Indie cafes are popping up everywhere on our island. Most of them are seem to be doing a roaring business throughout the week, especially during the weekends, when it is nearly impossible to find a table if you don’t turn up early.
Last Sunday, after visiting the orchid market (this takes place every first Sunday of the month) at the Botanic Gardens, we hopped over to Assembly Coffee just down the road at 26 Evans Lodge to meet our friends and catch up over coffee. We were shown a table immediately upon arrival as the cafe was not packed. Yet. Thank goodness! Nothing more hateful than to have to queue for a table for coffee on a Sunday morning.
Assembly Coffee occupies a small space in Evans Lodge, with just 7 to 8 tables seating 3 to 4 people and a long high table in the centre which can probably seat another 10 persons. The decor is fairly nondescript, sporting the same design as many of the other indie cafes in Singapore: they either have the raw-industrial-with-exposed-lightbulbs-look or lots-of-dark-wood-look. Assembly Coffee falls somewhere in between.
Sometimes, I wish people would put in more thought in having a stronger personal touch in their cafes. The same type of chairs. The same type of tables. The same lamps. How many times have you seen cafes display a table that has been converted from a used sewing machine? So much potential for creativity untapped.
While waiting for our friends and their baby to arrive, we ordered our coffee drinks and a salted caramel buttermilk waffle with vanilla ice cream. My husband ordered his usual expresso. Even though I don’t like latte (too much milk), I was intrigued by the ‘deconstructed latte‘ shown on the menu and ordered one to try.
The deconstructed latte came in a package comprising a shot of expresso, a glass of foamed milk and a regular serving of latte. That’s three drinks for me! It sounds like a great option for a family with a young child – the parents could have the expresso and latte, and pass the milk to the child. The barista explained that she wanted to let people to appreciate the components of latte by letting them have a taste of an expresso and foamed milk, followed by the latte. I am not quite sure that helped me change my mind about latte; I still don’t enjoy it but I appreciated the expresso shot that came with it.
We thought that the coffee at Assembly Coffee is pretty good. The coffee beans were roasted to create well-balanced aromatic flavors that were neither too bitter or acidic. As for the salted caramel buttermilk waffles, they were AWESOME. Light, fluffy and scrumptious! We wolfed it all down very quickly.
Assembly Coffee is one place that I would keep coming back for the coffee and buttermilk waffles. The menu contains the usual brunch fare which we may try on our subsequent visits, provided I can hold myself back from not eating an entire plate of buttermilk waffles on my own.
We like that the cafe has an un-pretentious and comfortable atmosphere, and it is also great to see how passionate the barista (who is a very attractive, tall, slim-legged, long-haired lady) is about making coffee. It is all written in her body language (as a friend puts it, look at how she cradles the cup so lovingly to her bosom) and it is quite a pleasure to watch her make your coffee.