20F Specialty Coffeehouse

December 15, 2015 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

20F Specialty Coffeehouse
20 Foch Road

https://www.facebook.com/20Fcoffee/


Wondering What The Fuss Is About

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 5
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 4
Service: 6
Value for Money: 3
Spent about SGD $38 per person.


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Opening its doors in November 2015, 20F Specialty Coffeehouse is one of the hottest new cafes of the moment for year-end 2015. The hype has been building for this place over the last few weeks, and photos of its food, specifically its signature dish of Duck Confit And Waffle / Duck & Waffle, keep popping up all over social media. Displacing a former Chinese medicinal hall / clinic which had occupied this spot for over 60 years, 20F Specialty Coffeehouse pays tribute to its address of 20 Foch Road in its quirky name.

Ambience at 20F Specialty Coffeehouse is modern industrial chic, in the vein of similar indie coffeehouses. Think warm lighting, rustic wooden furnishings, vintage floor tiling, metal grilles, and tight layout. Modern wall art paintings lend a splash of vibrant colour to the place, while a bright, airy backyard doubles as an event space. Pretty decent place, not too suitable for chilling / relaxing. Ambient noise can be quite loud, as the place is bustling and busy. The backyard is clean and naturally lit, very photo-worthy, but the kitchen is also located here, and the poor ventilation makes your clothing stink.

Service at 20F Specialty Coffeehouse is partial self-service. Ordering and payment is done over the counter, but staff will serve orders to your table. The mostly young staff are friendly and chirpy, able to engage diners in conversation, as well as make astute recommendations, answering questions on the food or menu. Order fulfillment can take a while during peak periods, of up to 20 minutes. Consistency and quality of execution in dishes / beverages seems to be an issue, no problem with the more experience staff, but it shows in the junior staff.

Food at 20F Specialty Coffeehouse is unique for their combination of savoury and sweet in several of their dishes and desserts. Primarily modern European (American, British, French), their unique approach means you either love or hate the food. Dishes here are rustic in presentation, with a focus on poultry (duck), bacon / pork, and waffles. Portions are big and rather filling for individuals, and could possibly be shared. Prices are at the higher end for a typical cafe, budget about SGD $38 per person for a meal with 1 main course, 1 beverage, and 1 shared dessert.


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20F Specialty Coffeehouse Exterior


20F Specialty Coffeehouse Interior


20F Specialty Coffeehouse Counter


Backyard


Seating


Window


Wall Art



Coffee beans are sourced from Liberty Coffee, which results in pretty decent quality coffee here. The Speakeasy coffee blend has a medium body, a low-to-medium strength, average bitterness, and notes of roast and caramel. Still, there are problems though, while the Flat White (SGD $5) turned out alright, we sent back the Piccolo (SGD $4.50) for being poorly executed (it was too milky). At least it was better the 2nd time. The 20F Iced Coffee (SGD $6.50) fared better, the blend of coffee, with vanilla bean ice cream, and fresh milk, lends a creamy richness.

Flat White


Piccolo


20F Iced Coffee



The 20F Christmas Rum & Raisin Iced Coffee (SGD $7) features rum & raisin ice cream blended in to the espresso... but I only faintly detect its lovely taste over the much stronger flavour of coffee. In all other respects, this was the most irritating and poorly thought out beverage ever. The tiny straw, and glass packed with crushed peanuts, dried cranberries, mint leaves, and marshmallows meant everything kept getting stuck, making it a struggle to drink. At the very least, they could have served this with either a bigger straw, a serving spoon, or a sieve. Tastes good, but a terrible execution makes this an irritating drink, gave up without finishing.

20F Christmas Rum & Raisin Iced Coffee



The taste and texture of the Fresh Coconut & Lychee Milkshake (SGD $7.50) is spot on, the thick texture of the milkshake is created from a blend of coconut ice cream, lychee ice cream, and cold milk. Rich, not overly sweet, refreshing. The much stronger floral fruity taste of the lychee, slightly overwhelms the earthy, nutty coconut flavour.

Fresh Coconut & Lychee Milkshake



The Salty Caramel & Bacon Half Waffle (SGD $12) is a savoury sweet dessert waffle that you either love or hate. Each individual component is decently executed; the bacon is salty and crisp, the waffle thick with a fluffy interior and a slightly crisp exterior, the salted caramel ice cream is rich with salty, sweet, milky flavour, and the chocolate sauce lends a depth of sweetness. I personally hated this, for its disorganised chaos of clashing tastes on the palate. There is no harmony, no attempt to blend the flavours, each ingredient is distinct, a mess of jarring confusion. Have heard some good reviews for this, but I wouldn't order it again.

Salty Caramel & Bacon Half Waffle 01


Salty Caramel & Bacon Half Waffle 02


Salty Caramel & Bacon Half Waffle 03


Salty Caramel & Bacon Half Waffle 04



Staff highly recommended the House Lemon Curd Cake (SGD $5.50) to us, and I'm glad we ordered this dessert! The lemon vanilla sponge cake is soft and moist, while the stripes of sweet zesty lemon curd running through the middle has a lively citrus flavour. The buttercream on the top and back of the cake is too thick and rich, but overall, it's still a good dessert!

House Lemon Curd Cake 01


House Lemon Curd Cake 02



The Nutella Layered Cake (SGD $5.50) has a soft, moist, vanilla sponge cake, with strips of sweet, delicious nutella hazelnut spread running through it. So tasty, however, the nutella stripes are cold, making it much too firm in texture, and rather off-putting.

Nutella Layered Cake 01


Nutella Layered Cake 02



The Chocolate & Sea Salt Tart (SGD $4.50) has good texture; crumbly, buttery pastry tart shell, and a chocolate truffle interior that is thick yet smooth. However, it's a disappointment in terms of taste; the chocolate isn't as rich or deeply flavoured, and the sea salt is concentrated in the middle, leaving the rest of the tart slightly bland in flavour. Confusing, skip this.

Chocolate & Sea Salt Tart 01


Chocolate & Sea Salt Tart 02



Loved the Orange Cinnamon French Toast (SGD $15), with its soft, moist brioche bread coated with egg. A swirl of zesty orange jam and sweet cinnamon sugar is infused into the middle, a good idea, as the flavour seeps into the bread. Served with strawberries, blueberries, 2 scoops of mascarpone, crushed pistachio nuts, and a silky sweet maple syrup on the side. Topped with crisp rashers of salty bacon, which completes the savoury sweet combination. Delicious, highly recommended!

Orange Cinnamon French Toast 01


Orange Cinnamon French Toast 02


Orange Cinnamon French Toast 03



The house signature Duck & Waffle (SGD $22) dish is awesome, a perfect combination of savoury, sweet, and sour! Some of the fat in the duck has rendered down, making the meat fork tender and moist. The skin is salty and crisp, with a slight crunch that is satisfiying. However, the duck is slightly dry in parts, as some of the fat still remains on the skin. The waffle has that same slightly crisp exterior, and soft fluffy interior. Garnished with sweet strawberry slices, strawberry syrup, and crunchy pistachio nuts. But what makes this dish stand out is the tart, sour, mixed berry sorbet, paired with the savoury duck meat, it lends a nice contrast both in flavour, and in temperature! Highly recommended!

Duck & Waffle 01


Duck & Waffle 02


Duck & Waffle 03



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Reserve a table now @ 20F Specialty Coffeehouse









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