Fancy yourself some affordable all-day brunch, Faculty of Caffeine (FOC) has it. It won’t break the wallet and the Ringgit is a wonderful all-time low to the SGD. Not that you will care. This place has rustic food and industrial served together on a plate.
Drum roll for the (not too) Generous Breakfast (RM17.5) which the eatvestigator managed to wipe clean. You get a whole tomato and sautéed mushrooms, it was more the delicatessen department that was lacking. A sausage or some proper cold cuts would have helped.
Space is pretty tight, with some room at the bar. Luckily no one is being chased away even after you finish your coffee. That leaves plenty of time and room for desserts! The real redeeming part about of FOC are the experimental desserts that are rotated for the day.
This Salted Caramel Affogato (RM11.5) sure melted away fast. That was one crunchy pretzel. The sea salt didn’t really stand out much.
The croissant with banana split made for good coffee time snack. All told, brunch and dessert can be had for the price of a main in Singapore. Let’s hope not too many people find out about this.
The team behind FOC has also launched a new establishment by the name of The Replacement. This will be next on the Eatvestigation.
9am to 6pm
106 Jalan Trus
8000 Johor Bahru
Coffee, eggs and kaya toast are the definitive breakfast classic in Malaysia & Singapore, ranking alongside nasi lemak. Here in this alley spot along Lebuh Campbell in Georgetown Penang, this classic alley dining eatery harking back to the 50s. This eatvestigator spent a good 10 minutes trying to find the lane.
You know the ritual, it starts with the soft boiled eggs, dabbled with pepper and dark soy sauce. Stir those in and break up those yolks!
Toast is fired up over an old school oven, which gives that airy and crispy crunch that the eatvestigator likes of Vietnamese baguette. Smear them with kaya, and sandwich them with a handsome slice of butter!
Lastly, coffee with condensed milk. The total set barely costs RM4. On the sidelines, there are also nasi lemak and curry puffs being sold, but this eatvestigator wolfed them down before pictures could be taken.
Toh Soon Cafe 多春茶室
184 Campbell Street
Off Penang Road, George Town, 10100 Penang
8am-6pm (Closed on Sundays)
Tim Ho Wan is acclaimed as the cheapest place in the world where one can get a Michelin One Star meal, of which dim-sum is their speciality. We tested the claim by rushing down to be at the front of the queue at about 9.30am. Come early, because the queue gets mind bogglingly long near opening time at 11am, think about 3 shops length. The shop is a tight squeeze, and will sit around 30 persons max. Our party alone nearly took up half the space, to the dismay of many poor queuers outside. My fellow revelers got bored and decided to explore the menu, which comes in both English and Chinese.
They appeared to have a steady buffer of food prepared. And it was not long before food appeared at the table. Starting with this fried char-siew bun.
There was also the obligatory prawn cheong fun and har-gaos. Prawns were fresh but not the big juicy kind this eatvestigator has tried at other classier restaurants. To be honest, this eatvestigator would stop here to say that most of the food was pretty decent, and decently priced it was too. But it simply was not as spectacular as the books and other reviewers made it out to be. There are other eateries with affordable dim sum of similar quality as this place, but not at such range and wide fame. One just has to look harder. A place to try once but not more than that.
2-8 Kwong Wa Street
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Leave the chocolate behind… to be at a cafe like vanilla in the small cleavage behind Ang Siang Hill is like discovering that perfect perfume or cologne. We arrived on a quiet afternoon, no customers around to disturb our romance with coffee. Going beyond our affair with those java beans, we couldn’t help but order ourselves some pumpkin soup ($4.90) and a pulled pork sandwich ($13) in handsome foccacia bread.
For dessert, don’t be taken aback by the dirt cake ($6.90) when you see it. The chef has some humour: chocolate in a mini flower pot topped with gummy worms and a flower stalk. A case of still life mimicking real life.
Next door you will find a French bookshop with ragged and amusing titles such as this… You can’t help but be charmed and taken aback by the timeless quality of Ang Siang Hill on it’s surroundings.
3 Boon Tat Street #01-01
Mon–Thu: 10.30am – 11pm
Fri–Sat: 11am – 12am
(Closed on Sun & PH)