Department of Caffeine
Opened two years back, DOC is increasingly known for making wonderful pancakes and waffles. So when my friend was going through a pancakes craze, I said why don’t we give DOC a shot?
Brunch crowds at DOC are usually pretty long, so it’s wonderful that they are conveniently located at Duxton, surrounded by amazing shops like Flor Patisserie, and Littered With Books. There were about 5 people in the waiting list before us, so we spent the 20 minutes waiting time exploring the area.
Long Black (S$4.50)
What surprised us about the weekend brunch menu (not the one featured above) was that half their food menu was crossed off. Savoury items like salads and meats were removed, leaving us with the typical brunch fare of waffles/pancakes/French toast and the usual scrambled eggs. It was a tad disappointing. Given the highly saturated brunch scene in Singapore, I would think that most cafés would try to stand out with interesting or slightly unique items. With that narrow a menu, DOC must have a great confidence in those few items.
Flat White (S$5)
Having had Ronin’s coffee almost daily for the past month, DOC’s fell short. The Long Black was not as fragrant nor as strong. For the newly converted though, it is light enough and not overly acidic. Decent coffee at the very least. The Flat White fared better. The coffee was smooth and creamy, while the foam was really fine. Altogether a pretty well executed cuppa.
Stuffed French Toast (S$16)
French toast is not usually featured on brunch menus, so we decided to give up on the waffles and have this instead. Essentially slices of brioche stuffed with maple syrup bananas, served with vanilla yogurt, blueberries and toasted almond slivers; this was nothing much to rave about. WhileWild Honey uses brioche to their advantage, resulting in a buttery and fluffy French toast, DOC’s brioche fell short. They might as well have used normal bread. The bananas were overly mushy, there was no hint of any maple, and the tart yogurt sauce tipped the dish over. It sounds impressive on words, but a simple thick cut French toast with caramelised bananas, a dollop of yogurt and drizzles of maple syrup would have fared much better.
Very adorably named “Bit of Everything” thus “B.O.E.”, it’s described as twin nests of premium spanish serrano cured ham & onsen egg and dill dressed smoked salmon with citrus dressing on herb and parmesan english muffins. A decent dish, nothing disastrous and nothing amazing. The combination of smoked salmon and serrano ham in a single dish does lend to the B.O.E. idea, and it very welcomed. We got a taste of everything within a dish. It would have been great to have another egg though cause one is just plain stingy. The downsides are the muffins, which had none of that amazing flavours and was just dense; and the salad which was not seasoned and tasted extremely raw.
Shepherd’s Pie (S$16)
Smooth melt-in-your mouth mash atop a mess of piping hot saucy mince, this was the most impressive dish of the lot. Having diced vegetables together with the mince, as in a traditional shepherd’s pie, would have made it perfect. That, and a seasoned salad of course.
This visit’s seen more hits than misses. I have visited on the weekdays though and know they make pretty decent savoury dishes, so there’s definitely more to DOC than their slightly disastrous brunch. For their famed waffles and pancakes, it’s still worth a visit.
Department of Caffeine 15 Duxton Road Singapore 089481 6223 3426
Monday to Tuesday: 10.30am-7.30pm Thursday to Friday: 10.30am-7.30pm Saturday to Sunday: 9.30am-7.30pm