[SG] Common Man Coffee Roasters | sumptuous brunch menu to satisfy

Monday, August 25, 2014

While Common Man is known more for their coffee (check out our coffee cupping session where we'd learnt so much!), their brunch menu also has an extensive list of delicious-sounding dishes that got us tempted to try! Prior to this tasting session, we'd visited Common Man on a Sunday and without saying, there was a really long queue.

Having tried their melt-in-your-mouth braised ox cheeks in Organic Eggs Benedict, abundant Common Man Full Breakfast and refreshing Crab Salad, we have been planning a second visit and we gladly return this time round to try some of their other dishes!

Green Pea Fritters | S$22/++
with two poached organic eggs, crispy pancetta & balsamic syrup 

Two poached eggs sat nicely on top of green pea fritters and the pancetta which is an Italian bacon made of pork belly, surrounded by rocket leaves. We loved the crispiness of the bacon which had a nice layer of fats and with perfect caramelisation, it was paired with sweet balsamic syrup to deliver a stronger punch of flavours. The green pea fritters tasted like a homemade version with an extra touch of seasoning.

Turkish Common Man Breakfast | S$25/++
phyllo-wrapped soft-boiled organic egg, crispy feta, fresh cucumbers & tomatoes, olives & hummus, with pita bread 

I was surprised by the soft-boiled egg tucked underneath in the fried thread-like nest ball. The egg yolk lava oozed out immediately as we gently sliced it apart. The phyllo pastry here was a bit different from the traditional version which usually is a dough of paper-thin sheets invented by the Turks, it was a gimmick to create the wrap in silk form. We loved the textures of the thin crisp wrap with the wobbly soft-boiled egg hidden within! 

On the sides, the strong-flavour feta cheese that wrapped in a thin crispy batter was certainly for cheese lovers, however expect a sharp and tangy taste from the sheep's milk. We however found the pita bread to be quite a misfit on the plate, as there weren't sauces to dip and we had to scoop ingredients from other dishes to consume together.

Common Man Veggie Wonderland | S$25/++
Two free-range organic sunny side up eggs, halloumi, spinach, grilled tomatoes, Portbello mushrooms, avocado, lemon & chilli, with artisanal sourdough toast

We really enjoyed the beautiful free-range organic eggs they served here, while we knew that it's not easy to source such top quality eggs in Singapore. A further component that caught my attention was another Greek-Turkish creation - halloumi, which is a semi-soft, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk. I liked the crispness on the outside and chewy on the inside after it's fried. In addition to that, it's an excellent cheese used in cooking for frying or grilling without melting owing to its higher-than-normal melting point.

A drawback would be the sourdough crust which was a tad too hard for our liking, which made it hard to cut through or bite. Other than that, everything was well-seasoned and cooked to perfection.

Fish Burger | S$24/++
House-made fish patty, creamy coconut bok choy, grilled tomatoes, romaine & tartare sauce on a fluffy brioche bun, served with rocket salad

What was interesting about this burger was the vegetables sandwiched in the middle - Chinese cabbage 'bok choy' substituted for the commonly used lettuce. Filled with coconut aroma to lend flavours to the dish, it gave an oriental twist to otherwise western dish.

Coupled with a good seasoning, the fish patty was made with fresh fillet and had a nice crisp crumb on the outside. The flavours were elevated by the classic tartare sauce. We liked the fact that the brioche bun was light and puffy and the base bun was not soggy.

Grilled juicy "chilli" boneless chicken | S$25/++
with crushed avocado salsa & caramelised onion

A Mediterranean-inspired dish, the chicken fillets were well marinated to the right degree of spiciness and grilled to perfection with clearly defined grilled lines on the fillets. The charred and blistered lemon added robust acidity and concentrated floral sweetness to the tender and juicy chicken.

The spicy and savoury chicken fillet paired with sweet and sour lemon, flavourful mashy avocado salsa, sweet caramelised onion and bitter rocket salad, was nicely done to contain all five key flavours in one dish.

Organic Eggs Benedict | S$24/++
tender braised ox cheeks, two poached organic eggs & chives hollandaise, with artisanal sourdough toast

Trying this dish for the second time, it still managed to impress our palate. I loved the orange-coloured creamy egg yolk which burst from the thin layer of egg white of these poached eggs. We would have preferred a more generous portion of the Hollandaise sauce.

The braised ox cheeks hiding in the rocket forest was tender and flavoursome, which complemented the sourdough toast that carried a hint of acidity from the long fermentation process.

Crab Salad | S$26/++
with wild rocket, romaine, endive, sugar snaps, avocado, mint, pomegranate & caper crumbs, in a yuzu mango mint dressing

The fresh and generous crab meat, as well as the different varieties of ingredients added justified the price of this dish. Texture and flavour wise were done exceptionally well, tenderness from the crab; crisp texture and mild bitterness from the wild rocket, romaine and endive; crunchiness and sweetness from sugar snaps and pomegranate; creaminess and nutty flavour from avocado; salty and tangy from caper crumbs; and lastly topping off with sweet, zesty and refreshing yuzu mango mint dressing, half of a lime on the side could be added if you desire more sourness. It's definitely a dish that I would go back for!

Common Man Pancakes | S$20/++
fluffy pancakes, caramelised bananas & walnuts, salted caramel sauce, nutty crumble & berry coulis

If you like nutty food, this is certainly for you! My fondness for this dessert grew as the unusual pancake had a denser texture than the otherwise thin fluffier pancake you normally get out there. The chef comes into the kitchen and prepares the secret batter during midnight.

I enjoyed the starchy taste, and the combination of sweet bananas, salty caramel sauce, crunchy nuts and sweet and sour berry coulis was so good that I couldn't stop eating!

Common Man Churros | S$12/++
sugar-dusted, softer on the inside and served with luscious chocolate sauce

This was another dish that they did some tweaking to the usual recipe. Compared to the normal-sized churros, this was chewier and softer on the inside with a mochi-like texture; it was also fatter than normal churro in appearance. Again, some might prefer the traditional one and vice versa.

For me, I like the fragrant cinnamon powder coating and the crunchy texture on the outside and chewy on the inside. If there's more chocolate sauce served then it's perfect!

With a partnership between Harry Grover (owner of Forty Hands), Five Senses Coffee (Australia), and the Spa Esprit Group, CMCR aims to "serve a menu of bistro-quality food that promises to be on par with its top-notch coffee". I personally felt that their down-to-earth food was indeed a much higher quality with putting fresh and organic elements on the plate compared to many cafés in Singapore. So, this also justified the bistro price they charge. Noting that the atmosphere was kind of noisy with playing loud music at the back when the café was full. But then after a chat with Harry, he actually wants his café to be exactly the way it is now, happening and vibrant. He is also considering renovating the café to have more tables and seats. So let's stay tuned!

On a side note, they just launched their Common Man Green Project on 3rd August 2014, a farmer's market introducing and educating public on the concept of sustainable farming and foods with a line-up of locally produced artisanal products! This is the first and they're aiming to having it on every Sunday of the month!

Overall Verdict: 8.0/10

Common Man Coffee Roasters
22 Martin Road #01-00 
6836 4695

You Might Also Like