Review: Mean Bean and Wicked Grind @ The Plaza – CLOSED

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Mean Bean and Wicked Grind is one of the cafes, with the most photogenic bakes I see on a daily basis on Instagram. I’ve always thought that they were too ulu to be located, and hence, never once made an attempt to drop by for a visit despite being bombarded with the food porn they entice me with every single day.

I finally had a chance to visit them when the boy saw that they are starting to introduce the sweet waffles into their menu, more specifically, the peanut butter and banana waffle, and he decided to bring me there to have them! As usual, we took a very long while to locate this cafe, because it’s located within The Plaza on Beach Rd, and we just couldn’t seem to find an entrance to The Plaza. It’s us, it’s really us, we just suck at directions. It took us a good 10 minutes of walking around the same spot and back, before we entered the building, which was just behind ParkRoyal, and opposite Pan Pacific.

The Place

If there’s a perfect time for me to use the description, hole in the wall, this is it. Mean Bean and Wicked Grind is located within The Plaza, tucked away in a secluded corner of their own, amongst the many unrelated travel agencies and what not. The place I would least expect them to be. Besides, the directory has not even changed to include MBWG into it, and that got us confused for a little while, before deciding to go ahead to the unit number to check it out. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Despite it being such a small cafe, with just a counter and a couple of seats, entering it teleported us into yet another dimension of this shady little complex. (No offence, The Plaza)Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset When we walked in, I was mesmerized by the cake display. Look at the wide range of bakes available and the colors in this magical little box. I just couldn’t stop myself from taking more than one picture of it, because it’s simply too pretty! Photo 28-11-14 1 54 22 pm Photo 28-11-14 1 54 36 pm These are the 2 Christmas themed bakes. We eventually had the Peppermint Chocolate Truffle, cause I thought it looked really amazing, and sounds super decadent. Photo 28-11-14 1 56 07 pm As I said, I couldn’t just stop at one picture. Hahaha! Everything on the display looked so good, I wished I had 5 bellies to fit them all. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Their cute little take away cups for coffee! Photo 28-11-14 1 59 29 pm Photo 28-11-14 1 59 59 pm The walls of the cafe were lined with brick walls like this, which gave the cafe a very rustic feel. The cups and jugs used for their water were also vintage and really pretty, a good twist to the usual, to suit the theme of the cafe.

The Food

We reached the cafe at 1 plus, and we were the only ones there, probably because it’s a weekday! So I had the liberty to take all the pictures I want without being judged, except by Benny, who is already so used to my antics, that he even helps me with it most of the time.

The cafe has a menu that is printed on A4 sheets of paper, on their counter, nothing too fancy because their bakes are always on a rotation, and changing. They do not have any fixed menu to speak of, except for probably their drinks, whose menu is also up on the wall, and for now, their waffles.
Photo 28-11-14 1 46 42 pmPhoto 28-11-14 1 46 47 pmPhoto 28-11-14 1 47 35 pm Since we were there before 2pm, we decided to get a set meal of Savoury Waffles + Iced Mocha ($17.90), which we later topped up with $6 for the Peppermint truffle chocolate cake! I also had the biggest dilemma of the week, trying to decide on which sweet waffle I should get: Peanut Butter with Banana waffles or the Nutella Kinder Bueno. Both sounded like heaven to me, I wish they had a half-half waffle, like pizzas. Damn, I think I should open up a cafe with all my ideas like these. Hahaha! I went for the latter eventually because i thought banana and peanut butter was something that I eat all morning for breakfast, and I needed a change.
Photo 28-11-14 1 58 14 pm Here’s the iced mocha which was not too bad, a good blend of espresso and chocolate, not one of the best I’ve had but it’s still pretty good! Photo 28-11-14 2 06 56 pm Nutella Kinder Bueno Waffles, served with Tahitian Vanilla Bean ice cream($14.90): What is this sorcery. The best combination one can ever dream of. The most sinful one as well. The surprising thing was that the scoop of ice cream actually withstood the test of time. Even with my fussing and taking the same picture it at different angles, or same picture at same angles (and think that one is better than the other), the ice cream didn’t even start to melt even after I started eating and finishing 1 quarter of the waffle. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Here’s another angle of this lovely, lovely creation. We were both very pleased with the quality of the buttermilk waffles, as they are soft, thick and fluffy. It went really well with the nutella sauce, as well as the vanilla ice cream. Definitely,one of the better waffles we’ve had! Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset This is the savory waffle, which the boy opted for, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs with some greens. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset This is the usual smoked salmon and scrambled eggs combination, but it was comforting nevertheless. Served with a side of maple syrup, we decided to just pour it all over the waffles, and it tasted great, even though it may sound gross to some. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset This was our dessert. Even though we were both pretty full from the waffles because the waffle was so thick and fluffy, we MUST have cakes, because all of them looked so good. The boy got his eyes on some other earl grey cake, but… Me being me, I wanted this, peppermint cake. HAHA! I’m not a fan of earl grey or any form of tea, remember?Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThe slice turned out to be pretty underwhelming, to my surprise, because aesthetically it looked so pleasing as a whole cake. I expected peppermint layers between the cake, or at least the would have different colors to the layers, but no. It turned out to be just a dark brown chunk of cake. Taste wise was disappointing as well, because the hint of peppermint was very mild, and it did not seem to blend well with the chocolate cake. The chocolate cake itself was a tad bit dry and crumbly, and it was not rich enough. I was pretty disappointed with the cake, but that’s probably because I harbored high expectations because of its presentation. The chocolate cake in the peanut butter chocolate cake from SPRMRKT still reigns!

Closing Remarks

Overall, we had an enjoyable visit to Mean Bean and Wicked Grind! The waffles were really good, and comforting. Even though the ingredients used may be simple and easy to make, we were still pretty impressed with them! This shows that you don’t need to be overly creative with your dishes, some times the classics still can capture hearts.

I would love to try all the different cakes that they display in the future though, despite the disappointing cake that I had this time round. We were also given a small slice of the salted caramel tart thingy to sample and that, was just divine! I think having cakes from different home bakers and having the variety of cakes to be on a rotating basis is an absolutely good idea because it keeps the menu fresh and different!

How to get there? 

7500A Beach Road, The Plaza
Buses : 100, 107, 961, 980, 107M, 961C (enter via Parkroyal Hotel on Beach Road) — I just saw this on their facebook page, now I feel stupid. 

Opening hours

Mon – Tue: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

Thu – Sun: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

Closed on Wednesday

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