Monday, February 15, 2016

D'Good Cafe - Of Dutch Skillet Pancakes, Hearty Pastas and Cold Brews

Written and photographed by Pinky Chng

Occupying a two-storey shophouse space in Holland Village, D’Good Café is whimsically divided into four differently furnished spaces – each brimming with its own unique vibe, yet equally laid-back and comfortable.

Besides The Bar where the baristas do their thing, there’s also the homely Lawn for chic diners, the brightly lit Attic where you’re more than likely to find students buried deep in their books, and the charming al fresco Balcony.

The menu reads extremely well, too, offering a wide variety of breakfast items, pancakes, pasta and pizza, as well as drinks and desserts.

Portobello Eggs Benedict

The Portobello Eggs Benedict ($14.50) featured poached eggs comfortably nestled upon Portobello mushrooms, in place of the usual toast.

The hollandaise sauce was less punchy, which allowed the earthiness of the Portobello mushrooms to take centerstage instead – and I’m not complaining since the latter was certainly the star component of the dish. The mushrooms were gloriously juicy, the strong umami flavor blending harmoniously with the perfectly runny poached eggs. A class act.

Best of all? Breakfast is served ALL DAY. Not the 8am-5pm sort – I mean literally all day. Want some eggy goodness at 8pm? Sure thing.

Classic Deutsch Skillet Pancake

The Classic Deutsch Skillet Pancake ($8) is a rendition quite unlike any other – denser, chewier and much more eggy. While it looks rather unassuming, the heady smell of fresh pancakes is what first hits you, so you know you’re in for a treat. Pair it as you wish with the side of maple syrup, cream cheese, and a wedge of lemon.

While enjoyable in its own right, the unadorned pancake lacks the excitement after the first couple of mouthfuls. So go for the other versions such as the Pomegranate Citrus Smoked Duck ($13) if you’re after something friskier!

CNY Pancake

The CNY Pancake ($13.80) was proudly adorned with pork floss, bak kwa (diced BBQ pork), Asian pear, wolfberries, mandarin orange, greens, and drizzled with sour plum sauce. Sadly, I thought the savoury notes of the pork floss and bak kwa were too strong and overpowered the fruity garnishes, making the flavor profile rather one-dimensional.

This festive dish was specially paired with a refreshing Grapefruit Green Tea ($7). It was just the right balance of sweet and sour, while the pleasant bitterness of the tea came more as an aftertaste.

The CNY specials are on the menu until the end of February, so there’s still a good three weeks to stay in a jolly festive spirit!

Prawn Aglio Olio Linguine

At D’Good Café, have your pasta however you like – choose your own pasta as well as add-ons such as mushrooms, poached eggs, meat and seafood.

The Fresh Prawn Aglio Olio Linguine ($16) was a thing of beauty. The dish was on the drier side – which is just how I prefer my Aglio Olio. The pasta was cooked al dente, its chewier texture allowing the garlicky goodness to linger with each bite. Tossed with chilli padi, the sporadic hits of spice also injected much liveliness into the dish.

They were certainly generous with the prawns as well, which were fresh (rather than frozen), the subtle sweetness shining through nicely.

The Soupy Tomato Shabu Shabu Macaroni ($13) with shabu shabu pork, quail eggs and cherry tomatoes tasted much more Japanese than Italian despite being on the pasta menu. It was delicate yet hearty – just the kind of thing I could imagine savouring on a rainy day.

Maple Sea Salt Cheesecake

The Maple Sea Salt Cheesecake ($9) is a best-selling dessert, and deservedly so – it was divine. The cheesecake was decadently rich and melt-in-your-mouth; the flavour combination of maple and sea salt was sublime, and just the slightest hint of smokiness served to bring out the flavours even more.

My only gripe was that the base was too buttery and soft, so it somewhat got lost in the richness of the cheesecake itself. But still, the Beyonce of cheesecakes, I say.

Earl Lavender Tea Latte

The Earl-Lavender Tea Latte ($7) raised my eyebrows – wouldn’t it be like drinking a spa product of some sort? But hear me out, folks – I loved it. The milk and lavender were the dominating flavours here, which worked out perfectly as the soft, aromatic lavender balanced out the richness of the milk. If there’s one unique drink that you have to try here, this is it.

D’Good Café does some stellar coffees, their single origin beans roasted in-house, so don’t leave without getting yourself a cuppa. Known for their latte art, the coffees taste as good as they look. You can even customize your own coffee by choosing your own blend and brew – and you even get to name it!

Cold Brews

Cafes have been introducing cold brews to their menus, and D’Good Café is yet another to jump on the bandwagon. Their cold brews come in black ($7), white ($7.50) as well as an Unknown ($7.50) version. We don’t want to give away too much, but mocha lovers would enjoy the Unknown brew.

The verdict.

D’Good Café is a good choice if you’re in the area - an extensive menu, consistent food, with superb drinks and dessert to finish. Real talk – I still dream about that cheesecake today.

D'Good Cafe
273 Holland Avenue

Author Pinky Chng is someone who, when not eating food, spends her time thinking about food. Or watching videos of penguins falling down.

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