Having operated as a food truck around several locations on weekdays and even doing pop-up events on weekends, Coffee Bandits have since opened Fuel (not to be confused with Refuel Cafe and Fuel Plus+) at Henderson Road just a stone’s throw away from Bukit Merah Central where it would be situated as a permanent cafe.
Moving into an industrial building, the renovations are simple with wooden tables, yellow and black metallic chairs and concrete walls with black rubber mat flooring. Floor space is pretty huge here with the ability to accommodate to big groups. The seatings are spaced out pretty well, providing privacy in between tables. While the menu is more extensive at Fuel, Fuel serves a different menu rather than an extension of what is served previously at Coffee Bandits. For those looking for something more substantial, the soft launch menu offers a wide variety of food from brunch fare such as Eggs Benedict, Breakfast Plate and Crispy Poached Eggs, while there are also other grub such as Beef Lasagna, Rosemary Chicken also available. Tea and coffee are available for beverages while cakes and gelato mainly make up the desserts section of the soft launch menu.
(Pulled Pork Tacos)
Being one who used to visit them regularly during their Coffee Bandit days, their Pulled Pork Sandwich in the past had created a pretty good impression in my head ever since my first (and only) time I had ordered it. This had naturally made me decide to have the Pulled Pork Tacos; something that is slightly more uncommon on the menu in cafes. Priced at $13.90, this was a dish that I had found particularly comforting. Coming in a crisp corn tortilla wrap, the tacos bore a flavour resembling nachos with a lighter corn flavour, while encased with a good amount of pulled pork and purple slaw within. The pulled pork was absolutely on point and how I remembered them to be; not too dry nor was it not too wet, done just right without dripping all over the plate, but still carried a smoky sweetness from the BBQ sauce with just a short hint of spiciness from the cayenne aioli. The proportion of pork to slaw was also perfect; just enough to refresh the taste buds with every bite, but there was never a moment where it felt like there was too much slaw nor too much meat. Coupled with the salad on the side (which surprisingly included bread croutons), this was one item which felt pretty balanced out without being too filling; something simple and comforting done well that comes at a good price for the quality of food served.
(Brownie with Bandits Blend Coffee Gelato)
While I must admit that the Brownie was not something spectacular or out of this world, the main point of this dessert is actually their Bandits Blend Coffee Gelato. Apologies for the partially melted gelato, which melted a little quickly as it was seated beside the warm brownie, but this is all the rage. Feeling more like a well-binded Affogato, this is no ordinary coffee gelato where it usually feels a little artificial, sweetened or too tame on caffeine but a good mix of espresso on what it seems to be a vanilla base gelato. No doubt as usual in most Affogatos, the vanilla flavours tend to overwhelm the espresso by a little, but this was surprisingly fitting to the decadent and moist chocolate brownie which is decently rich and warm.
Glad to have also ordered a Flat White to go along with the food. Fuel uses the Speakeasy blend roasted by Liberty Coffee, which is also one of our favourite coffee blends around. Definitely enjoyed the creamy cuppa which came with a nutty flavour profile that does not leave much of an aftertaste.
Coffee Bandits was something I used to look forward to visiting during my days in one-north; I still remember those days where Fridays are probably my favourite days where I look forward to grabbing a takeaway cuppa and an Egg & Bacon Muffin for breakfast (also listed in our Honourable Mentions 2015 article). I am quite glad to see how far they had gone from the food truck that they were in the past and also excited for finally having a place to head to for their food and coffee as well. Service at Fuel was also very sincere, passionate and they were also quick with service recovery; they had realised I have waited for quite a while for the brownie and decided to apologize and insisted that I take the refund for the full amount even though I had not complained and was totally fine about it. Despite having grown since their inception, Fuel still stays true to their roots from how they have started, providing quality artisan coffee with comforting and affordable food to office workers with limited food options around. A place that is deserving of success, I would like to wish them all the best for what would come in their way in the future as they continue to grow while keeping to their roots on how they have first started.
213 Henderson Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Sgfuelcoffee