Last Updated: July 9, 2018
With the rising popularity of health foods, many establishments have popped up all around Singapore in an attempt to meet the increasing demand.
The majority of these has been spotted in the Central Business District (CBD) area (because OLs need to look slim in their fitted formal suits, no?) and GentleBros Cafe is no exception.
Located at Nankin Row, GentleBros Cafe offers a healthier alternative that contrasts the not-so-healthy options available at the nearby Hong Lim Food Centre.
Their customisable bowls are made-to-order which has both its pros and cons. But for freshly cooked meals, that extra waiting time is definitely worth it (unless you’re rushed for time).
Each bowl (or plate) comes with one protein, one staple and two vegetable options. Of course, you have the option of adding additional items but extra costs do apply.
With my love for salmon, I chose the non-frozen baked salmon ($17) with focaccia bread, soft-centre egg and portobello mushrooms (+$1) and added a portion of baked halloumi cheese (+$7).
I dub this the ultimate breakfast option. After adding in the additional costs for the extra ingredients I’d added to the basic bowl, it came to a total of $25.
Considering the not-very-cheap price tag, the salmon was pink and moist throughout, and was fresh and baked to perfection. Topped with the slightly roasted slice of lemon, it added a touch of acidity that balanced the sweetness of the fish.
The portobello mushrooms were sauteed in balsamic vinegar, masking the earthy taste that usually deters me from ordering mushrooms when I see it on the menu.
Cutting into the soft-centre egg, the runny yolk reminded me of the poached eggs that usually come with many breakfast sets.
As the salmon did not come with any sauce or gravy (that usually overpowers the light taste of the fish), the egg yolk doubled as a lighter and healthier alternative for those who are used to having their meals drenched in gravy.
When the salmon-mushroom-cheese-egg combination was put together onto a toasted, buttery slice of focaccia bread, it was the ideal breakfast in a bite. For those who look for all-day-breakfast options, this combination was made for you.
As with every new place you try, their signature dish is usually a must-try. And that’s what we did. We had the GentleBros GB Boneless Chicken Thigh ($12) with warm quinoa (+$1), roasted seasonal vegetables and fresh pineapple salsa.
In essence, this can be described as a healthier version of the Hong Kong-style roasted soy sauce chicken rice you can find at most cha chaan teng. It amounted to $13 due to upgrading the staple to quinoa.
The chicken thigh was tender and soft and broke apart with a slight pull of the fork. Drenched in GentleBros’ homemade sauce, a combination of soy and barbecue sauce, the chicken was both sweet and salty and reminded me of teriyaki chicken, only better because it was not overly sweet.
Though we weren’t fans of pineapple, our decision to add this was from the staff’s rave over how popular it is with their customers. And it was a good decision indeed.
The diced pineapples were coated in an in-house salsa and were a combination of sweet, sour and spicy notes. It was refreshing to the palette, especially when eaten with the chicken, that though delicious, grew jelak as it was a very big piece of meat.
Full from the hearty meal we had, we wanted something light and refreshing and their Coco Black ($7) fits the bill. A freshly cracked, chilled coconut was served up with a side of double ristretto shots that was to be poured into the coconut.
For a coffee-addict like me, it was both light and acidic and every sip made me crave for more. However, the coffee taste was rather strong. So if strong coffee is not your thing, you can request for less coffee (or just don’t pour every drop of it into your coconut).
GentleBros cafe lives up to their name of offering healthier food alternatives at affordable prices while being gentle on your stomach. With every bowl being made-to-order, your food is freshly cooked all the time.
However, being made-to-order has its drawbacks. Be prepared to wait an estimated 15 minutes for your order, sometimes longer if there’s a crowd — but the wait is definitely worth the wait.
If you’re working near Nankin Row, or if you train at the nearby gym, GentleBros cafe is definitely worth a visit.
Expected damage: $10 – $27 per pax