the populus coffee & food co., bukit pasoh

very hipster, very young clientele, similarly young baristas – decent food on a rather impressively-large menu for a coffee-focused place, but rather too-cool-for-you service that could be a little off-putting if you’re an old, plodding person soul as I am.

but these places sure know how to use design to create ambiance – I loved the wood, cork and black metal used all over here, and look at these lovely vintagey amber glasses.


I think you will be just as astounded by the sheer abundance presented by the menu – it’s a mix of rather interesting-sounding dishes: a good mix of hearty mains, healthful grain bowls and gratifying sweets.

I’m totally into grain bowls right now, what with their flavours and textures. here, the roast chicken offering comes with shredded meat over a bed of couscous and slaw, topped with furikake and a mix of grilled vegetables. it was alright: I do think that it could do with more seasoning and a bit of dressing/ sauce to pull the otherwise quite dry ingredients together.

(p.s. the grain traders are much better – post coming up soon.)

they have a very trendy dish of spring pancake and fried chicken. it certainly sounds intriguing: a corn and spring onion pancake with crispy fried chicken and a ranch dressing – but execution was slightly weak. the pancake was seriously dense and heavy, and while the dark chicken meat was well-marinated and covered with a tasty batter (very moreish), it could be fried a little darker and crispier – there were places where the batter was still a little floury/ gummy.

but the rather more common dish of tandoori chicken sandwich was much better received, with a fantastic ciabatta – airy but crusty – sandwiching tender, tasty chicken and a tangy mix of raita and slaw. a good and filling option, this one.

I was possibly most impressed by the breakfast plate, which takes on the restaurant’s name and appears as a dish of creamy scrambled eggs (the wet sort) spilling in and over a decent croissant. crispy bacon strips make up the tasty dish, so if you’re in on a diet – don’t bother with this one.

I was and am struck by how cold (or is the word cool?) service here: I accept that we may not have been a cool enough, or hipster enough, or young enough group to fit in with the baristas – regardless, pleasant and friendly service surely makes the experience better for both host and eater.

if you’re in the area and considering between this and the lokal, I might come here for the food but there for the ambience (not helping, am I?)

The Populus Coffee & Food Co.
146 Neil Road
Singapore 088875
tel +65 635 8420
$$: 20ish

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