Hot Chai from PUNCH Cafe with latte art

If you’ve heard of Punch cafe, you’ve heard of their orange and mint-infused mocha cold brew, namely Generra and Wicked.

Located at Clarke Quay, Punch Singapore is opened by the same folks behind Ronin. But their menu now includes mains aside from their signature coffee and brunch bites.

Classic Grilled Cheese

Their highly raved Grilled Cheese ($14) came in its elemental form. While I do enjoy the fancier versions out there, a classic cheese toast is comforting in its own way.

Punch’s rendition features supermarket white bread, grated parmesan, Emmental, and soft brie. Its presentation reminded me of something I’d whip up at home after waking up with a hangover. But the taste wasn’t half bad.

Perhaps a smaller proportion of parmesan was used as the nuances of the trio morphed harmoniously to create a simple, straightforward mixture.

It was definitely a step-up from the classic American cheese. But as far as grilled cheese goes, this was one of the simplest rendition, a polar opposite from Korio’s more bougie rendition with its sourdough and caramelised onions.

(Also check out Binging with Babish’s deluxe grilled cheese recipes)

It’s possible that the choice of mild cheeses was used since Punch pairs their grilled cheese with a steamy bowl of tomato soup which adds savoury and tartness to the bite. There are two ways you can prepare tomato soup: vibrant notes or a deep, complex concoction that requires hours of simmering with assorted herbs. While I do have a bias for the latter, perhaps Punch’s choice of the former was to use it as a counterbalance to the melty, richness of the cheese to prevent a decadent experience.

Mains

Next, we got the Tsukune Chicken Burger ($18) that featured a Japanese chicken meatball patty, cheddar, pickled zucchini and raw yolk.

With beef patties and fried chicken being the more popular choices of burger patties, this topped the list of one of the more unconventional burgers I’ve came across, next to Wildfire Burger’s Uni Ebi Burger.

Just like the grilled cheese, the flavours were light, harmoniously combined. The chicken patty, despite looking like a rock, was juicy and slightly peppered. It went well with the touch of savoury the cheddar brought and the tartness of the pickled zucchini, which did wonders on balancing the flavour profile of the burger. Lastly, not only did the yolk provide a wonderful photo opportunity for the gram, it added richness and moisture to the burger.

There were only three other options from their weekday lunch menu: Poached Chicken with Breast Salad ($16), Tiger Prawns & Scallop Aglio Olio ($19) and ‘PUNCH’ing Gloves Burger ($21). Not a lot to choose from, but I guess it’s still more than what Ronin offered.

Generra and Wicked Cold Brew

Generra, an infusion of orange and chocolate with coffee. It’s the coffee variation of pineapples on pizza. You either love it or hate it.

Next, comes Wicked, which title is possibly inspired by Elphaba from the musical, features a marriage of mint and mocha. The chocolate note was emphatic in both drinks, reminding me of orange and mint-infused chocolate truffles that were pleasing to drink.

Both drinks cost $9, but the non-cold brew variations cost $7.

Coffee and chai

Their espresso-based coffee use Genovese’s super Brazil blend which gives it a nutty nuance with a bitter finish.

A Long Black costs $5 (+$0.5 for iced), whereas a Latte, Cappuccino and Flat White cost $5 (+$1 for iced latte).

Meanwhile, their Chai ($6) featured a beautiful concoction of from Prana. Fresh ginger, cardamom and cinnamon were the prominent ones that I could taste. And while the spices packed a punch, the addition of Australian bushland honey curbed the sharp notes while infusing an ambrosial perfume.

On the other hand, with a shot of espresso added, the Dirty Chai ($6.5) was not a good combination as the bitterness of the coffee clashed with the aroma of the spices.

Verdict

Although the chicken burger was an interesting experience, it wasn’t a big ‘be back’ factor. The same goes for the grilled cheese, which flavours were a little too flat for my liking. Personally, Punch’s appeal lies within their beverages. Consistent coffee, interesting mint and orange mochas. But the one that really stole the show, was their chai. And you’ll just have to trust me on this.

Location: 32 N Canal Rd, Singapore 059288
Tel: +658398 4300
Opening hours: 8am – 6pm

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