DEN transforms from a café with breakfast and lunch options in the day, and a lively tapas bar at night. With a huge bar counter occupying the central space of the entire café, I assumed that they were a place just for drinks, and definitely did not expect them to serve up a breakfast/lunch fare. Of course, with alcohol being the central theme of DEN, they have their happy hours starting as early as 11am!
Tucked inconspicuously along Boon Tat Street, a few units away from the now pretty popular FYR, lies DEN. A space that would be easily overlooked if you’re not looking out for them. Even for us, we nearly walked past the place without noticing them. We heard from people working in the CBD area that they have never seen DEN before even though they have been frequenting that street for work.Whilst they may experience a lower traffic as a result, I thought their inconspicuous exterior was a charm. It feels like a respite from all the hustle and bustle, as we all know how crazy it can get in the CBD area on weekdays. Can you imagine: taking a break from all the craziness with a drink in hand and some good food during your lunch break? SHIOK.
We kick started the tasting session with their in house Prosecco (PERFECT on a hot day), with a really cute name placard placed on our table. A paper plane because DEN rides on the theme of travel collecting, so having your meals here will just be like a journey to different places.
We tried items from the Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner menu, just so I could give a full rundown of what’s good on their menu. See, the sacrifices I make to my weight just for you guys!
For the Breakfast menu, we were given 2 items to try, and both of which are readily packed as a to-go item for you to pick up on the way to work too.Bircher Muesli ($8): Rolled oats, dried and fresh fruits and berries, apple sauce, maple yogurt and vanilla granola.
The only oats I eat are my homemade overnight oats. I’m not a fan of oats because I tend to think of them as old people’s food, and it’s mushy porridge. However, this bowl of steel cut oats, perfectly dressed with apple sauce and fruits changed my mind forever. HAHA.
This was very refreshing, and I especially liked how they added applesauce to the oats so that it could have a thicker consistency, instead of a watery mess. VERY YUM, it makes me feel healthy and pretty filling too!
A heavier option for breakfast, but certainly very fulfilling – makes you go AH… burp, after you finish it. My favorite part of this dish was the truffle bacon béchamel, which made the entire dish so fragrant and every bite so flavorful. It’s like a party in my mouth!
Flat White ($5.50): They got their beans from Gentleman Coffee, and this cuppa is pretty decent. The coffee was smooth and of a right temperature, but I wished it could be slightly more acidic. You may need an extra shot for your much needed caffeine kick.
This is just a slider version of the actual burger, because I forgot to take a picture of the entire burger. My bad. This burger is far from bad though. THAT patty was soooo chunky and juicy. We tried to slice the slider into half and saw the juices creeping out of the patty. How satisfying. AND BRIOCHE BUN! I CAN’T RAVE ENOUGH ABOUT BRIOCHE! The fries dusted with chipotle was a huge setback to my waistline.Seafood Malfada: Fish, squid and prawns, tomato and cream sauce, yuzu dressed rocket salad and linguine.
Definitely a satisfying choice if you’re craving for pasta. We wished for a little heat in this one though, because the sauce could get mild after a while.
The shortribs were braised perfectly, with the protein being slide off the bone good and tender. However, the garlic bread crumbs made this dish a tad too salty for my liking.
A good dish to share, as too many of these at one go may make you feel a little gelat. I loved the “broth” that came with it though, but like the shortrib, it was a little too salty.
A twist from the usual lemon tarts we may have. Instead of butter, they’ve used olive oil in this one. The first mouthful may taste a tad bit weird, but after awhile, you’ll find that the cake makes a perfect end to a heavy meal, as it was light and very refreshing. The white chocolate crumbs also added some much needed texture and sweetness in this dessert.
RICH. This is really rich, and I do not recommend you to have this if you just had a heavy meal. Thick and chocolatey, would definitely satisfy any chocolate lover. A downside though, the brownie we had was a little too hard, and tough to even slice through. Otherwise I thought this would make a perfect chocolate dessert!
I was pretty pleased with the food served and the ambience at DEN. It had definitely exceeded my expectations because I certainly did not expect a bar-like looking place to serve up such decent offerings, besides the usual wings and such.
A little tweaking may be needed in terms of the seasoning for some dishes, otherwise I think it would make a pretty good place for lunch for the CBD folks on weekdays, and a perfect chill brunch spot on weekends! They even have “power lunches” delivery for the people in the gyms from the area. Damn. I would want some of that too! These healthy lunches are also available at $10++, and they all come with a choice of salad with a complimentary soft drink, juice, coffee or tea! How neat!
How to get there?
29 Boon Tat Street
Monday and Tuesday: 8am to 11pm
Wednesday to Friday: 8am to 12mn
Saturday: 11am to 10pm
Closed on Sundays