Review: 20F Specialty Coffeehouse @ Foch Road

Photo 2-12-15, 1 08 27 PM

Remember the pig organ soup place that I was gushing about previously? 20F opens JUST BESIDE this place. My oh my, is it a dream come true? It’s hard to lose your way or forget where 20F is located at because they are located at 20 Foch Road. See the link? 20F, 20 Foch Road. Haha!

Where is Foch Road ah? Foch Road is located in the Jalan Besar area, and 20F joins the ranks of that of The Bravery, Tiramisu Hero, Chye Seng Huat etc, the old birds in the vicinity. A daring move I’d say, we’ll see if they’ve got what it takes to survive in the following review!

The Place

Everyone on social media is talking about how 20F has kept the 60-year old Chinese Medicinal Hall vibes, and I go… Really meh? Aside from the really pretty and retro tiles (ok maybe the old dodgy walls) that they have, I couldn’t feel or see the remnants of the clinic, honestly. It’s probably because:

1. My imagination sucks
2. I never go to Chinese clinic before.

So to me, I just thought they were trying to play it cool with the retro vibes. I liked how the space looked, in fact. The entire cafe was split into 3 sections:
Photo 2-12-15, 12 35 26 PM
See what I mean? It looks so hip. Probably because I’ve been to My Awesome Cafe, which has also overtook a Chinese medicinal hall, and looks exactly like one from the outside.

1st SectionPhoto 2-12-15, 12 35 42 PM
Here’s the counter and also the first section.
Photo 2-12-15, 12 49 28 PM
It looks like this when you first enter the cafe. The ventilation is much better here, and aircon is much stronger here too!

2nd Section
But if you really have to take pictures, and make your food instagram worthy, it might take a bit of sacrifice.
Photo 2-12-15, 12 49 32 PM
Sacrifice? Yes, this area near the grills have the perfect shadows and lighting. However, sitting here poses a risk of you smelling like your food when you get out of there. The ventilation is horrible since the kitchen is located just diagonally opposite. We were smelling the oil and what not during our entire meal, but for the sake of good pictures (and laziness), we stayed put.Photo 2-12-15, 12 36 59 PM

3rd SectionPhoto 2-12-15, 12 47 04 PM
This is the somewhat alfresco seating, WITH AIRCON. Hahaha! Probably that’s why the ventilation sucked. This is where the kitchen is, and also where the glass ceiling is, hence the perfect lighting seeping through from the top!

If you don’t give 2 hoots about your pictures, you may consider just sitting at the first section for a more comfortable dining experience!

The Menu
Photo 2-12-15, 2 14 05 PM Photo 2-12-15, 2 14 14 PM Photo 2-12-15, 2 14 21 PM
Photo 2-12-15, 2 14 32 PMPhoto 2-12-15, 2 14 50 PM
They have a pretty extensive menu catering for brunch and dinner, as well as lots of drinks to boot. 

Brunch menu: from 10am to 5pm
Lunch menu: from 11am to 5pm
Dinner menu: from 5pm to 9pm
At one glance, the dinner menu is kind of similar to their brunch and lunch menu, except for the addition of more proteins and pastas.

The Food

1. Iced Matcha Latte ($6) and 20F Iced Coffee ($6.50)Photo 2-12-15, 12 52 03 PM
20F Signature Coffee
Photo 2-12-15, 12 56 32 PM
You can’t see it here but you’ll realize that this cup of coffee actually comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. HUH? Then this is not called affogato meh. This is an affogato with milk lah. Haha!

Sourcing their beans from Liberty Coffee’s Speakeasy Blend, this cup of coffee is definitely what you need at any time of the day. I would go for this over my iced mocha any day, and the reason why they added a scoop of ice cream, is similar to the concept of having espresso ice cubes. Similar. This cup gets more and more smooth and creamy with time, together with the full-bodied espresso, it just can’t get any better than this.

Iced Matcha LattePhoto 2-12-15, 12 54 41 PM
This fell short of our expectations. It was a little too milky and diluted for our liking, and the matcha flavor did not really come through. Just a hint, at best. This could probably be due to the time taken for me to finish up the phototaking. But, this also means that it is not something you want to order if you’ll be there for a while, or is someone who finishes their drink only after the meal (like me!).

2. Truffle Fries ($12)Photo 2-12-15, 1 01 51 PMWhile I wanted to try their Sticky, Spicy Wings for a change, my partner opted for the Truffle Fries, and so truffle fries was what we’ve got. At $12, I’d say that this was a pretty decent bowl of fries, and the portions were really generous too! The taste of truffle oil was well-infused in every fry, which was great for us!

This was also served with lemon mayo and chipotle sauce.

3. Duck and Waffle ($22). Photo 2-12-15, 12 58 16 PM
This is the dish that probably sets 20F apart from all the cafes in the hood, and probably in Singapore. What an unorthodox combination of duck confit, waffle, strawberry compote and wait for it… MIXED BERRIES SORBET. The inspiration for this dish comes from the owners wanting their duck and waffle combination to be different from what we already know or have – duck confit, waffles, berry compote. The addition of sorbet is just an additional touch to the compote, and since they liked the contrasting combinations they’ve decided to throw them all on to the plate!

Photo 2-12-15, 1 16 46 PM
How did this sweet, savory, hot, cold combination fare? Well.. It takes a little courage to put the duck confit, waffle and sorbet all on the same spoon and deliver it into your mouth. Then you’ll realize, eh? It’s not that bad lah! It’s something different!

Photo 2-12-15, 1 01 11 PM
The duck though. It was so tender, and the meat was fall off the bone good, because it literally did when we tried to remove the bone from the duck. Wow. We were amazed! Do give it a try when you’re there at 20F, it’s not everyday you get a scoop of sorbet in your mains. Available on all their menus!

4. 20F Flats – Pulled Pork and Fresh Guacamole ($17)
Photo 2-12-15, 1 04 35 PM
We wanted something different, and it seems like the 20F menu has quite a number of sweets, even for their brunch. Since we had absolutely no idea what flats were, and couldn’t exactly google it cause all you get would probably be shoes, we ordered the Pulled Pork version of it (Pulled duck available too).

Each of these flats comes with a bowl of tortilla chips and guacamole dip. Photo 2-12-15, 1 15 06 PM
Mmm. That poached egg. So, oh now we know, Flats is a flatbread like thingy, which is thin and crisp. Topped with apple slaw, poached egg and a generous amounts of pulled pork, it looks just like a nice little garden!

The first mouthful I had got me overwhelmed with the various spices and sauces they used, I thought it tasted like an Indian cuisine. The taste grows on you after a while, and soon I found myself devouring the entire plate. Haha! A good dish to order if you want something light,and with MEAT. You can share those tortilla chips with your friends too!

5) Very Matcha ($8)
Photo 2-12-15, 1 47 46 PM
This consisted of a Matcha cake, matcha sauce and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream with pistachio. However, they had a fresh batch of Lychee ice cream on that day and we were lucky enough to have it. It was AMAZINGLY good. Smooth, and rich with the flavors of lychee. SUPER GOOD.
Photo 2-12-15, 1 48 37 PMThe matcha cake was moist, light and spongy, which made it very appealing to the palette. I wonder how they did it, because it was really very good. Photo 2-12-15, 1 53 56 PMThe matcha sauce, which made the dish 10x more visually appealing, 30x more instagram worthy, and maybe, 2x more matcha flavor. I liked how the flavor of the matcha was not too overpowering in this one, yet was distinct enough for us to taste it, together with the slight hint of bitterness.
See what I mean by fluffy and moist? Gosh. And sorry the quality sucks, I’ll video with my camera the next time round, and see how it goes!

I’ll come back for this again and again and again and again.

Closing Remarks

While there are indeed many competitors around the area, I feel that the competition is a good thing for us, consumers, as it forces the cafes to reinvent themselves consistently to bring out such unique offerings like what 20F has done!  I haven’t had most of these items, despite being out and about eating my way through Singapore, and I feel that it is a draw for many cafe hoppers out there at the start, i.e. now. And the best part is, they actually taste good!

However, they may have to do more to sustain the cafehopping crowd because unique dishes are usually one-off experiences for me, despite them tasting good. They might have to come up with a really good comforting dish that I would associate them to when I think of the dish. Like how french toasts and scrambled eggs reminds me of Ronin. Then again, I haven’t tried their eggs benedict nor their french toast, so this definitely calls for a return visit for me. Of course, a 20F coffee to go along with these dishes too!

Mai tu liao. Make your reservations HERE!

How to get there?
20 Foch Rd
Singapore 209261

Opening Hours
Monday: 10am – 7pm
Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 10pm


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