Pacamara, Upper Thomson Road: Cafe of the Year?

pacamara singapore reviewNamed after El Salvadorean beans, Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters is a union of Oz Specialty Coffee and Thailand’s Pacamara Coffee. Two expert egg-pornographers, gninethree and Daniel Food Diary, told us privately that Pacamara is the best cafe in 2014—it opened in late October—so six of us, Pinkypiggu and partner, SgFoodonFoot, Dairy & Cream, and @ironsage, frisked down.

pacamara cafe upper thomson reviewConveniently located at a corner, beside a quiet large carpark, sunlight streamed into the whitewashed walls and wooden tables, making this café highly instagrammable.

pacamara singapore priceMuch of the coffee beans here are sourced from Thailand as the Thai owner Chartree Treelertkul—hey there are two “tree” in his name, so environmentally friendly—supports his local community. My iced long black ($4.50) was thin and acidic, but it wasn’t the bad kind; it was smooth and easy to drink. Rather good: not the best coffee I had but better than most cafes’.

pacamara boutique coffee roasters singaporeThere are two menus: brunch (9am-4pm) and dinner (5-9pm), and not many items on each menu: sides, pastas, salads, and the usual café fare. For sides, the truffle fries ($8) weren’t truffley enough, but the deep fried wings ($8) were decent. The monotonous quinoa salad ($15) could do with more texture and tastes: adding nuts and cheese may do wonders.

pacamara thomson priceThe truffle eggs benedict ($18) came highly recommended with its free-ranged eggs, but, like the truffle fries, there wasn’t an aroma of truffle. Perhaps they were rationing their truffle oil that day. The mild hollandaise wasn’t tart enough, but, overall, a pleasing dish.

pacamara cafe singapore menuSkip the terrible red velvet pancakes ($16), which looked sensational but was dull and dry. The salted caramel banana French toast ($16) stole the show for all 6 of us. An orgy of umami: sweet, salty, buttery, with a textured toast not soggy.

pacamara upper thomson road menuThe ovenbaked 5-cheese macaroni ($18) was unfortunately dry. Many items here depended on truffle oil, including this macaroni which was supposed to be drizzled with it, and yet we tasted none.

pacamara sgCons: Perhaps they were busy that day—a full house with a long waiting list—that truffle oil wasn’t enough, and the service could be flustered and brusque. A small and unimaginative menu.

Despite the minor faults, the café scores well with me. Maybe because I was eating with my makan kakis, maybe because I was easily satisfied with the toast and coffee. In any case, this affordable café deserves another visit, on a less crowded weekday when, perhaps, truffle oil will flow as freely as tears in a Korean drama. One can only dream. We spent $120 for 6 people.

Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters Singapore

185 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574333
9am-11pm, Closed Mon
Rating: 3.344/5 stars

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Categories: $20-$40, Brunch, Cafe, Dates, Thomson, Western

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