The Populus Coffee & Food Co (the name’s a mouthful) opened around six months ago in a shophouse along Neil road. The long narrow space has been carefully redesigned using a lot of wood, from the ceiling and wall tiles to the counter, complemented by modern metal accents like the industrial lighting and iron shelving. The tables look like textured grey fabric, a nice design touch that makes it seem as if there’s a table cloth. Their tableware (plates, bowls, cups, sugar containers) have also been carefully chosen with a minimalistic touch making the space a beautifully-designed spot to hang out and have a coffee.
As soon as you step inside the Populus, you know what they specialize in from the wonderful aroma of roasted coffee beans which come from 2 Degrees North Coffee Co. Several types of coffee are available – from the usual espresso, cappuccino, latte with both full cream, low fat or soy milk and flavoring, plus bottles of single origin cold drip and a white brew using their three in-house blends: Monolith (comforting & reassuring), Caldera (uplifting & refreshing) and the Duxton Vice (cheeky & adventurous). Filter coffee is also served with six types to choose from. For those not so much into coffee, they serve a rich Valrhona chocolate, iced or hot, and a selection of smoothies, fresh juices and botanical soft drinks from Fentiman’s.
For a small cafe, the menu is quite large. I prefer the weekday menu which has a selection of breakfast specials along with healthy grain bowls and donburi plus a few pastas and sandwiches. There are three ice cream sundaes and a buttermilk waffle for dessert. The weekend menu has more egg dishes and less of the main courses and since they’re usually packed from early morning, some dishes are sold out by early evening.
On my first mid-morning visit, I had their fluffy scrambled eggs with a perfect piccolo latte and a large fresh orange juice. For lunch recently, I had the teriyaki salmon donburi, a petite portion of teriyaki-glazed salmon served on seasoned Japanese rice, furikake, nanban vegetables and an onsen egg. On another weekend evening, my husband & I shared their avocado superfood green platter (kale, broccoli, avocado and spinach with feta and cottage cheese) and the Portobello mushroom grain bowl with furikake baby corn, red cabbage & apple slaw, roasted zucchini, roasted butternut squash, sautéed cherry tomatoes, L&P mixed mushrooms. It’s a good place for healthy eaters since there’s quite a few dishes that are just vegetables and/or grains. I’m looking forward to my next meal at the Populus since there’s still a lot on the menu I haven’t tried plus a few several coffee concoctions I’d like to sample.
146 Neil Road, Singapore
Telephone: +65 6635 8420
Mon & Wed 09:00 – 19:00
Thu & Fri 09:00 – 22:30
Sat 09:30 – 22:30
Sun 09:30 – 19:00