Drive along Jalan Besar and you will always see those huge congratulatory flower stands outside several stores. It seems the area has become really besar (big) on cafes and restaurants over the past couple of years. One of the more exciting newcomers is D’Vine Cafe, a Scandinavian cafe that serves all-day brunch, mains, coffee and desserts.
D’Vine is a play on ‘divine’ and named for the decor of hanging vines which ‘garnish’ the interior. A lot of thought went into that interior design— there are specific nooks for fans of Instagram as well as two huge teddy bears that are the perfect props/companions.
While I found the decor suitably impressive, would the fare live up to those high standards? After seeing the beautiful images of their menu, I was hopeful and prepared to eat to find out.
What I tried at D’Vine Cafe
For a relatively small and new place, D’vine Cafe boasts a rather long menu. I launched my exploration of it with the Lobster Crab Scramble (S$19).
This is a base of brioche French toast topped with scrambled egg, crab bisque, baby lobster and lump crab. With ingredients from the sea, air and land, it’s basically a SEAL.
My dining companion loved the medley of flavours while I found them to be competing against each other when I took my first bite. She explained that the combination of mild sweetness from the brioche, the dense savoury from the egg, and the umami from the seafood keep the tongue guessing, which makes you focus on the flavours more intently.
Consequently, you end up appreciating the subtleties of variety more than you would otherwise. With my second mouthful, I realised that it was indeed true.
We next tried the Clam Chowder on Croute (S$10). The sight of the dish as it was being carried to our table triggered a memory but I could not quite place it. Noticing my look, our server smiled and said two words that made my eyes light up: Country Manna. If you remember that local phenomenon of yesteryear, you will understand my reaction.
D’Vine Cafe’s croute is prepared fresh for every order and that really does give the puffed pastry a lovely taste and texture. Every spoon of the chowder delighted my taste buds with the ingredients of white clam, squid, bacon, carrot, celery and onion. I found it to be a dish that is put together very well and definitely worth a try.
Next up was the Pizzalicious Waffle (S$22). This is a buttermilk waffle topped with smoked salmon, baby lobster, clam, squid and sriracha mayo. That last ingredient was a very nice touch.
The generous sprinkling of bonito flakes was to my liking but my dining companion was less than enthusiastic about it. The waffles were delicious enough even without the bonito so I would recommend this dish. If you are less of a fan of the tuna flakes, just tell the waiter that you would like them to go easy or skip them altogether.
I cannot resist a name like Wild Truffle Linguine (S$18) and had it as my fourth dish at D’Vine Cafe. Forest mushrooms, black truffle, spinach, poached egg and Parmesan cheese come together to create an unbridled exercise in complementary tastes.
Every ingredient infuses the dish with its unique character but they come together, too, and so well that I licked my fork clean when I finished.
Accompanying the linguine was the D’Vine Trufflicious Fries (S$11). This is quite a basic plate of shoestring fries, truffle slices, Parmesan and parsley served with truffle dip. By basic, I mean simple and straight to the point. It was yummy and I’d love this as a side dish to virtually any main.
Dessert then appeared in the form of the heavenly Buttermilk Waffle (S$13). This is a fresh waffle topped with an explosion of pastel colours in the form of cotton candy, berries and marshmallows. We skipped the typical maple syrup and went instead for chocolate sauce and it was all topped with our choice of ice cream.
What can I say about this but that it’s a D’light! Sweetness galore but intelligently, in the form of contrasting textures so it’s not monotonous. Wisps of cotton candy cling on to the ball of ice-cream, giving it a completely different feel entirely. There’s just enough fruit in here to stop me from labelling it an overindulgence. Wink-wink.
For drinks, we tried the Tiramisu Monster Latte with Tiramisu Cap (S$9) from their Signature Coffee range and Lychee Rose with Rose Cap (S$9). The former was the most ‘accurate’ liquid tiramisu ever! I could actually taste the individual tiramisu layers. Ingeniously done!
D’Vine Cafe is a welcome addition to the scene both in terms of its menu and the location. Too many new cafes in the area and beyond simply imitate whatever everyone else is doing, which makes for a rather bland experience (especially for a tirelessly-eating food editor!).
The fare on the menu here was a touch removed from the usual suspects and I appreciate the originality. Despite pretty stiff competition in the Jalan Besar area, D’Vine Cafe is worth a trip.
Expected damage: $11 – $30 per pax
*This post is brought to you in partnership with D’Vine Cafe.
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Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
149 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207562
149 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207562