Lola’s Cafe – The most popular Cafe at Kovan

Lola Cafe

Address (Google Map): 5 Simon Rd Singapore 545893

Opening hours: Sun to Thu 10am to 11.30pm, Fri & Sat 10am to 12am, Closed on Mon

Introduction

Lola’s cafe is another hipster brunch cafe that is situated near to Kovan MRT. You won’t believe how popular this cafe is. Despite the inconspicuous location, there is even a queue on a weekday lunch hour.

I went there a couple of times, once on a Sat afternoon at about 3pm and i was told that there are ten people in the queue so i left. When i returned at night at about 8pm, i was told that I needed to wait for 45 minutes so i left again. Then, I visit this place on a Friday afternoon at 11.40am and I STILL NEED TO QUEUE. Need to be so popular or not?

But this time, the waiting time is only 15 minutes and I got myself a seat for two pax. They have a queuing system whereby a diner enters his contact mobile into an ipad and system will give you a call when your table is ready so that you do not need to stand outside the cafe like a dummy and i like this system very much.

They serve breakfast menu from 11 to 3pm and dinner from 6 to 9pm. Note that they only serve starter dish and finger food between 3 to 6pm. All prices on menu are nett with no GST and service charge.

Menu 1: Click to enlarge

Menu 2: Click to enlarge

Lola’s Full Monty Breakfast

In recent years, brunch culture is blooming in Singapore and everyone started selling breakfast platter. Majority of them are actually mediocre and seeing all-day breakfast on the menu does not excites me as much as before.

However, Lola’s breakfast platter brought back some excitement to the term “All-day breakfast”. Unlike some restaurants that charge for the sky, Lola’s is at a reasonable nett price of $15.

Their honey glazed ham and bacon is outstanding with a tinge of char-grilled flavour by torch flaming it for a slightly charred outlook. The scrambled egg is creamy and well-flavoured with a runny texture. If there is one thing to improve, they can increase the quantity of the bread for a fuller meal.

Butter Croissant ($13 nett)

Melted Cheddar Cheese, Sliced Ham, Pan Fried Bacon, Scrambled Egg wrapped in a lettuce and freshly toasted Croissant.I love the Croissant. Cripsy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Each mouthful is sinfully good with chunks of egg and melted cheese.

This dish not exactly an exciting option, but Lola’s manage to bring together people’s all time favourite ingredients and made it into something better. The only complain is it’s served on a flat wooden pan. Although it looks nice on photo, the crumbles of the Croissant fell all over the place and was really untidy. There’s gap on the table top so these crumble even fell onto my legs.

Paparika Honey Wings

This is a highly recommended dish by many fellow Singaporeans. It was sold out when I went there for brunch so i returned on another day’s evening for this. The garlicky wings are well marinated and lightly battered and it’s served piping hot. The exterior is really cripsy while the interior retains it’s tender juicy texture. The added paprika powder is mild but yet adds a rich flavor to the wings and the final touch is completed by the sweet honey taste. Love every bite of the wings.

Dinner menu

While I’m back the second time, I ordered their dinner menu, but it was not as impressive as their breakfast menu.

The chicken burger ($14 nett) is rather mediocre and it’s marinated in a curry powder marinate with the bread spreaded with aioli. The only good thing is for the tenderness of the patty and the generous amount of fries.

The Bacon and Mushroom Spaghetti in Truffle Cream Sauce ($14 nett) is not bad though not impressive and probably is my favourite among the mains that I had. The pasta is creamy rich with a generous amount of mushroom but can be better as the truffle taste is not strong enough.

Duck Leg with Honey Mustard Sauce ($16 nett) The Duck leg is well-cooked, but i can’t accept the supposed Honey Mustard Sauce that is drizzled on the duck. If you enjoy sour and sweet sauce on your duck, then likely you can accept this dish better than me.

Their Banger and Mash is an all-day dish but I find comfort in this dish after a few not-so-exciting experience of their main courses. The sausage is the same as the breakfast platter.

Conclusion

It’s a pity that their dinner menu is not as good as it’s breakfast menu so sadly only Lola’s breakfast menu works for me. You can see many youngsters pantronizing Lola’s as it probably has something to do with Lola’s affordable pricing as well as their sinfully good side dishes.

Truffle Fries ($12 nett) with grated parmesan cheese

Judging from the waiting time, having Lola’s in the vicinity is definitely a move welcome by the residents of Kovan. However, that also means that instead of being the place to chill and hang out, it became a eat-and-pay-your-bill as there are much people waiting for a seat. On top of that, Lola’s tables are very close to one another and is rather cramp. As such, my conclusion is – Dinner? So so. Place to relax and chill? Not really. Brunch? Yes.

St. Marc Cafe – Simple and delightful pleasure

St. Marc Cafe (Vivo Branch)

Address: 1 Harbourfront Walk #01-108-110 Vivo City

Opening hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm (Mon to Thu, Sun) 10:00am – 10:30pm (Fri, Sat)

St. Marc Cafe (Marina Square Branch)

Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard #02-105/184/185 Marina Square

Opening hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm (Everyday)

Introduction

There are two branches in Singapore and i personally prefers the Marina Square branch as it is more spacious with a larger seating capacity, so there’s no or little waiting time to get a seat. This branch is only opposite Lady M Confections. I was attracted by the colorful display of their desserts outside their shop and decided to have a try.

Click to enlarge

St. Marc Cafe mainly serve bread, pasty, sandwiches, soft serve and their most popular Chococro and Little Fuji. Their soft serve dessert mainly range from S$6.30 for the little Fuji to S$8.80 for their Choco Banana Split. I thought St. Marc Cafe is an ideal place to have rest and to re-energise myself with a quick sugar boost.

St. Marc Cafe’s items are not exactly the most premium or the most special of all. However, their simple and yet delightful dishes are the reasons why i re-visited this cafe again. It’s the piping hot Chococro chocolate filling that attracted me back, and the crispy biscuit-like crust of the Little Fuji that made me want to visit this place again.

Little Fuji – S$6.30

I actually think this is one of the star of the show of St. Marc Cafe. Many people are either ordering this Little Fuji, or the Choco Banana Fuji, with added chocolate sauce and banana.

So what exactly is the Little Fuji? It’s a freshly toasted buttery flavor croissant dough with soft serve with caramel sauce. There is always at 5 to 10 minutes of waiting time for this Little Fuji and to collect at the counter when it’s ready.  Therefore Little Fuji is always served piping hot and it’s duper crispy.

It’s arguable that the ice-cream taste a little like McDonald’s but what does it matter when the combination of the croissant with soft serve is too good to nitpick.

The Signature Original Chococro (S$2.40)

By the name Chococro, it actually stands for Chocolate Croissant. Best part about this? When it’s freshly out from the oven, or at the minimum, it’s warm.

Somehow a pastry can’t go too wrong when there is warm molten hazelnut chocolate and warm crispy croissant involved.  This is quite an ideal snack to go with a cup of latte even if you are feeling a little full from a meal. The portion is just right, and the chocolate is not too greasy so it’s almost always a good time to have a Chococro.

Seasonal Flavor – Matcha Daifuku Chococro (S$2.60)

Daifuku (大福) literally means “Great Luck”. Daifuku is a Japanese confection consisting of a small round mochi stuffed with sweetened red bean paste. So a Matcha Daifuku Chococro is a actually a confection within a pastry. I initially thought the white filling is green bean paste but i think it’s actually mochi, and was stuff into the croissant together with the red bean paste and matcha cream. This is a rather interesting flavor which is not easily found elsewhere. Catch it before there’s a change in season.

Salsa Egg and Custard Bread (S$3.50)

Apart from sweet stuff, St. Marc also offers some savory items like sandwich and bread. There are actually plenty of ingredients in the Salsa Egg Bread – salsa sauce, mayonnaise, bacon slices, pepper and whole egg. It’s almost as good as it looks and only too bad the egg is quite well cooked. It would be best if the egg is only half cooked with the runny egg yolk. The price is also not exactly the cheapest in it’s class.

Custard Bread with Almond Flakes (S$2.60)

This bread is rather pricey at $2.60, but you will be able to tell the difference between a $2.60 and $1.50. The warm creamy custard flows out from the bread upon cutting it into two. Comparing to ordinary custard, this one has a stronger and aromatic milk taste. The bread’s texture is similar to Barcook’s Raisin Cheese but a little bit softer. This or Chococro at the same price of S$2.60? After some consideration, Chococro will be my choice! But this is actually not bad too.

Conclusion

I still ordered their Little Fuji or Chococro for my subsequent visits. I personally prefer their croissant dishes rather than their bread. St. Marc Cafe’s ambiance is very similar to Starbucks or Coffeebean kind of ambiance and can reasonably sit for as long as i like. The one thing i like about St. Marc Cafe is their patrons can get free cold water from their water dispenser. This means that i can get to rest in this cafe, and spending only S$2.60 on one Chococro, and to rehydrate myself for free.

Once again, i need to emphasis that St. Marc cafe is not offering the most special kind of pastry, or the nicest pastry in Singapore. Their dishes are some very safe recipe that can’t go wrong easily. I personally like them for the reasonable price and the overall comfort offered to their patrons. Sometimes, life’s simple pleasure can be the best kind.