Last Updated: December 13, 2019
Trust me when I say that I’ve had my fair share of hipster cafes. God forbid another floral-themed brunch spot pops up selling the typical food—truffle fries, eggs benedict, breakfast platters… Well, you get the picture.
Luckily, Apollo Coffee Bar at Serangoon Gardens strays away from that stereotype with its delicious Japanese fusion food. You can look forward to unique, never-before-seen dishes like Miso Mushroom Bacon Risotto, Pork & Pear Tartine, and Tofu Hummus.
The folks behind Apollo Coffee Bar aren’t new to the cafe industry.
In fact, they’re the same team that brought us Atlas Coffeehouse, Columbus Coffee Co, and Lunar Coffee Brewers, which are all well-known cafes that have garnered its own throng of die-hard fans.
The minute I stepped into Apollo Coffee Bar, I was greeted with the smell of freshly-ground coffee.
I instantly fell in love with the cafe’s warm lighting, greenery, and white-washed walls, and noticed how there were different types of seats to cater to different groups of people.
For example, if you’re looking for a table for two or dining alone, there are a handful of wall-mounted tables and bar stools located in a corner of the cafe.
My favourite spot in the entire cafe would be the pseudo al fresco dining located at the back of the cafe.
It’s not actually outdoors—the space is air-conditioned—but it still gives off the vibes of dining outdoors thanks to the soft sunlight from the glass ceiling.
Apollo Coffee Bar’s menu is split into three sections: brunch, small plates, and large plates.
We ordered the Nori, Avo & Eggs (S$18.50) from the brunch menu, which came with smashed avocadoes, nori jam, crispy kale, ciabatta, and scrambled eggs.
Every single bite of this simple slice of toast was fresh, creamy, tangy, and absolutely mind-blowingly delicious.
The nori jam was slightly sweet, the avocadoes provided a well-needed creaminess, and the crunchy kale was delightfully crispy and salty.
Not to mention, the ciabatta was so crispy that there was an audible crunch when I used my knife to cut into it. The sound reminded me of baked bread that was so fresh that it would crackle, just like an ASMR video.
To be entirely frank, when I saw the Tofu Hummus (S$12.50) on the menu, it didn’t appeal to me at all. I thought to myself: “Tofu hummus, fried maple beancurd skin, and paprika and chilli oil? How would that turn out?”
However, thanks to the staff’s recommendation, I decided to order it. Man, I’m so glad I did.
This made for a great snack. Each piece of fried beancurd skin was so thin that I’d go so far to say that it was brittle, delicate, and fragile. Maple honey was dripping from it, and when I picked it up, it coated my fingers with a thin film of sticky syrup.
The tofu hummus was creamy, tangy, and smooth, with a consistency that reminded me of yoghurt. Most of the flavour came from the deep-fried beancurd skin, the sticky sweet maple syrup, as well as a fiery spicy kick from the paprika and chilli oil.
Honestly speaking, it was so finger-licking good that I couldn’t stop myself from polishing off this entire bowl.
For mains, we tried the Miso Mushroom Bacon Risotto (S$22), which came with miso bacon, oyster mushrooms, fried enoki, farro grains, and an organic jammy egg.
I loved that the risotto wasn’t mushy or overly soggy. Rather, it was creamy and there was a nice springy bite to it, just like pearl barley.
Though the risotto had an earthy spice to it, as if cinnamon had been added to the dish, I loved stumbling upon the occasional piece of bacon because it was intensely salty and incredibly addictive.
If you’re feeling indulgent, try its Shishito Chilli Chicken (S$19). Two large chicken drumsticks were coated in a blend of East Asia shishito pepper spices and paired with two fluffy garlic potato buns.
When I bit into the chicken drumstick, I was immediately hit by an intense and rich meatiness that reminded me of rustic beef chilli cheese gravy. It was so addictive and hard to put down that my dining companion and I actually finished our drumsticks in one go. It was that good.
For dessert, I tried Apollo Coffee Bar’s Miso Caramel Soft Serve (S$7), which came with a dollop of Japanese miso soft serve and piled high with in-house caramel popcorn.
Salty, earthy, and packed with umami flavours, the soft serve blew my mind. It was satisfying and indulgent, while the use of miso cut through the sweetness from the caramel and balanced the richness out.
After the meal, my dining companion and I sat across each other with utterly full tummies and satisfied smiles. I’m not even kidding when I say that the two of us polished off everything that had been placed in front of us—not because we were hungry, mind you, but because it was just so good.
Whether I’m looking for a productive place to get some work done or to dine at with my friends and family, Apollo Coffee Bar has definitely found itself on my list of favourite cafes.
Expected Damage: S$10 – S$25 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 5 / 5
Apollo Coffee Bar
65 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555961
65 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555961