Abseil: Excellent coffee & delicate desserts; nothing beats me-time in this moody cafe sanctuary

I love a cafe that prioritises service and personalisation. Luckily for me, minimalist cafe Abseil is just a stone’s throw away from Tanjong Pagar MRT station. There is no better place to stop by for a quiet afternoon with a good book in one hand and a coffee cup in the other.

abseil - entrance

As soon as I stepped through the doors to the cafe, I could take a breather from the hustle and bustle left behind. Throughout my visit, only 1 person attended to all orders — drinks and desserts alike — and the needs of all customers.

abseil - counter with coffee bags

I loved her attention to detail. With poise, she explained the options listed on the menu and offered her personal recommendations. I was encouraged to first select my beverage before she advised on my Pairing accordingly. In this case, this category reflects dessert options consisting of dacquoise in a variety of flavours. 

What I tried at Abseil

abseil - white rosetta

For a perk-me-up, I would recommend the White (S$6) with an Additional Espresso Shot (S$1). For those new to the coffee scene, the term ‘white’ refers to an espresso-based beverage with steamed milk and microfoam added. This creates a more palatable concoction to ingest, especially for those who do not enjoy bitter coffee. 

With great expertise, the barista also successfully incorporated enough air in the milk to bring silkiness to the beverage. One can tell that the coffee maker is skilled in her technique as she created the Rosetta coffee in seconds. 

abseil - white coffee

Using Honduras single origin coffee beans, the double-shot coffee was robust. The temperature that was used to froth the milk was ideal for drinking the moment it was served. I also acknowledged the presence of acidity that I find essential in any cup of Joe. After all, it is the very element that keeps coffee drinkers addicted to its taste!

abseil - dacqouise

This was my first time eating a dessert as delicate as dacquoise and I was not sure how to best consume it. Thankfully, the helpful barista explained that it was best enjoyed cold but that I could wait for minutes to let it thaw if I preferred a softer texture. I went for the latter. 

With a lightly crunchy outer layer and airy centre, the dacquoise had a distinct almond taste in the shell. It was also sweet with a sugary taste akin to icing sugar.  I chose the Earl Grey Dacquoise (S$8) flavour with its beautiful symmetrical patterns of piping cream between the 2 shells.

abseil - dacqouise on table

After waiting for the dessert to thaw, I took a bite. The shells were slightly crispy but the cream remained firm and cold. Those with sensitive teeth may find it difficult to bite right through the cream. 

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However, I enjoyed the dessert’s flavour. The light floral and fruity notes of the tea were distinct yet delicate. Paired with dark cocoa and orange peel, the flavours complement each other to create an indulging dessert.

On that note, I would have preferred the orange bits that were laid on either the bottom or top (depending on how you hold your dacquoise) were incorporated into the cream instead.

abseil - abseil coffee milk foam

The best beverage to accompany the dessert would no doubt be the Abseil (S$9). The regular iced long black is jacked up with a luscious milk foam poured over it. The picturesque beverage could be found on every table during my visit. 

I was advised to appreciate the creation as it is, in its 2 distinct layers. As someone who usually enjoys drinking with straws, I was rather hesitant to follow that advice. Nonetheless, I embraced the milk foam which was adequately sweetened with hints of condensed milk. 

abseil - abseil close up

However, I was only successful on my third attempt at incorporating the black coffee with the foam. This meant that I had 2 full gulps of cream alone. Note to self: tilt the glass significantly  to make sure that a good ratio of cream to black coffee is achieved. 

Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the sharp contrast between the acidic coffee and the smooth, silky cream. For a true dessert experience, I dipped my floral Dacquoise into the black-and-white refreshment. This may be too sweet for sugar-conscious diners but that is exactly what desserts are meant to be, aren’t they?

Final thoughts

abseil - several dishes

I enjoyed my quiet afternoon in Abseil. Although admittedly on the pricier side, the menu offerings do stand out. Additionally, due to its relatively small space, the cafe can only accommodate groups of a maximum of 4 people. However, the seats are arranged such that it does not feel stuffy.

The enclosed space may make you hesitate before talking aloud if there is no crowd. Nonetheless, the atmosphere does become lively once someone starts off a conversation.

Expected damage: S$6 – S$14 per pax

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Price: $

Our Rating: 3 / 5


70 Shenton Way, Eon Shenton, #01-14, Singapore 079118

Our Rating 3/5


70 Shenton Way, Eon Shenton, #01-14, Singapore 079118

Operating Hours: 8.30am - 5.30pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue

Operating Hours: 8.30am - 5.30pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue
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