Update June 2020: Brothers in Fine Food has closed.
Y’know, Singapore’s cafe scene has been around for what – three, four years? And it’s only now that it’s come to my home ground, AKA Tampines.
Brothers in Fine Food is the new Halal kid on the block at Tampines West CC – one of the more bustling CCs I’ve seen, judging by the amount of activity and facilities. Knowing that it was opened by the same team behind Penny University, expectations were high when I dropped by.
The menu is pretty simple: buunch, dinner, and drinks, with no more than 5 items in each sub-category. For non-caffeine takers, the Red Velvet Hot Chocolate ($5.50) is a comforting, velvety smooth brew that just slides perfectly down your throat. A perfect drink for a rainy afternoon by the window, and what a pleasing colour on the eye, too!
One look at the brunch menu and my first impression was: whoa, that’s a whole lot of eggs! You see, majority of BFF’s menu comprises of egg or beef-based dishes, most likely to keep meal prep simple.
The Peruvian Eggs ($8) which I had – scrambled eggs, mixed with spring onions, tomato, and avocado laid atop sourdough bread. Loved how it was served piping hot, with the eggs retaining that wonderfully creamy texture. Kind of like laying down a fluffy pillow!
The kitchen must have been super busy during the weekend brunch rush, though, as they forgot about the Pepperoni top up ($3). When they did bring it out, though – I kind of wish I hadn’t reminded them about it.
$3 for two thin slices of pepperoni! Are you kidding me?! My friend noted my fallen expression as soon as the plate returned with the so-called top up, and we joked continuously about popping $1.50 every time I took a bite of the pepperoni slice. Hey, gotta make my money last, y’know. That – and the fact that the avocado wasn’t as ripe as I would have liked – was a major letdown. (I did voice my unhappiness to the staff, so hopefully you’ll get more than two measly slices).
The quirkily named Butcher’s Daughter ($14) is one of the pricier items on the menu. Sous vide beef was a tad tough, and did not have the buttery, slice-through consistency that we expected. You can have your choice of eggs with it, but – looks like the kitchen forgot about the frites!
All in all, my first brunch at BFF was a let down, although the drinks and service had a distinctly homely touch to it. Still, I wanted to believe that it was all part of a particularly busy (and bad) morning, and so I returned for round 2. It helped that I live a few bus stops away, too.
What I like about BFF is that its menu is competitively priced for a cafe. Dinner mains start at $13.50 and up, but no more than $20, which I appreciate in a heartland spot.
One such dish is the Beef Steak ($13.50) – sous vide beef with a tangy beet root thyme puree that cuts through the richness of the meat.
The Salmon Fillet ($14) might not look like much at first (maybe the gigantic plate’s got something to do with it), but it’s really packed with flavour, and does not veer on the salty side, as it has just the right amount of butter miso sauce.
I thought the curried breadcrumbs and giant Israeli couscous added a nice touch! And of course, not forgetting my absolute favourite, spiced crispy salmon skin. Definitely one of the stronger mains at BFF.
As I spotted Avocado Cheesecake ($7) in the cakes shelf – and, being a huge fan of avocado – there was no way I could leave without trying a slice.
While the top layer of avocado cream was tantalising enough, I found it overpowered by the sheer thickness of the cheesecake and biscuit.
Brothers in Fine Food might have its hits and misses, but the team are pretty earnest in gathering feedback and re-working their menu (there’s a new one coming out every 3 months, apparently). Maybe it’s their level of openness and sincerity, or maybe I’m just really happy that Tampines is finally getting her own cafe scene, but I sure hope that BFF will iron out the kinks in time to come!
Address: Tampines West CC 02-27
Tuesday to Friday: 12pm – 10.30pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 10.30pm
Closed on Monday
Extra charges: No