The Populus Cafe at Neil Road

Thepopulusneilroad-3The last quarter of the year is definitely getting more and more interesting with opening of new cafes and revamping of menus going on. Located just a stone throw away from Outram Park MRT, The Populus has recently opened its door. A joint venture between Department of Caffeine and 2 Degree North Coffee, this new cafe aims to provide consumers with a well rounded cafe hopping experience. I have overheard an ang moh diner raving to his friend about the food and coffee as they sat down one table away from us. So let us take a look at their menu.

Thepopulusneilroad-15It is almost no brainer to guess that the coffee here was roasted by  2 Degree North Coffee. I had Caldera, a coffee blend of 2 beans – Brazil and Columbia over a latte ($5.50). It is medium bodied and has a hint of nuttiness ending with high acidity.  From what I understand from the co-owner, this is a guest blend and it is while stock last. Thepopulusneilroad-9Kevin had a Coconut, Lemon and  Lime smoothie ($7) which I thought was a brilliant idea of blending coconut ice cream into a smoothie. While I like how refreshing this beverage was with the citrusy notes from the lemon juice and lime zest, I am not a huge fan of the overwhelming coconuty  taste of packed coconut milk which is found in many coconut ice cream.

Spring Pancake with Fried Chicken ($21)

Spring Pancake with Fried Chicken ($21)

While waffles and fried chicken has become quite commonly found in cafes, I am elated to find something different. Made with spring onion and charred corn, the pancake tasted something like a frittata with crispy edges.  To be frank, it was quite a pleasant surprise as I have imagined it to be something more similar to the chinese spring onion pancake (蔥油餅).  The fried chicken was good as well, moist and juicy encased with a thin and crispy exterior.  I like how every components gelled together so well and complemented each other seamlessly. Definitely a must order for me!Thepopulusneilroad-14

Although, traditionally ragu sauce is a sauce with meat ground, minced or chopped, The Populus Cafe did it differently. The ragu beef sauce was cooked with a blend of asian herbs instead of using thyme or rosemary and has a texture similar to a pulled pork. With the sauce coated evenly with the pappardelle, this is a hearty dish to order. Thepopulusneilroad-20Thepopulusneilroad-21

We ended the luncheon with a iced chocolate ($8) and a pot of Momo in Black tea ($7.50).  While the iced chocolate tasted milky and was nothing impressive, we were wowed by the Momo in Black tea by Tea Bone Zen Mind. It has beautiful peachy, floral notes and a nice tartiness with every sip I drank. No wonder, this is highly recommended by co-owner, Yi yang. Thepopulusneilroad-24

Just in case you are wondering where the kitchen is, it is located at the basement and all the food is transported up with a dumb waiter.the populus cafeCurrently, The Populus Cafe is at its soft launch stage but I am already impressed with their food and I am looking forward to their full menu. Although, there are some hits and misses, this cafe is definitely a strong competitor for The Lokal. With a team of young and passionate service crew, prompt services and well thought out menu, I can easily said the Populus is one of the more promising cafe that has opened in the month of October.

The Populus Cafe
146 Neil Road Singapore 088875
Tel: +65 66358420
Operating Hours: Last order at 6pm
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