(.elia had since been rebranded as Bowler by .elia)
.elia is the newest F&B concept that had recently moved into the Keong Saik neighbourhood, being by the same people who were behind now-defunct The Chillout Cafe in Labuan, Malaysia.
Taking over the former grounds of Oriole Coffee Roasters at Jiak Chuan Road, .elia bore no visible signage on its exterior during the day of our visit. The interior had been vastly renovated — the decor of .elia can be described as modern, minimalist yet elegant and chic with the smart use of wooden accents, natural lighting and marble counter tops for the bar and espresso bar area; the interior carried a more bistro/restaurant-like setting than one of a cafe. We visited them while they are in their soft launch phase — the lunch menu consists of a range of pasta and sandwiches and patrons could opt for the set lunch for $2 extra where any choice of mains can be bundled with a side salad and hot coffee/tea. It is interesting to note that .elia also roasts their own coffee beans for their specialty coffee menu here.
We went for the set lunch deal which comes bundled with a salad on the side; the side salad is a simple salad consisting of leafy greens and cherry tomatoes in balsamic.
Opting for one of their pasta dishes, we ordered the Panchetta which is Trenette comes tossed with brown butter, egg yolk and Pancetta. Overall, the dish itself was considerably flavorful being mainly savoury — the Pancetta enhances the entire dish by providing chunks of savoury strips of meat that gives a bite. That being said, we did feel that the Trenette were a little too thin thus causing the pasta to be too soft and almost clumpy — felt somewhat close to Kway Teow at times even. Despite the textural miss, the dish still felt generally palatable.
We also tried the Pulled Pork Sandwich, which consists of sourdough toast with pulled pork, Russian dressing and rocket in between. The pulled pork was decent; flavourful without carrying a porky stench while also not too wet — the Russian dressing attempts to add a slightly tangy yet creamy and somewhat spiced touch to the pulled pork, while the greens kept the flavours in check by cutting the creaminess of the dressing and the meatiness rather appropriately. All that in between two slices of sourdough toast that is crusty with a firm bite inside.
According to the folks at .elia, the Flat White (5oz) was pulled from single-origin beans originating from Himalaya that is roasted by themselves. A mild-bodied cuppa that is smooth and creamy that would serve well as a relaxing cup of coffee to have during a leisurely brunch.
Being situated in an area that is saturated with cafes, .elia seems to be off a good start — the ambience is really a winning factor here; welcoming, soothing and even slightly upmarket yet not being too cliche at the same time. The service was also pretty worth the mention here, with polite staff that are hospitable and take the time to explain the details about their menu. We thought the food required a little tweaking; no doubt the food is considered pretty decent, but it could certainly do a little better with more refinements as time goes along after more feedback is received — we also wished that the menu could be a little more diversified with a few light bites being served as sides or just a short list of desserts that would end the meal on a more proper note. .elia is one of the few places with a more prominent character than most other places we have had visited of the late; it would be interesting to see how .elia improves on themselves further to stand out from the competitive F&B scene in Singapore.
10 Jiak Chuan Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/eliasingapore/