Food Quality: 8/10
Value for money: 7.5/10
Among the slew of new cafes listed by Asiaone as cafes high in hipster quotient, I think Lola’s Cafe has the best chance of flourishing in the long term. (Except Butter Studio which I can’t comment as it is the only one on the list I have not been too).
On the decor front, its hipster quotient is on par with many other cafes. It has the usual chalkboard mission/vision. It has frames that are organized chaotically on the left wall as you enter, that to me, symbolizes many different windows of opportunities. Given that this vintage cafe is opened by 2 young budding entrepreneurs, co-owners Foo Choo Kiat, 26, and June Tan, 24, I do think they have many windows of opportunities ahead of them if they keep up the cafe quality. These are the reasons I think they are a sustainable business:
1) Great quality food and desserts, and not too pricey with no GST
2) Amazing beer and cider selection for the cafe size
3) Decent coffee and friendly staff (though the young staff seemed unsure – maybe because they just opened for 5 months)
4) Relatively good location near the MRT
5) Active facebook page – lots of content for a new cafe
The only thing I find quite confusing is their queuing system. They do not take reservations, but they will “pre-queue” for you 30 mins before hand, so time your visit properly and be on time, otherwise, your table is likely to be passed as I think the cafe can only sit up to 30pax max. If you are not calling beforehand, they have a machine outside so you can take a queue number and walk around, and they will sms your phone when your table is ready. What I found really impressive though, is if you do make a prior reservation, on the actual day, 1 hour before, I got a call from an automated machine asking me to press “1” to confirm my booking, “2” to cancel etc. (Note to owners: if you can, allow an option to take to the operator because I want to change my timing and I didn’t have that option).
Good selection of beers and ciders
The #9 not so pale ale was the boys’ favourite, and it even came with a matching-print glass. I had the Lindemans Apple which was sweet and refreshing; my usual kind of drink!
3 of us ended up ordering the same dish – Sunny-Side Stacked Sandwich (8.5/10). This is 3 healthy toasted wholemeal bread, stacked with ham, tomato, cheese, avocado, bacon and a sunny side egg. It was yummylicious at $12, which is much more value than many other brunch places.
Rich Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Tart with Kahlua Coffee Cream (7/10)
Overall tasty and above average. However, the sea salt was only sprinkled (see below pic) and couldn’t really taste its blend with the chocolate in the tart itself. The Kahlua was also rather weak in the coffee cream taste. But still tasty and rich chocolate flavoured on the whole
Flat White (6/10)
Decent flavours but not outstanding for me as I find the beans flavour not coming through strongly despite it being a flat white already (vs latte); still very milky. But also decent prices at $4.50. Good to go with desserts.
I would head back to try their mains and more desserts! If you like Lola’s, another new hipster joint I would recommend is Brawn and Brains, another small unassuming cafe with great coffee, food and service to boot!
Address: 5 Simon Road, Tuesdays to Sundays
Operating Hours: 11am to midnight; closed on Mondays