Perhaps one of the more well-known cafe at Tanjong Pagar, The Populus Coffee & Food Co, or Populus Cafe, snags the spotlight with their aesthetic and instagrammble dishes. Best of all, they serve a pretty mean all-day breakfast.

Populus Coffee Cold Brew

Populus coffee, Populus cafe cold brew, coffee at Tanjong Pagar, cold brew

Using house-made coffee beans roasted by Two Degrees North Coffee Co., champion of the Singapore National Barista Competition 2018 and 2019, this cafe has certainly earned itself a reputation for its premium coffees.

It’s a sin to walk out of the cafe without a cup. I recommend their Populus Special Edition Cold Brew (S$8), one of the best coffees I’ve had in Singapore. Comparable to Brawn & Brain’s Cold Brew, it has a lighter coffee aroma but paired with a roasted, nutty flavour. Whip cream or heavy cream might have been added as well, as it had a velvety mouthfeel.

All-Day Breakfast

Populus cafe buckwheat pancakes

To be accurate, it is a Buckwheat Pancake (S$21); a very thick slice instead of a pancake stack. It’s cooked and served in a cast-iron pan, which capacity to retain high heat renders the pancake to have a more rugged, crispy exterior.

Theoretically, utilizing buckwheat flour instead of all-purpose will result in slightly drier texture and a nutty taste. However, the pancake wasn’t dry (it was dense though). Perhaps there was a mix of all-purpose flour in the batter. The supposedly present nutty flavour was also masked by the fragrance of bananas. To add on to its flavour profile, the sprinkle of cornflakes also added a touch of saltiness while the generous spread of blueberry compote gave it a nice sweet and sour taste.

Populus cafe breakfast of champions, brunch, breakfast, Australian wagyu beef

A tower of Australian wagyu, rosti, bacon baked beans and sunny-side up, the Breakfast of Champions (S$34) is truly befitting of its title… or so it seems.

For starters, the cut wasn’t as tender as a wagyu should be. It was soft, but there were quite a large proportion of chewy bits. The steak was also cooked medium rare instead of medium (which was strange because the waiter told me that the minimal doneness they serve was medium; not a complain though). Furthermore, while the seasoning on the beef was on point, the overall taste of the dish was just too salty due to rosti. Lastly, baked beans on steak was also not the best combination, in my opinion.

Mains

Populus cafe roasted cod & soba noodle salad,

The Roasted Cod & Soba Noodle Salad (S$24) had a lighter flavour profile, and it was definitely a refreshing change of pace against the salty Breakfast of Champions. Although the roasted cod was slightly overcooked, the combination of sweet and sour of the lime & sesame dressing salvaged the dish.

Verdict

Probably not my top choice for brunch considering other options in the area like Bearded Bella. But admittedly, it still was a great cafe, especially with its addictive cold brew. Do make a reservation ahead of time as the cafe can get pretty crowded.

populus coffee and food co coffee, hot latte, Populus coffee latte

For more cafes in Tanjong Pagar, check out our review on Korio and Baristart Coffee Singapore!

Location: 146 Neil Road, Singapore 08887
Tel: +65 6635 8420
Opening hours: 9am- 6pm

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