Author: Sassy Eater.
If you claimed yourself a coffee enthusiast, you should be no stranger to Common Man Coffee Roasters in Singapore. If you’re not yet aware of this artisanal coffee cafe, hmmm…. it means that you should read our blog more. Hahaha, JK.
In spite of the fact that this cafe is not easily accessible via MRT or bus, Common Man Coffee Roasters is always packed during weekdays.
I like their funky interior and hipster vibe with lots of quirky touches, like naked light bulbs suspended from the pipes, a round communal table with a colourful rooster as a centrepiece and eggs with table number on it, and vintage brown medicine bottles for extra water. I noticed that some seats were ergonomically designed and they optimised the space well to accommodate the patrons without compromising comfort. They featured al fresco seatings near the entrance, which had nice wooden tables and chairs, adorned with plants. With a modern open glass facade, it looks as if Common Man Coffee Roasters was caught between being a chic New York style hole in the wall and a laid-back Aussie cafe and decided to be both.
First time visited Common Man Coffee Roasters, I went for the Organic Eggs Benedict ($24) with two poached organic eggs on top of tender braised ox cheeks and sourdough toast. The eggs which melting out beautifully when I forked them, paired superbly with the rich-so-tender-melting-in-your-mouth-cheeks made Common Man’s version of Eggs Benedict a class of their own.
From my several visits to Common Man Coffee Roasters I always came with different coffee-lover-friends of mine. One even openly admitted for being coffee snobs and had high coffee standards from being spoilt for choices in Melbourne that he stayed for the last 13 years. Some of them said that the coffee here was very acidic. And the others said that the coffee was the best they tried in the city. But all agreed with me that the coffee here was aromatic, strong yet bright, and had a lingering aftertaste with a hint of fruit.
I always had Hot Mocha ($6) every time I went there, and it was subtle, rich, silky and smooth. In most places, the chocolate acts as a sweetener that covers the quality of the coffee, but here, the coffee was full of chocolate aroma and the chocolate was just a supplement and not a main player.
One time I came for breakfast with a friend, and we ordered Croissant Croque Monsieur ($16) which was a simple yet satisfying menu with flaky croissant with melted Provolone cheese, ham and creamy bechamel.
But we were kind of struggling to finish the Common Man Full Breakfast ($26), a whole plate full of back bacon, sausage, omelette on top of a sourdough bread, Portobello mushroom, grilled tomatoes, chorizo hash browns and chorizo baked beans, which turned out to be too much for us on the “meaty and salty” side. The chopped chorizo (Spanish pork sausage) in the hash browns overpowered the potatoes, tasted like ngoh hiang instead of hash browns we usually had out there. It had the same outcome to the baked beans too.
The breakfast at Common Man Coffee Roasters is served from 7:30 am to 12 pm and the lunch is served from 12 pm to 6 pm. The magic hour is to pop by at 12 pm and you can choose from both the All-Day Breakfast and the Lunch menu!
Next visit I went there with two friends of mine for a lunch time. One was a vegetarian, so we had the Veggie Wonderland ($25) which turned out to be a very enjoyable meal, due to the quality ingredients such as two free-range organic eggs, spinach, grilled tomatoes, Portobello mushrooms, avocado, lemon and chilli, with artisanal sourdough toast and pan-fried halloumi (a Cypriot semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk and sometimes also cow’s milk, which has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled) provided a quintessential salty addition to the dish.
The Grilled Boneless Chicken ($25) was also superbly flavoursome. The lean chicken breast that’s been marinated with chilli and grilled somehow manages to remain juicy or at least as juicy as a chicken breast can be, and slightly spicy. With a squirt of the caramelised lemon and dollops of the crushed avocado salsa, it turned out to be a pretty satisfying dish.
I think the Common Man Burger ($28) which was 100% ground rib-eye, teamed up with Provolone cheese, grilled tomatoes and caramelised onions on a fluffy brioche bun was pretty decent.
I have a constant craving for churros but haven’t yet found one that I really like in Singapore. Common Man Churros ($12) was okay, but nothing to rave about. Too doughy and soft to my liking, because I love it to be thicker and have crispier crust. So far, close contenders are Max Brenner’s and Habitat Coffee’s, which are hit-and-miss sometimes.
For the food quality and freshness and the service which was above average for Singapore standard, I would say those qualities justify the steep price.
I reckon Common Man Coffee Roasters as a cool hangout spot, a place to see and be seen. So expect to queue on the weekends at this alluring establishment and be prepared for bistro-quality food that is on par with its top-notch coffee.
Common Man Coffee Roasters
22 Martin Road
7:30 am – 6 pm