(20F Specialty Coffee had since ceased operations.)
The influx of cafes settling into the Jalan Besar neighbourhood somehow never stops; the latest of the lot that had recently moved in includes 20F Specialty Coffeehouse.
Moving into a shop space that is previously occupied by a clinic at 20 Foch Road (hence the name), 20F Specialty Coffee has actually retained the charm of the shophouse by maintaining the layout of the original design, conserving certain features such as the flooring, brick wall and window grills in the facade. This creates a old-meets-new vibe, especially with the hipster elements such as the bronze signages and industrial decor incorporated into the interior of the cafe. To differentiate themselves, 20F Specialty Coffeehouse offers two different menus; one for the day featuring brunch and lunch items while the other focuses on dinner. Coffee is available all round the clock, and they do also serve up interesting and unique concoctions of both tea and cocktails as well.
(Sticky Spicy Wings)
The Sticky Spicy Wings lived up to its name; juicy and succulent chicken wings that are doused in a sticky sauce which carries a moderate heat. These were really enjoyable. It comes with a fiery kick but also carries familiar flavours similar to Korean Soy and Kung Pow coming together; a savoury sweetness which turns into a tangy spiciness. Very addictive and definitely good to go with the alcohol served on the menu here.
(Duck & Waffle)
Duck & Waffle is one of the signatures here; coming with an odd combination of Buttermilk Waffles, Duck Leg, Berry Compote and Berry Sorbet, this might seem daring but is indeed totally worth a try. The duck leg was tender and the meat came off easily from the bones, while the Buttermilk Waffles comes with a buttery fragrance and a crisp texture. Its interesting how the Berry Sorbet comes to play in this dish; it was able to fuse with the Waffle to create the familiar dessert flavours we associate waffles with, but was able to cut the savoury flavours of the duck when it gets too much; something akin to the use of citrusy flavours or berry compote for Duck Confit. It was a perfect marriage of the different elements of the dish, and is definitely worthy of its signature title in the menu here.
(Pulled Pork Flatbread)
Pulled Pork Flatbread is a pretty unique dish here, but feels like a Mexican-inspired flavour with the use of ingredients such as guacamole and even coming with nachos at the side. Perhaps our photo taking session lasted a little too long, but the Flatbread seemed to have turned really stiff. Despite so, we enjoyed the spicy Pulled Pork which gives this dish a kick, and the flavourful guacamole which brought its signature flavour through the whole dish. A sous vide egg tops off the dish, and we were rather surprised that it actually flowed even after leaving the dish laying around for quite a while.
(Orange Cinnamon French Toast)
Only available for brunch, the Orange Cinnamon French Toast is also something that one would not be able to find elsewhere. While the French Toast was eggy, it came packed with other stuff such as cinnamon and orange, generating a spiced yet citrusy flavour that goes surprisingly well with one another. The bacon was more bak-kwa like than the streaky chewy ones, but the maple syrup is the key for the dish even though it is not really particularly special by itself. The maple sweetness when combined with the unique french toast is so addictive, you would find yourself wanting more.
(Pork & Tomato Basil Pasta)
Pork and Tomato Basil Pasta is available for both lunch and dinner menu, and uses similar components as the Pulled Pork Flatbread such as pulled pork and guacamole. This was a pretty light pasta that actually got a non-pasta lover quite intrigued; the pasta was cooked al-dente and rather than using a tomato-based sauce or cream sauce for this pasta, it absorbs the savoury flavours from the pulled pork which makes it feel rather different. The pulled pork here was not the same as the one served on the flatbread; not too sure if its intended that way or if it was just a different day (we tried the brunch items two days after the dinner items), it did not carry the same spiciness.
(Espresso Kahlua Waffles)
For desserts here, there is a choice of cakes and pastries and two variants of sweet waffles. The Espresso Kahlua Waffles is dubbed as the “adult waffle” here featuring a Buttermilk Waffle wih Espresso Kahlua sauce, a scoop of Vanilla ice-cream and Dark Chocolate sorbet, streusel with a sprinkling of chopped pistachio. Buttermilk Waffles were pretty much the same deal served with the Duck & Waffle, while the Espresso Kahlua sauce gives the waffle its coffee flavour; a mix of a freshly-brewed shot of espresso pulled upon order with Kahlua. The Dark Chocolate sorbet was pretty much the highlight of the two scoops of ice-cream; smooth, rich and flavourful and the streusel gave it a good crunch, pretty much reminding us of the crunches from the Banana Nut Crunch cereal.
Coffee here is brewed from the Speakeasy blend by Liberty Coffee, which gives the Flat White here its medium body with earthy and nutty flavour profile.
(3 Berry Mojito)
Those who prefer alcohol and think that coffee is an utterly uncool and boring drink would be glad to hear that they have a selection of cocktails to choose from. Not too much of a drinker, so I requested for my 3 Berry Mojito to come light and they are more than happy to adjust the amount of alcohol to your liking. It came just the way I wanted it; light in alcohol and sweet with a hint of berries since it was concoction of Berry puree, Blueberries, Mint Leaves, Soda Water, Rum and Sugar Syrup mixed together.
Having tried quite a couple of items from 20F Specialty Coffeehouse, we were pretty satisfied with the food served here. Of course, some dishes have areas for improvement, but none of the items here felt particularly bad considering how many dishes we have had. Jalan Besar might be filled with cafes, but 20F Specialty Coffeehouse is perhaps a place that it is missing of; a one-stop spot for comforting brunch food and an enclave for hipsters at night who fancy a drink or two. Let’s hope 20F Specialty Coffeehouse success in the days to come!
20F Specialty Coffeehouse
20 Foch Road
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/20Fcoffee