d’Good Cafe @ Holland Village

Hey everyone!

Being a location that is highly frequented by (presumably) well-to-do expatriates and very cultured locals (remember the Samantha incident?) has certainly shaped Holland Village into the very happening and classy place it is today. Therefore, for people like me who live in the west and don’t like to venture too far out, Holland Village immediately comes to mind when we think of hipster food like Eggs Benedict because of the abundance of brunch cafes there.

As mentioned in my PARK review, I will be taking you through some of the cafes I lunched at with my colleagues within the Holland Village area during my 6-month internship stint (which ended in June). You probably have read numerous reviews about them since they are not exactly new set-ups but how accurate are they, considering that some of them might be written as far back as three years ago when the cafes first established?

d'Good Cafe

d’Good Cafe

Blown away by the largely positive feedback on blogs and review websites, my colleagues and I decided to pay d’Good Cafe a visit for lunch one day. It was a calm and peaceful afternoon at the three-storey cafe with only a handful of diners in sight on the third level. Majority of them were students buried in books (yes, it’s a study-friendly place) and a hungry few would occasionally take a short study break to order finger food at the cashier downstairs.

Cute lil figurines along the stairway

Cute lil figurines along the stairway

D'Good Cafe dining area

D’Good Cafe dining area

Photo-worthy ornaments at the alfresco dining area

Photo-worthy ornaments at the alfresco dining area

Everything there was self-service, even the delivering of food to the table. My poor colleagues who had kindly volunteered to do the ordering (while the rest dealt with other tasks) had to travel back and forth between the third and the first floor – the first round to order and make payment and the subsequent rounds to collect the food (all appetisers, mains and desserts for the 9 of us). It took them at least three rounds before all the orders were completed because of the varying preparation times for different dishes. It’s such a silly system, don’t you think?

I mean, I am fully aware of the growing labour crunch that the food and beverage industry is facing but I couldn’t fathom why, in this day and age, a relatively popular cafe like d’Good would be unable to invest in the latest technology, like purchasing wireless handheld devices so that customers can send their orders to the cashier without having to leave their seats (and save a trip)? Or at least come up with a simple order chit to facilitate the ordering process, especially when it involves multiple orders? Despite its fascinating and modern decor, the cafe is so unbelievably backward.

And that’s not all.

Iced water is complimentary at the cafe but one has to take the stairs (lift was not in operation that day like seriously) to the ground floor to get them. There were no jugs and only average-sized plastic cups were available! Imagine having to go back down and up two storeys again if you need to refill your cup?! That’s intense workout man! I wouldn’t recommend people with mobility difficulties to dine at this cafe.

Ground level

Ground level

Having gone through all the unnecessary inconvenience, our lunch obviously didn’t start on a good note. We thought maybe the food would be marvelous enough to override all our dissatisfaction and we would eventually leave this place with a happy tummy. After all, that’s what most reviews we had read seemed to suggest.

But no.

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Eggs Benedict (S$13.50+) – “Two poached eggs are nestled on brioche & bacon and drizzled with homemade Hollandaise sauce. The salad on the side completes the eggs-trodinary morning boost”

My Eggs Benedict came looking like someone had stolen a huge portion of my Hollandaise sauce. In the most unappetising yellow, it looked miserable and diluted, a far cry from what I had at PARK and other cafes (of similar price range) prior to this. I also couldn’t believe that a piece of cheap-looking toasted white bread (what brioche??) was served in place of the English muffins, not forgetting the ridiculously small portion too. Although my mood was already partly dampened because of the presentation, I thought, okay, maybe it wouldn’t taste that bad. I picked up my cutlery and gleefully readied myself for the little yolk explosion that was to come.

MY OOZING YOLK LEH???

MY OOZING YOLK LEH???

But lo and behold! Huge disappointment overcame me when nothing oozed out as the tip of my knife sliced through the middle. I went into a frenzy of rage when I saw the overcooked poached egg and the entirely hard and dry yolk. Without the runny yolk to combine with the (awful) Hollandaise sauce, my meal was ruined. The bacon tasted slightly cold and raw too. Argh, needless to say, I didn’t enjoy my food at all. The money is better spent on 4 sets of Kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs from a nearby Kopitiam which would most probably taste a million times better than this overpriced nonsense 😡

Lava Chocolate Cake (S$5.00++ or S$3.00++ as add-on)

Lava Chocolate Cake (S$5.00++ a la carte or S$3.00++ as an add-on)

Sans Lava Chocolate Cake

Sans Lava Chocolate Cake

The dessert I ordered was also a letdown. Contrary to its name, the chocolate within the Lava Chocolate Cake was nowhere near molten and gooey. It was overcooked once again hence the dense and bumpy texture. Its only saving grace was the decadently rich taste.

Still, can somebody enlighten me? Why the vast disparity between the reviews (which praised their food to the high heavens) and reality? Am I missing out on something?

Bangers and Mash

Colleague’s order: Bangers and Mash (S$12+) – “Plump and juicy Cumberland and smoked chicken sausages are grilled and served on a bed of soft mash potato with crunchy potato bits and finished off with caramelised onion”

I didn’t get to try the sausages but according to my cooking enthusiast colleague, it was alright. I wouldn’t blow 12 bucks on 2 pieces of sausages (not like they were really gigantic) which wouldn’t keep me satiated through the next few hours in the office though.

Bacon Carbonara

Colleagues’ order: Bacon Carbonara (S$15+) – “Linguine served with pork bacon in mixed herb tomato sauce”

If you’re looking to satisfy your Italian appetite, d’Good does serve pretty decent Carbonara. I tried a spoonful of my colleague’s Bacon Carbonara and really loved the creaminess but the taste gradually became heavier with more mouthfuls and you end up feeling sick of it. My colleague didn’t finish her Carbonara in the end.

Another colleague ordered Chicken Tikka Masala (Indian-spiced chicken stew with Japanese rice) as well but I didn’t manage to snap a picture of it because she was seated at the far end of the table. Before I could react she had already dug her fork into the chicken meat 😛 I vaguely remember it looked delicious and the portion was quite generous.

All in all, I think d’Good is an overrated (sorry!) cafe serving subpar food at inflated prices. It’s probably only popular because of its lovely and beautifully whimsical decor and latte art which are both very Instagram-worthy (hence words spread fast like wildfire). But now that I’ve tasted the food, I kinda doubt the credibility of any positive reviews (like, y’know, the 4-star rating on Facebook) about this cafe. Therefore I don’t see myself returning to try other stuff on the menu unless I see visible improvements (will be keeping a lookout for food pictures on Instagram). Honestly, my Eggs Benedict was so bad, it was a shame! :\

That’s all for my review! Share with me your thoughts in the comments below if you’ve been to d’Good Cafe 🙂

+ All prices are not inclusive of 7% GST

d’Good Cafe
273 Holland Ave
#02-01/02
Singapoe 278992
Tel: 62199807
Website | Facebook

PARK @ Holland Village

Hey guys!

My internship officially ended and apart from the fulfilling and rewarding experience I’ve gained from this opportunity (will talk more about my experience in my upcoming University post), I was also exposed to many great eats at Holland Village which is just an MRT stop away from where I worked. Holland Village is known for its eclectic mix of restaurants and cafés, making it a favourite haunt for foodies as well as working adults from nearby places like Buona Vista. Therefore, it is usually bustled with people (including students from schools around the area) especially during lunch hour.

Despite living in the Western side of Singapore all my life, I hardly travel to Holland Village so most of the food establishments there were new to me. But thanks to my wonderful colleagues who seemed to be a lot more well-versed in food trends than me, I now know where to head to when I crave for affordable Eggs Benedict or any American breakfast dish in general. Seriously, there’s a lot of cafés and restaurants selling such hipster food at Holland Village so naturally prices are kept to a reasonable level to keep up with the competition (all clustered at the same area). *secretly happy*

So, my young colleague friends (actually also interns like I was) brought me to this rather popular café that is apparently owned by local television and film actor Adam Chen. If you’re familiar with the place, you should know which establishment I am referring to because there’s only one celebrity-owned café there lah.

Yup, it’s PARK. Unlike its direct competitors D’Good Cafe (will review soon) and Hatched, it’s very conspicuously located beside the traffic intersection at the open junction of Holland Avenue and Holland Road. I remember seeing it a few years back when I was at Holland Village but it was closed (was on a Monday) so I never got the chance to visit it. After a long wait, my chance is finally here!

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PARK @ Holland Village

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PARK @ Holland Village

Indoor seating can be quite limited and it fills up fast especially during peak hours. Outdoor seating is available but I’m not fond of those tall chairs placed outside as I don’t like the idea of having my legs hanging free (and not forgetting they make getting down a whole lot more troublesome).

I think it’s also worth mentioning (to the boys) that the ladies who served us were friendly and… exceptionally pretty. Ah, eye candies to ogle on top of the good food offered at PARK. You’re guaranteed to have a smashing good time there! 😀

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(Friend’s order) Steamed Milk with some really old school biscuits

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Steamed Milk

If you’re yearning for a drink that is sweet and comforting yet healthier than the usual hot coffee or chocolate, perhaps Steamed Milk would make a great choice! It’s something I seldom see on the beverage menu as a standalone item too because it’s usually a dessert, like Steamed Milk custard, right?

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(Friend’s order) Eclair – maybe a new addition because it’s not found on the menu online

This is strictly for huge eclair lovers only because it’s nothing special really, just a blown-up refrigerated eclair.

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Truffle Fries (S$11++)

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Truffle Fries – “Our perennial favorite of fries tossed with white truffle oil and paste, sprinkled with a layer of parmesan cheese.

My colleagues and I had been to PARK together twice and both times we ordered the truffle fries because we really loved it! Depending on personal preferences, I love it for the added generous amount of truffle oil and of course, the grated cheese that melded beautifully with it. The fries were perfectly crispy as well and remained that way towards the end. However I do feel that it’s slightly overpriced because I could get equally good (or even better) and a way bigger portion elsewhere for the same price (or top up $4 for Truffle Shoestring Fries, that’s impossible to finish, at P.S. Cafe). Nonetheless, it’s probably the best truffle fries at Holland Village if you don’t wish to travel so far to satisfy your craving.

park-holland-v-16

Park Wings (S$9.50++)

We ordered the wings on our first visit and didn’t like them as they really tasted meh – overly dry, bland and lacked the distinctive flavours of the “variety of spices” (really interested to know what kind of spices were used though because I generally love anything with spices) stated on the menu. You wouldn’t want to reach for the second piece after the first and it didn’t help that we kinda overordered and were satiated by the time we finished out mains. But determined not to waste any food, a few of us forced ourselves to finish the wings. It was a torment. 😐

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(Friend’s order) Baked Eggs with Chorizo Sausage in Cocotte (S$15.50++)

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Baked Eggs with Chorizo Sausage in Cocotte – “Baked free range eggs, chorizo sausage, tomato sauce, and vegetables in casserole. Served with rosti, mushrooms, mixed greens, bacon and grilled tomato.”

This is undoubtedly one of the more popular dishes at PARK but I didn’t get to try it because I was too engrossed in my own food. Still, my friend only had good things to say about it and just looking at the pictures (and the ingredients – gosh, that’s a lot of stuff in there) can already make you salivate. I mean, you can never go wrong with runny baked eggs 😉

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Egg Royale (S$16.50++)

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Egg Royale – “Poached egg sit on toast, snow pea and smoked salmon, mixed greens, rosti potato, and sautéed mushrooms, served with home-made hollandaise” One thing not mentioned in the description is the unlimited supply of streaky bacon that came with the dish.

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Egg Royale

Perfectly runny eggs, thick and satiny Hollandaise sauce coupled with a heaping serving of healthy sides which I could never finish (oh là là the grilled cherry tomatoes that burst with juiciness in your mouth). The streaky bacon was way too much and slightly overdone. But on the overall, the dish was good and worth the money. And to prove my unwavering love for the Egg Royale, I actually ordered the same thing on both visits.

Apart from Egg Royale, there are also the standard Eggs Benedict and Egg Florentine (don’t know why only the “eggs” in Eggs Benedict is in plural form oops sorry for the grammar nazism) which really impressed me because finally we have a cafe that knows the different variations of Eggs Benedict. Click here to read more on the different types of Eggs Benny and be enlightened. You’re welcome.

Right after our hearty and satisfying lunch, we figured that we had some time and energy for camwhoring (we kinda devoted most of our Friday afternoons to intensive camwhoring sessions, especially after I bought a new selfie camera). Please bear with me while I share with you three of my favourite wefie shots outside PARK!

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Too much free time after lunch

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Everyone loves to camwhore using my camera hahaha

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❤ Miss this group of people so much!

And that’s about it!

Thanks for reading 🙂

PARK
281 Holland Ave
#01-01
Singapore 208996
For reservations, SMS no. of pax, time
and date of booking to +65 9721 3815 or
email info@parkgroup.com.sg
Operating hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays, Sundays – 11:00am – 12:00am,
Fridays and Saturdays – 11:00am – 2:00 am,
(kitchen may close a few hours prior to official closing)
Closed on Mondays
Website | Menu | Facebook