East Coast Commune, Marine Cove: Of ostentatious ceramic cups & vegan Chai lattes

And so arrives my monthly cafe review as the company’s self-proclaimed cafe enthusiast. When East Coast Commune first popped up along Marine Cove, it caught the eyes and hearts of many—as gorgeous spaces tend to. I was none the more immune to the cafe’s chic charm. I was definitely paying a visit personally, and I was bringing my colleague Nicole (lover of all things fancy-schmancy) with me.

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Juxtaposed against the humble Maccas, East Coast Commune’s interior is nothing short of mighty. The aesthetic is textbook, almost—high ceilings, natural lighting, luscious plants, and stunning handcrafted teacups to go with. You’re basically well-equipped for the Instagram shot you’re very much here for in the first place, and getting a sofa seat on a bustling Saturday afternoon easily makes you feel like one of life’s winners.

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What I tried

Shermien, owner of East Coast Commune tells us that we’re the first to try the Holiday Platter (S$78+), just as it waltzes its way to our table. Gracefully lined with beef rump cap slices and roast pork belly, the platter cuts out any ounce of pretentiousness and knows exactly how to satiate our very Singaporean palates.

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On their own, the meats are lightly seasoned—but a quick dip into the cranberry sauce, mustard, or mash easily does the trick in the flavour department. Roasted vegetables never fail to hit home for me, and they go all the better when paired with a dollop of mash.

In a surprising twist, the thinly cut fried vegetable chips on the side are what ultimately win us over. Light, crispy, and well-seasoned, this is exactly what vegetable chips should taste like when done right.

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The Holiday Platter is now available for pre-order and will exclusively be served on 19 and 20 December from 11am to 1pm, and again from 2pm to 4pm. Alternatively, catch it on 24 and 25 December from 12pm to 2pm, 6pm to 8pm, and 8pm to 10pm.

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The Berries Ricotta (S$14) is an interesting twist on the classic ice cream-and-waffles pairing. An ice cream scoop of your choice sits atop a zesty sourdough waffle, berries compote with ricotta cheese, lemon honey ricotta, fresh berries, and is finished with maple syrup drizzled over.

Masked by the already many tart flavours on the plate, the sourdough struggles to shine just a little and would probably be more pronounced in flavour under a savoury setting. Nonetheless, the dish is kept appealing and appetising because of the brilliant colours on the plate—which technically counts as a well-balanced meal in the Health Promotion Board’s books, right?

I particularly adore the sweet-sour berries compote, with the ricotta cheese giving it an almost yoghurt-like mouthfeel and flavour. Pair this with a hojicha and you’re pretty much set for brunch.

EC Commune

A smoky meld of black garlic, chilli, long beans and linguine, I hold onto high hopes for the CharMee (S$17). East Coast Commune’s rendition of the char mee is generously seasoned and topped with barramundi and pickled cherry tomatoes.

I wanted to like the dish—I really did. As a pasta and umami enthusiast, the CharMee should’ve hit the spot in theory. Toning down just a tad on the salt would’ve done wonders for the dish, I lament. Regardless, it is a keen attempt at a mod-Singaporean fusion dish that I can only imagine will get better with time.

We intersperse bites with sips of coffee and chai, which is quite arguably one of the best ways to spend a sunny Thursday morning. There’s no question that East Coast Commune serves up a mean cuppa—balancing a perfect espresso to milk ratio on the Latte (S$5).

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Their vegan-friendly chai is also much to write home about, as it turns out. Though I’m typically a strict matcha or hojicha girl when it comes to tea lattes, Shermien convinces us to give their Chai Latte (S$6) a shot; made with oat milk and kept dairy-free.

Incredibly smooth and fragrant, I’m quickly understanding why the Chai is a popular choice here. Ostentatiously, the handcrafted ceramic cups it’s housed in all the more elevates the drinking experience.

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A Fish Sourdough Sandwich (S$11) marks a piquant end to the morning—quite literally. The acidic blend of ponzu kangkong, pickled shallot, smoked barramundi and garlic chive cream cheese still has me undecided, but it’s definitely an unconventional breakfast if you’re ever looking for one. And wash it all down with some drinking chocolate while you’re at it.

Vera’s ‘Chef’s Kiss Award’

Forgive me for the specificity today, but the experience of basking in the cafe’s resplendent interior with a mocha in-hand truly deserves a Chef’s Kiss in itself. That’s right—today’s kiss goes out to the way East Coast Commune makes me feel, rather than the way their fare tastes.

Final thoughts

Many cafes make the mistake of getting lost in keeping their interior design tip top and wind up neglecting what should matter the most—the food. Judging from the incorporation of flavours in their offerings, it’s evident that the team at East Coast Commune has worked hard, and invested a lengthy thought process into their menu.

But whether that proves to be enough to keep diners coming back for more than just the vibe, only time will and can tell. Personally, I’m excited to witness the evolution of East Coast Commune’s grub—may it only go up from here.

Chope Reservations

Expected Damage: S$16 – S$23 per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

East Coast Commune

1000 ECP, #01-03, Singapore 449876

Our Rating 4/5

East Coast Commune

1000 ECP, #01-03, Singapore 449876

Operating Hours: 9am - 6pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue

Operating Hours: 9am - 6pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue
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