Last week, Flock celebrated its first year anniversary. (Congrats!) The adage goes once a shop survives the first year, it’s safe. And it is with good reasons that Flock does well in a competitive neighborhood of cafés.
A fellow blogger commented Flock is the kind of cafe that you can wear slippers and be in your pyjamas and feel comfortable. Well, yes and no. It has a comfortable lazy Sunday afternoon vibe but the decor is sophisticated, walls lined with posters of literary classics. Ah! Finally, a non-hipster cafe. Comfortable, classy and with character, the unpretentious decor is already a cut above hipster cafés.
The affordable menu is clearly divided into sandwiches, pasta, and all day breakfast. The kitchen is run by sisters Edith and Elaine Lee, with the help of consultant chef Jimmy Chok, the godfather of “mod Sin” cuisine, or food with elements of Singaporean and Western flavors.
And indeed, the star, pulled pork gruyere sandwich ($13.90), tasted like a tua pao (pork bun) that essence was distilled into a panini. My eating companion observed, “It has everything, complex flavors and varying textures.” Cooked for two-and-an-half hours, the shredded tender pork had a sweet Asian flavor with fried shallot, made piquant by mustard mayo and creamy with a light cheese. On a scale of 1-10, this one scored a “freaking awesome.” MUST ORDER.
The other two dishes we had were satisfactory. The eggs sally ($15.90) were competent, poached eggs runny, hollandaise sauce pleasant. The bacon and poached egg spaghetti ($14.90), or carbonara, was a tad salty but had lots and lots of garlic, which we loved.
The cakes ($6.50-$7 a slice) are catered from Jacqui Co and Patisserie G. The crowd’s favorite is banoffee cake , which unfortunately was out when we were there. The chocolate cake was ok. It had a hint of salt, which brought out the sweetness in the chocolate. But I thought the sponge part monotonous, and the cake depended largely on the intense ganache, like how Destiny’s Child depended on Beyoncé.
Coffee is from Liberty Coffee, an elusive local coffee roaster that opens only once or twice a month or sometimes, not at all. The mocha ($6), with a gorgeous and intricate coffee art, was light-bodied and smooth with an almost imperceptible bitter note on its tail-end. Delicious.
Rating: 3.500/5 stars
Ps: thanks, Edith and Elaine, for the invite.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.