new food ideas being forged by our young pool of culinary talents.

The Daily Press
Kuo Chuan View
126 Toa Payong Lorong 1

23 Jumpin
1 Irving Place, The Commerze Building

Nunsongyee Korean Dessert Cafe
45 Burghley Drive

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