The success of The Affogato Bar had seen the folks behind them opened up yet another concept, this time being situated in the middle of town within the Keong Saik neighbourhood.
Moving into the space beside The Guild along Keong Saik Road, The Affogato Lounge is the newest concept to have moved into the row of shophouses where it is located. Operating as a cafe in the day while being a bar at night, the space operates as Kesa Lounge from the evening. Much like The Affogato Bar, The Affogato Lounge’s interior features a design language that is close to nature with the use of wooden elements in its furniture and fittings, though albeit more upscale with lesser use of flora and fauna. Given how “lounge” is in the name here, most of the dine-in seats are couches with low tables; only a few dining tables are used throughout the dining hall which is all found closer to the entrance of The Affogato Lounge. Visiting them in the day, The Affogato Lounge’s menu features sandwiches, grain bowls, salad bowls, and quiches for those looking for a more substantial bite, while a small list of Affogato and other desserts takes up the rest of the food menu. Beverages include alcoholic drinks, as well as specialty coffee and other non-alcoholic drinks; the specialty coffee being brewed using beans roasted by Ozone Coffee Roasters from New Zealand.
(Duck Croque Monsieur)
Opting for one of the sandwiches on the menu here, our choice was the Duck Croque Monsieur, which came with a house salad that features rocket and cherry tomatoes tossed in vinaigrette. Served in a sandwich form with toasted ciabatta that had been pressed with a panini grill, the Duck Croque Monsieur was more of a usual sandwich given how the sandwich lacks a layer of melted cheese on the exterior. Coming with elements such as pulled duck leg confit and a gruyere bechamel sauce, the sandwich was hearty and tasty; the ciabatta comes all crusty and light on the exterior, giving a crisp bite that was consistent throughout the entire sandwich, while the pulled duck leg confit was sufficiently moist, considering how it was drizzled in olive oil. The meat was sufficiently briny, with a bit of contrast coming from the olive oil which helps to elevate the flavours of the duck leg confit even further; the gruyere bechamel sauce helping to add a slight hint of cheesiness and savouriness that was oh-so-good. Despite being a rather simple sandwich, the textures and flavours were simply on point; very delicious indeed.
(Blue Swimmer Crab)
We also tried the Blue Swimmer Crab from the “Baked Quiches” menu, which also comes with the same house salad that came with the Duck Croque Monsieur on the side. Again, whilst being a pretty simple dish on first look, the Blue Swimmer Crab Baked Quiche was yet another main that was on-point; the quiche featured a pastry base that is crusty, yet light and flaky, holding up the quiche pretty well. Within, the quiche was eggy, whilst also being lightly cheesy and herby from the gruyere cheese and herbs used, while the Blue Swimmer Crab helps to add flavour with its natural sweetness, yet also carrying a slight hint of spiciness that tingles the taste buds. The shreds of Blue Swimmer Crab also enhanced the texture of the quiche with its fibrous flesh.
Not missing out on the selection of Affogato here (isn’t that the main reason why we were here in the first place?), we opted for the Trilogy after we were being told that the Creme de la Malt is not available for the day. Being one of the recommended items on the menu here, the Trilogy features 70% Dark Chocolate Sorbet, Caramel Blanc and Dark Cocoa, with a double shot espresso featuring Ozone Coffee Roasters’ Fitzroy blend on the side. The Trilogy is an item that is bound to capture the hearts of chocolate lovers; the 70& Dark Chocolate Sorbet being the main showstopper being rich, yet not overly jelak considering how it does not feel overly dense nor creamy given its nature as a sorbet. This, as well as the chunks of chocolate crunches, worked well with the espresso; a pretty dark and roasty blend that carries an earthy and nutty flavour profile. A pretty well-designed Affogato that encompasses various textures, whilst being a creation that would appeal to those who love quality chocolate-based desserts.
Being the only alcohol-infused Affogato on the menu, the Tiramisu comes with a hefty price tag of S$20.00 before service charge and prevailing taxes; it features elements such as Dark Espresso Ice-Cream, Mascarpone and Brown Sugar, whilst coming with a double shot pulled from Ozone Coffee Roasters’ Paramount blend that is infused with rum. Tasting like a Tiramisu without coffee nor liquor when we tasted the elements before pouring in the alcohol-infused espresso, the dessert was undeniably a Tiramisu at heart once the espresso shot is being poured in; the sponge within soaks up all that alcohol-infused espresso, giving the dessert a strong caffeinated kick; not shy of its alcoholic nature, the Affogato was also pretty boozy, which is great for those who love their alcoholic desserts strong. One particular issue we had was the ladyfingers however; considering how the ladyfingers do take a little time to absorb the alcohol-infused espresso, the ladyfingers were still rather crunchy despite leaving them alone for a while. Whilst it may be intended for the ladyfingers to retain its crunch to add texture to the Affogato, we felt it was rather out of place considering how they are usually espresso-soaked in the classic Tiramisu to achieve a consistent texture with the cake. Perhaps soaking the ladyfingers with alcohol (e.g. Baileys, or the same rum used in here) prior to serving may help to enhance the Tiramisu Affogato further. That being said, the Tiramisu Affogato still does replicate the flavours of the classic Tiramisu well enough, and an item that would suit those who loves their boozy desserts.
When The Affogato Bar first opened its doors at Cluny Court, we called the concept a pretty welcoming one, despite being uncertain if the concept of an Affogato-centric establishment being feasible in the local context, where Affogatos are usually served as-is just simply with a shot of espresso and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side. The Affogato Bar had certainly helped to popularise the Italian classic, whilst offering patrons a creative approach where desserts are served in a deconstructed form, and the shot of espresso helps to compliment it by almost replicating the dessert being served with coffee on the side. It is definitely exciting to see how The Affogato Bar had come this far, and even spawning off another new concept that carries that same spirit whilst offering a different variety of Affogatos on the menu. It is also worth mentioning that despite Affogatos being the mainstay item on the menus of both The Affogato Bar and The Affogato Lounge, their other hot food options are also well-executed, matching up the Affogatos in terms of quality; a rare feat considering many places can only be good in a few things, but not everything that they serve. No doubt the prices at The Affogato Lounge may be a little steep, and that is considering how The Affogato Bar’s prices are already on the higher side, but The Affogato Lounge is certainly a place worthy to splurge at for that once-in-a-while treat; you know those days where you are craving for a special Affogato, especially given how Affogatos with toppings are still very much their game, and their forte.
The Affogato Lounge
55 Keong Saik Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/theaffogatolounge/