New to Victory8 providing Sembawang residents yet another dining option around the area opposite Sembawang Shopping Centre is Common Chefs Bakery & Cafe, which recently took over the shop space vacated by RoyceMary Cafe within the same building as Something Sweet Dessert House.
Having renovated the interior of the cafe, Common Chefs Bakery & Cafe adopts a minimalist design for its space and largely monochromatic colour scheme featuring grey walls, black and white chairs with wooden tables while depending on natural lighting for the cafe as opposed to the love-themed interior of RoyceMary Cafe. The menu offerings are pretty much what one would expect from a cafe; largely focusing on burgers (especially beef burgers), there are also a small variety of sandwiches as well as Shepherd’s Pie and a selection of waffles on the menu.
Amongst the various burgers available, the Firehouse is the only one which seemed to carry a more localised flavour especially for the “fiery Asian Sambal sauce” in the burger. Essentially a beef burger that comes with caramalised onions, jalapenos and melted Cheddar cheese in between buttered brioche buns and truffle fries at the side, we particularly enjoyed the beef patty which was tender, juicy and came default medium-rare with a pinkish centre as well as the truffle fries; no doubt only drenched with truffle oil but still tasted the part. The Sambal sauce carries a moderate level of spiciness which kicks in from the first bite; something we appreciated about the burger but nearing the end the burger does feel a little overwhelmed by the saltiness of the sambal sauce. Still, it is quite a decent burger if you are craving for one with a local touch.
The Creme Brulee Cheesecake comes at $4, and probably also one of the smallest cheesecakes we have had. The cake is decadently rich and much like a well-executed, classic New York Cheesecake but with a layer of crackling sugar torched over the top much like a Creme Brulee which gives it a little texture. Apart from the crumble base which felt flushed with the cheesecake layer textually (we would have preferred a little more crunchiness), this is probably a dessert that should satisfy most although delivers what one would be expecting from its name for its a classic that most people would love.
I forgot to ask about the origins of the beans/blends used for the coffee here, but the Flat White was generally milky though it seemed to have an earthy and nutty flavour profile.
It is always interesting to see new cafes sprouting up in the north such as Common Chefs Bakery & Cafe, for the north had been missing out in the cafe scene for a while before names such as Holy Cow Creamery and Two Plus One appeared within the area. One of the only few cafes in the north that serves hot food, Common Chefs Bakery & Cafe has a huge potential as long as they keep working on the execution of the dishes which definitely can be refined especially since the area it is located is highly competitive with tzechar and local food options such as original outlet of The White Restaurant, JJ Thai Cuisine and Sembawang Traditional Claypot Rice. That being said, Common Chefs Bakery & Cafe is a cafe that probably the residents around then north have been wanting; one of those places that perhaps people living out of the north may not find worthwhile to travel down for, but the sort of chillout spot that those living around need for their cafe cravings solved if they are not intending or have no time to travel out to perhaps, Upper Thomson. Let’s hope that Common Chefs would be able to sustain themselves in the competition in the long run, whilst improving and fine-tuning their menu and offerings to attract patrons beyond the neighbourhood to try them out for its a spot with potential that the north needs.
Common Chefs Bakery & Cafe
8 Jalan Legundi