Last Updated: January 9, 2019
There are two types of people you’ll find at Holland Village: The social drinker chilling by the bars or the brunch enthusiast cafe hopping around the district. Of course, this is with the exception of after-work crew hangs and the bustling lunch crowd.
I mean, let’s be real: this atas area observes a large expat population and you’ll find that dining and drinking options are more suited to other palates such as Italian, Mediterranean, and Western.
Joining that list of restaurants is one that will bring joy to avid brunch-goers, as popular bakery Joe & Dough opened its first cafe concept in the heart of Holland Village.
With more than 10 stores nationwide, this two-storey cafe serves a full-fledged all-day dining menu, together with their handcrafted bakes and coffee.
Nothing too fancy about the interior, as the humble establishment seemed pretty down-to-earth with its nature-themed wallpaper and standard wooden furniture.
Ah, it was definitely quieter up here – perfect for a casual chat with a friend. For Instagrammers hunting down a new cafe with hipster aesthetics to snap those basic pictures, the second level would be more suited for your needs.
We recommend checking the weather to make sure you’ve got those rays of sunlight streaming in from the glass windows. Wink.
We started our adventure with some drinks, a cuppa D.R Joe 1914 (S$5.50) and Iced Monbana Chocolate (S$6.50). Undoubtedly, these were safe options to stick with because one thing’s for sure is that this coffeehouse will do coffee right.
The Iced Monbana Chocolate is worth a notable shout out, as it wasn’t overly sweet and still held notes of bitterness which gave the drink a creamy, rich balance.
An unusual brunch classic we were recommended to try was the Torched Brie Toast (S$8). A slice of toasted multigrain toast was topped with torched Brie, garnished with muscovado sugar, roasted garlic and a drizzle of honey.
It was an all-in-one breakfast classic – but both sweet and savoury on one dish? I wasn’t quite convinced on the contrasting garnishes, yet after trying this unique combination, it’s safe to say I was very, very wrong.
The sharp sting of garlic was easily complemented by the muscovado sugar, which was torched together with the Brie, and turned out to be pleasantly delectable. You’d think it’d be an incompatible pairing but boy, was this good.
Plus, Brie naturally doesn’t have that jelak (surfeiting) taste and added a creamy texture that paired decently with the toasted slice. Altogether with the candied honey, this plate is easily one to highlight.
Craving both sweet and savoury? This checks all the boxes.
I couldn’t miss out on Joe & Dough’s mains as well, especially their unique rendition of the Short Ribs Mac and Triple Cheese (S$20).
Again, Instagrammers take note, this solid mac and cheese will definitely brighten those feeds. Maybe add a plant prop or two for some green and you’re good to go.
But, I digress. The trio of Parmesan, Mozzarella and Cheddar, were humble choices yet blended exceptionally well. Fret not, this cheesy meal was not at all jelak because of the smokiness from the tender short ribs slices.
I particularly like the choice of elbow pasta, as if it was an elevated version of any ordinary mac and cheese. Oh well, works for me!
The 24-hour slow-cooked grain-fed beef short ribs were tender, but not fall-off-the-bone standard.
The sweet, smoky marinade integrated with the indulgent cheese sauce flawlessly to make this mac and cheese one of the better ones I’ve tried in a while.
Next up, we had the Crispy Chicken Roll with Lumpfish Roe (S$15). This bougie hotdog swaps the plain sausage filling with battered ginger soy chicken thigh chunks, served on a brioche roll alongside a side of truffle fries.
Topped with premium lumpfish roe, this was undoubtedly the Victoria Beckham of Spice Girls.
It looked like kaarage (Japanese fried chicken) pieces to me and I was quite intrigued about this puzzling pairing.
Little did I know, I dived into a pandemonium of flavours with the tartar sauce adding a tangy twist to the juicy, crispy chicken. The ginger soy marinade uplifted the unassuming roll and this is one that will have you chomping away faster than you think.
Joe & Dough’s handcrafted bakes earned its recognition since its humble beginnings back in 2009 and this atas savoury hotdog did justice to its reputation. A highly recommended choice if you’re adventurous, or if you love fried chicken.
We ordered the Nachos Tater Tots (S$9) on impulse, because of how sinfully delicious it was described on the menu. ‘Fried tater tots (mini potato hashbrowns), topped with melted cheese, roasted corn, sweet relish and tartar sauce’. What a snack!
The Mexican-inspired plate is ever potato lovers’ dream with the bunch of crisp gems with the tangy tartar and crunchy condiment bits. Nothing to shout about but I would probably get this again to share with a friend or two.
This not-so-secret Joe & Dough outlet will probably soar to headlines in due time but for now, I’d advise going while it’s still on the low.
I’ve done my fair share of brunch adventures here in Singapore and while this doesn’t top the list, it’s still one to make top 20.
Truly worth a trip down at least once to give them a chance. A second visit? I’m sure you’ll find yourself planning one in no time.
Expected Damage: S$10 – S$20 per pax
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Joe & Dough
269 Holland Avenue, Singapore 278990
269 Holland Avenue, Singapore 278990