I thought I was over açaí; I foolishly thought that days, when one açaí place started popping up after one another until they all melted into one, were far behind us. That is, until a store where I could get unlimited bases, toppings, and combinations along the sunny shores of Beach Road came along. Behold, Cornercove.
When Michelle, owner of Cornercove, couldn’t find the kind of açaí concept store she’d envisioned (and so dearly missed from the US) in Singapore, she went ahead and created one.
It’s unmistakable how cheery the place is from the moment you walk in—yes, Michelle’s endearing smile definitely plays a part. Cool, white lighting casts a merry glow over the space, covering the store in a type of radiance only it can exude.
On this particular Saturday, we’re the first ones in the store, and also the first ones to experience the açaí bowls at full strength. There’s something unnerving about being the first. I can’t decide if my excitement will jinx the store’s success or whether my reaction will prove lacklustre.
But I soon realise there’s no need to pretend. With açaí bowls this easy on the palate, wallet, and stomach (not necessarily in order of increasing importance), I’m sensing big wins today.
I try not to let myself be restrained by the values of my Singaporean upbringing too much, but this girl knows a good steal when I see one. Sometimes—and only sometimes—when a deal is worth trading my dignity for, do I let my “auntiness” rear its ugly head. And it is for this very reason that I will allow myself to celebrate (as it should be) the unlimited toppings, bases, and sauces all for one price at Cornercove—which is indisputably their unique selling point.
How I tried what I tried
Step 1: Bowl size
S$9.80 will get you a small bowl, while S$14.80, a large. What happens after this is all on you now. Think of your bowl as your stomach’s canvas—waiting to be filled with whatever so pleases you. And this isn’t just lip service. The options at Cornercove are enough to put even the most decisive on the spot.
Step 2: Bases
Under bases, the classic açaí, pitaya, matcha, tropical turmeric, chocolate strawberry protein, coconut, blue majik chia, beetroot chia, steel cut oats are all available options, and you may pick as many as you like. There’s no faulting the açaí base—Cornercove’s bread and butter. I deeply appreciate its smoothie-like texture, giving way to a rich, thick blend, as opposed to many icy iterations from other açaí stores. But of these—the matcha and chocolate strawberry protein bases keenly seize my attention the most.
Blended with banana, spinach—and of course matcha powder—nothing else quite wins me over the way its earthy blend resonates with me. The chocolate strawberry needs no introduction—it delivers exactly what it promises, and with an added splash of protein powder.
Step 3: Granola
Granolas are my favourite part—the blueberry flax seed, honey nut, and maple pecan all present awfully tempting options. Get none if you please, and all if you must.
Step 4: Fruit
The fruit selection—strawberry, banana, dragonfruit, pineapple, apple, papaya—pay homage to the tropical island that is Singapore, and also adds a refreshing twist to the whole bowl. Fruits are also a great way to throw in a contrasting, tart pop to keep your smoothie bowl as light and as addictive as you dream.
Step 5: Nut Butter
I use this word sparingly and carefully, simply because of its controversial connections, but here goes. I’m a whore for nut butter. Buying me freshly-ground nut butter (preferably almond) in a jar (which I may or may not consume in one sitting) is basically the fastest way to ensure that we’ll still be friends when next year’s Christmas comes a-knocking.
If you’re ready to graduate from the perennially pedestrian peanut butter, give the almond or cashew a shot, for each present a different creaminess and flavour profile that might just tickle your fancy. But, if peanut still makes you the happiest, then go forth. We don’t nut shame in here.
Step 6: Everything else, basically
Here comes the part when you’re allowed to, nay, encouraged to go crazy. My picks were sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cacao nibs, almond flakes, and cocoa powder.
With my bowl practically filled with an alarming, unadulterated portion of nuts and seeds, it should be clear that I’m a human squirrel by now. There’s just something about the bite and crunch of seeds and nuts that are just so oddly satisfying.
Agave syrup and pure honey are also up for grabs as drizzles, if you need more than just nut butter to hold it all together.
Coffee & Cold-pressed juices
Just like the nut butter, bottled Cold Pressed Juices (S$6.90) are freshly made in-store daily as well. The Daily Detox, made from kale, spinach, celery, apple, and cucumber—or simply, veggie juice, as I like to term it, deserves to be savoured in all its splendidly piquant glory.
If you’re looking for more of a Sunday stroll-in-the-park type of juice, however, then the Morning Boost—made with ginger, lemon, carrot, and apple, is your guy.
I’ll be the first to admit that no one is expecting to walk out with stellar coffee from an açaí store, but Cornercove delivers once more. A Cafe Latte (S$5) here is nothing short of smooth, velvety, and aromatic. If you’re feeling up to it, the Beetroot Latte (S$5.80), Turmeric Latte (S$5.80), and Ginger Latte (S$5.80) are on the table as well.
Vera’s ‘Chef’s Kiss Award’
Today, it’s a tough battle between the fact that toppings are unlimited and the surprisingly praiseworthy lattes. A simple drink, I know, but it’s been a while since I had a cuppa this smooth—and I drink a lot, I repeat, a lot of coffee.
But ultimately, few things tend my very Singaporean heart the way the phrase ‘no extra charge’ translates to music to the ears. In this economy? We take what we can sis, and if it involves piling up our açaí bowl however we so wish, I’m sure as hell making a beeline for the opportunity.
It’s always refreshing to find people with such strong conviction to put customers first, and to put forth positive energy like the ones you’ll find at Cornercove. Even if the açaí or coffee doesn’t make your day (though I’m quite sure it will), affectionate greetings from Michelle and her staff most certainly and surely will.
Cornercove officially opens 12 December 2020.
Expected Damage: S$9.80 – S$14.80 per bowl
Our Rating: 4 / 5
371 Beach Road, #B1-48, Singapore 199597
371 Beach Road, #B1-48, Singapore 199597