Atlas Coffeehouse Review
When I first heard that Assembly Coffee closed earlier last year, I was upset as it was one of my favourite cafés. I miss it fondly for its unassuming and rustic atmosphere, its savoury coffee and famous waffles — I am sure many people can sympathise.
Fortunately for everybody, the same folks behind Assembly opened up Atlas Coffeehouse nearby at Duke’s Road. Located not too far from school, it is a mere 5-minute walk from Botanic Gardens MRT, making it extremely convenient if you’re need of a good cuppa after class. After almost a year of operation, the place has grown popular with residents nearby and students. Business is thriving and it is not uncommon to see the café fully packed, especially on the weekends — one time, I had to queue for nearly an hour just to get a seat.
In fact, business is so good that Atlas that you can reserve seats online on Chope, and call for delivery via Deliveroo. Consequently, Atlas is now GST-registered (IRAS why you do this!), which gives you a rough idea of just how well they are doing.
Atlas revitalises and updates its menu frequently in a bid to keep it fresh and interesting. One of the dishes that caught my eye was the Salmon Soba Noodles ($18).
The noodles were springy and lightly dressed in soya sauce. The mushrooms and fried egg were extremely fresh and added to the vibrancy of this healthy dish. Unfortunately, the salmon was slightly undercooked and rather bland. (Hopefully, this was just my own bad luck!)
Thankfully, some of their other dishes were significantly better. The Summer Chicken Stew ($18) took my breath away.
The stew tasted as good as it looked. The chicken thigh was cooked to perfection — tender, juicy and flavourful. The dish was well-seasoned with herbs which served to enhance its overall flavour. The broth was my favourite part: it was rich and vibrant, leaving a warm, comforting sensation in your body with each sip. The broth was a tad bit salty, but I was nonetheless impressed by the flavour and freshness of the ingredients used, and its beautiful presentation. The Summer Chicken Stew will definitely serve as good comfort food for those seeking something hearty to feast on.
I looked around to see what other people were ordering, and could not help but try the Low & Slow Pulled Pork ($20) for myself.
Again, I was impressed by the presentation and freshness of the ingredients. The flavour was nothing to rave about, but I was pleasantly surprised by the large portion served. The generous helping of pork made for an incredibly filling and satisfying meal.
Atlas’ lunch fare may be decent in its own right, but I think their desserts definitely take the cake. The sweet-toothed will enjoy indulging in the wide range of decadent cakes and pastries, or treat themselves to mouth-watering waffles. But if one of their desserts had to take the crown, it would definitely be the Butterscotch Banana Pancake ($18.50) — the one to rule them all.
Each pancake is made fresh, to order, and requires a minimum waiting time of 15 minutes. The juxtaposition of the warm, fluffy pancake and cool, creamy ice-cream was perfect. Served together with slices of fresh banana, every bite melted in your mouth and burst with rich goodness. The cornflakes added crunch to each bite, adding contrast in texture. Absolutely sinful and filling, but so damn good. The dish was recently endorsed in the Straits Times as one of the best pancakes in Singapore. Believe me when I say this — you have not visited Atlas unless you have tried their Butterscotch Banana Pancake.
Atlas’ coffee beans are supplied by Two Degrees North Coffee Co., the same people behind Populus Coffee Food & Co. at Outram Park (another excellent café to check out). It is thus no surprise that the coffee is excellent. For a coffee freak like myself, I’m eternally grateful that good coffee lies just around the corner whenever I’m in need of a quick fix.
I ordered my usual Espresso ($3.50) and was served with their standard blend from Guatemala and Brazil — bright with hints of cherry, rich body and a mellow, pleasant cocoa finish. The creaminess and smoothness of the coffee is a clear indicator that the beans used are fresh, serving as yet another testament to Atlas’ pursuit for quality.
Atlas frequently rotates the coffee they use, making each cup different and each visit a unique experience. The baristas are attentive to detail and ensure that each cup served is of high quality, resulting in consistently great-tasting coffee on every visit.
Those seeking something different can try their Cold Brew — coffee made by soaking coarsely-ground beans in cold water for at least 12 hours. The result is a more pleasant-tasting coffee without the bitterness and acidity that is more prevalent in espresso-based beverages. It is served either black or white (without or with milk, respectively), depending on your preference (both 250ml, $7).
The Cold Brew was incredibly smooth, velvety and extremely pleasant to drink. It had a subtle sweetness that made each sip more and more enjoyable, had a deep woody flavour and sweet chocolate finish with notes of blueberry. Perfect for a hot day.
Atlas isn’t exactly a cheap place to grab meals every day, but everyone deserves to treat themselves once in a while. The food is fresh and tastes incredibly wholesome, but their desserts are on a different level (seriously, try the Butterscotch Banana Pancake). Its proximity to school and Botanic Gardens MRT make it extremely accessible and convenient compared to many other good cafés. With outstanding coffee to boot, there are few reasons to argue why a trip to Atlas would not be worth it.
*All prices given are subject to GST. Reservations available online.
6 Duke’s Road
Opening Hours: 8am — 7pm (Tue – Sun), Closed Mon
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