C Cafe, Joo Chiat Road: Parlour tricks & card magic with a side of mind-blowing golden waffles

C Cafe sits along Joo Chiat Road, amidst a row of other quaint, classical shophouses. I arrive on the opposite side of the cafe, stepping back to admire the building in its entirety. It occupies the first floor of this green and white building, counting stalwarts like Sinpopo and Birds of Paradise as neighbours.

The exterior aesthetic is antique-minimalist, yet freshly renewed and on the ground floor, C cafe is open for business.

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From where I stand, the interior of the cafe looks clean, with a choice palette of white and light oak—very 2020, very does-it-bring-you-joy kind of lifestyle. With a rumbling belly, I cross the road.

I enter the cafe and meet its founder, Ashley Cho. Ashley is a card magic enthusiast, who will, apparently, on occasion, fish out his deck of cards to entertain patrons with a trick or two. I wonder if there will be more than just food in store for me today.

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What I tried

Three plates arrive on my table as I soak up the vibe of the cafe. My hunger forces my immediate gaze onto the Golden Waffles (S$18). Two succulent waffles sit politely side-by-side, overlapping in the middle, drizzled in a gorgeous golden hue of maple syrup.

A piece of juicy chicken thigh roosts in the centre of the plate, sprinkled with sesame seeds and, equally dripping in sweet nectar.

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I cut a piece of waffle, slathering it with syrup and french butter before popping it into my mouth. The waffle is fabulously fluffy, and perfectly baked. I indulge in the fried chicken, which tastes great when paired with the maple syrup. The chicken skin is pleasingly crispy despite it being soaked in syrup, and is not too oily.

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I try hard not to over-salivate as I shift my eyes towards the dish at the side: the Avocado On Sourdough Toast (S$18) with Smoked Salmon (S$3). The salmon, neatly folded like flowers, add a beautiful flourish to the presentation of a homemade sourdough toast. There’s a generous helping of avocado and a smear of hummus on the side, especially useful for us living our best health-conscious life.

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I pierce my fork into the smoked salmon, taking the entire thing into my mouth at once. My tastebuds gleefully welcome the smokiness of the fish mixed with a slight tinge of salt, which provides a nice contrast to the sweetness of the maple syrup from the waffle.

The bread is a little too chewy, perhaps due to the fact that it had been left to sit for a while. The avocado is delightfully creamy, though, and when coupled with the rich, umami taste of the hummus, makes for a nice, balanced centrepiece.

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Elsewhere, a plate of Chicken Tasty Toastie (S$16) arrives in the form of two perfectly toasted sourdough sandwiches resting beside a glistening bush of arugula and cherry tomatoes.

I bite into the hefty sandwich, filling my mouth with the strong taste of chicken. The chicken, combined with the home-made herb spread, has a sharp taste while the mozzarella adds a soothing creamy texture. The arugula, dressed in olive oil, provides for a delicious, healthy side to the dish.

At this point, Ashley walks over to our table holding a pack of cards. Just as I thought. We’re in for more than just a meal here. Ashley politely joins us and proceeds to show us an elaborate card trick. It did well to blow me and my girlfriend’s minds.

Ashley leaves us feeling perplexed, as he walks away to get us our dessert—the Tropical Acai Bowl (S$15). The blend of acai berries is sweet, while the maple granola adds a much-welcomed contrast of texture. The banana and strawberries are fresh and delightfully sweet which makes this a great end to my food experience today.

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The Jade Detox (S$7)—a mix of cucumber, apple, ginger, lemon, spinach, and mint—does wonders for a healthy body, but is not particularly pleasing if you’re looking for a thirst quencher. Likewise can be said for the Golden Hour (S$7)—a carrot, orange, ginger, and turmeric beverage.

Though refreshing, both leave a strong ginger aftertaste in your mouth. If you’re not into health juices like me, you can’t go wrong with their Cafe Latte (S$6.50).

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Final thoughts

If you’re cafe-hopping around the Katong area, C Cafe is a great place to stop by for a meal while at the same time being enchanted by the magic of card tricks. C Cafe rests in a great little cafe district, surrounded by other outlets within walking distance like Sinpopo cafe, bakery Petit Pain, and ice cream shop Birds Of Paradise.

RetroCrates and Choice Cuts Cafe are also within a 100m radius of the cafe, if you are into vinyl collecting, like me.

Price-wise, however, C Cafe might not be the best option if you are on a tight budget. The meals here are quite costly, but the portions are definitely a bang for your buck. And in times like this, we can all use a bit of value-for-money, am I right?

Expected damage: S$25 – S$35 per pax.

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

C Cafe

477 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427683, Singapore, Singapore, Singapore 427683

Our Rating 4/5

C Cafe

477 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427683, Singapore, Singapore, Singapore 427683

Operating Hours: 8am - 6pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 8am - 6pm (Daily)
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