food

Brew & Co, Ang Mo Kio: Sincerity in every brew and bake

Last Updated: June 1, 2021

Written by Natalie Tan

The ubiquity of cafes in 2021 puzzles me. Is it the effect of the pandemic, where our restlessness from working from home spikes up our caffeine cravings? Is it a general sense of novelty that we yearn for during this time when unpredictability is the new stability? Either way, when Brew & Co, a hole-in-the-wall coffeehouse, unveiled itself along my usual route, I was both subtly drawn and also perplexed by this latest addition to the burgeoning cafe scene in Ang Mo Kio.

Collage Of Brew And Co

Unlike new cafes, which usually pull hordes into snaking queues, this new kid on the block blends perceptibly into the quiet lull of afternoons. Maybe it’s the wooden furnishing and potted plants or the oaky tones on its two-metre shopfront. I am fondly reminded of the cafes that nestle in Japan’s quaint neighbourhoods, which greatly enticed me to step in, so I did.

What I tried

Photo of Dirty Matcha

It starts with a one-paged menu, clear-cut and simple, just like its interior, housing no more than 20 items with two daily specials. Like every protagonist with hidden secrets, I was interested in finding out how intrepid they are, so I ordered one of their signatures, the Dirty Matcha (S$6), a blend of matcha, milk, and coffee.

Upon unveiling its lid, the intoxicating scent of matcha made its way up from the base of the cup, perfuming my nose. With each sip, the full-bodied espresso shot coated my tongue while the bittersweet matcha waltzed on, accentuating its chocolatey notes. As a beginner in the world of matcha-flavoured drinks, this cup was delectable, and I found myself wanting more. Matcha fiends might tend to differ, though. I imagine they’d prefer a tad more matcha powder—you know, for authenticity and all that jazz.

Photo of Orange Espresso

My more adventurous alter ego caught the eye of the Orange Espresso (S$6) because how often would you spot a fruity addition to an espresso shot? The mere mention of its moniker riled up a sour sensation at the back of my tongue, which I thought would dissuade me from succumbing to it, but better judgement and an inane curiosity prevailed. The drink came in their normal-sized cup instead of a demitasse, with an intriguing appearance of two halves—the ominous dark coffee floating on top of orange juice, separated by sheer physics.

Intrigued, I held the cup closer, and, after a good swirl, its fruity fragrance blossomed. Dare I say that this is one of the café specials that truly deserve its signature title. Upon first sip, sweet citrus bursts of orange stood out while complementing the acerbic taste of espresso. Also, pure orange pulp in coffee? How very 2021. I’d recommend this in a heartbeat.

Photo of Pain Au Chocolat

And then there’s the Pain Au Chocolat (S$5.50) among other gleaming pastries that sat beautifully on the rack. My eagerness to tuck into this French favourite soon waned when I tasted too much pastry, rather than a harmonious marriage with the luscious chocolate sauce—it’s such a shame. Still, the latter was warm with just the right amount of sweetness. Each bite of this pastry was pretty substantial and chewy, glazed with a buttery flavour that’s not cloying. For this one, the sweet spot of comfort doesn’t lie too far away—it just needed to get there faster.

Final thoughts

Photo of Brew & Co wall

While some cafes might grow to become storied establishments and others fade out, Brew & Co has a clear purpose. It’s a homely nook that serves sincerity in each cup, with a hint of playfulness added into the mix. It is now a weekly quest to make it through my whole route without succumbing to a pitstop at Brew & Co for a fix of Orange Espresso, and the usual blistering heat doesn’t ease the challenge.

Expected damage: S$4 – S$10 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 3 / 5

Brew & Co

716 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, #01-4030, Singapore 560716

Price
Our Rating 3/5

Brew & Co

716 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, #01-4030, Singapore 560716

Operating Hours: 9am - 6pm (Sun to Thu), 9am - 9pm (Fri & Sat)

Operating Hours: 9am - 6pm (Sun to Thu), 9am - 9pm (Fri & Sat)
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