Edit: De Cafe has since closed. We are saddened 😦
It was one of the free days we had, when neither of us has to go to school, so we decided to pop over to Upper Thomson Road (yes, it’s that near for us) and see what it had to offer for lunch. Usually, it doesn’t disappoint.
Upper Thomson Road has been widely-known as a foodie’s go-to for a while now, and we found ourselves browsing the usual stretch of shophouses, when we came across a sign that said ‘Taylors Arts Studio’. Of course, there are some stalwarts that remain, which we’ll return to time and again, like the Prata House and Udders, but the more exciting places are those that come and go (our latest love being Chicken Clinic). This was, in our opinion, one of them!
On the glass wall was a smaller printed ‘De Cafe’ sign, and on it also stuck a few poorly-designed menus. Intrigued, we took a closer look – and were stunned that they were offering Eggs Benedict at $4.90. Now, we have been to cafes before, and the unspoken market price was always hovering around or above $10.
Half of that price would be an absolute steal! Being the thrifty people we are, it really appealed to us. We made a quick decision to go in. We ordered an Eggs Benedict and a Blackcurrant Mojito, and then sat down.
We noticed they had board and card games lying around, and some other customers were engrossed in a game of Connect 4. We saw a deck of cards – Old Maid from the good old days – and began to figure out how the game was played again. Once we finally retrieved instructions from the distant past, we started proper on a game of Old Maid.
It says that players have to choose a card from their opponents’ hands on their turn, then put down a matching pair. This continues until there are no more pairs to be made. The player with the ‘Old Maid’ card in his or her hand at that point loses. In a twist of fate, I drew two consecutive Old Maids from Clara’s hand, and eventually lost.
Maybe I’d do better at Connect 4 then, I thought. Connect 4 is a more complex version of Tic Tac Toe (form a row, column or diagonal of 4 chips as per the name of the game) that somehow feels like it has a Battleship element to it. I found myself losing 3 straight games to Clara. At that point, the food was ready, but we paid little attention to it.
Okay, I thought, maybe my luck will finally pick up in Snakes and Ladders! But no, it was not to be. It took a while for someone to land on the last slot, but that person was not me. Oh well, I found myself beginning to accept my hopeless incompetence at games.
Now, our attention was on the smell wafting from the plate. I have to admit that I was skeptical of the quality of the food. When one pays less, something has to give, right?
The Eggs Benedict tasted as good as most others we have tried. In fact, it was probably better than the one at Hatched! Alas, it had already hardened because it had cooled down while we were still at it with the games. The accompanying ham and bread went well with the poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce, and the salad was coated with a subtle dressing.
One point of note though, we noticed that there were chips on the photo on the menu, but we got the salad instead. Slight disappointment on that, because we love our chips, but it doesn’t spoil the value – I still would have guessed this dish cost twice its actual price.
From this experience, we realised that Eggs Benedict did not have to be pricey. And we felt let down that other cafes would charge astronomical amounts for this dish.
As for the Blackcurrant Mojito, either the blackcurrant nor the mint overpowered each other, and both made for a pleasant combination, like an extra cooling berry juice, and sort of like the Plum Green Tea with Kumquat we always order from Gong Cha haha.
Halfway through the food, I noticed there was an enrichment centre (presumably the aforementioned Arts Studio) accessible through a flight of stairs in the cafe. Clara knew that there was a Tumble Tots branch wayyy back before this cafe opened, when it was still S’mores, so we concluded that it must have stayed while S’mores moved out (a pity because we celebrated New Years’ Day there this year, and planned to make it a yearly thing).
We thought it would be amazing to open a multi-storey establishment, consisting of a tuition centre upstairs, a charming little cafe downstairs and a living space on top of all that on the third floor! Going to work wouldn’t feel like a chore, finally. And how easy would it be to just pop upstairs and have a rest during lunch break! As far-fetched as it sounds, I secretly hoped it would come true one day.
Feeling rather full from the food, we left to check out Windowsill Pies, which was located at the back of a row of shophouses. Our intention was to have a pie there at first, but the food from De Cafe was too much, so we decided to just check it out. The exterior of Windowsill Pies was charming, and honestly it stood out too much from the adjacent stores.
As for the cafe itself, we decided to give it a miss, since it’s so near and we could go back to it anytime we wanted to anyway.
We walked along the back of the shophouses and private houses until we reached Thomson Plaza, and from there we followed the walkway, through all the noisy Thomson Line construction, back to the bus stop to catch the bus home!
And this concludes our short but nice little afternoon out together! 🙂