MOVED to: 80 Bencoolen Street NAFA Campus 1 #01-15 Wing A, 189655
I have this tee since 2013 to remind me to be an explorer. [photo credit: pinterest]
These days, bloggers only write when (1) they are invited to tastings; or (2) a new cafe pumps heavy publicity muscle, and bloggers quickly rush down to the newest, coolest cafe, hoping to be the first to blog about the cafe. (This hip, cool cafe theory doesn’t apply to restaurants strangely.)
In the end, all blogs post the same stuff, defeating the purpose of blogging. Isn’t a blog suppose to document your individuality, personality, and life experiences? What uniqueness is there when everyone writes on the same thing? Bloggers should be explorers, not sheep.
Because of the recent phenomenon of Sheep-Bloggers, many outstanding cafes that are quietly and passionately working are neglected. Cafes such as Hang Out Cafe.
Formerly known as Burpz Cafe, Hang Out Cafe isn’t as technologically savvy as other cafes; they didn’t invite bloggers for tastings nor did they tag bloggers randomly on their instagram. (Please don’t tag me, I’ll report as spam.) It sits at a far-flung corner of Ang Mo Kio, inaccessible by MRT. But I visited twice because there was a warmth in the decor and service. It felt like I was a guest at a new friend’s home.
They serve the usual brunch food, which I eschew, because there is no craft in scrambling eggs, and I’m not paying $14 for eggs that I can buy at NTUC for $1. We went for their signatures, Cajun chicken burger ($11.90, change normal fries to truffle fries +$2) and see-food marinara spaghetti ($15.90). Not bad: chicken was well marinated and tender; the marinara had a good balance of acidity so it wasn’t too sour. The spaghetti was slightly past al dente, but I like nuah pasta, so it was fine for me.
A cafe once lied to me, saying they baked their own cakes when their cakes were catered. But at Hang Out Cafe, when I asked them if they baked their own desserts, they honestly replied that some are catered, some their own. So we tried the catered and theirs. The waffle ($11.90) is a must-order, pretty mindblowing. It was crispy outside, fluffy inside, and the surface was grainy, which gave a nice texture. The catered carrot cake ($6.50) divided us: I liked its rusticity–you could still see shreds of carrot–but Huccalyly didn’t. The dark chocolate tart ($6.50), baked in-house, was so-so.
Latte ($4.50) – Smooth and easy to drink
There is something about Hang Out cafe that I like very much. The food is not fantastic, but it is sincere, homely, satisfying, and comes piping hot. You can tell the cafe people are quietly doing their best, creating a cafe of their own style. There is charm and beauty in their work; this is the kind of cafe that we should support, rave over, and blog about. We spent $45 for two persons. No GST, no service charge.
Blk 603 Ang Mo Kio Ave 5 #01-2661 560603
T: +65 6456 3376
T – F 11am-10pm, Weekends 10am-10pm, closed Mon
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.