There’s something to be said about cafes that are able to stand the test of time in Singapore’s food scene – and the finicky fads that come and go with initially strong players that turn out to be no more than flashes in a pan.
The name Lots Gourmet might ring a bell with cafe goers of old. Established back in 2009 (way before hipster cafes and indie coffee joints started sprouting across the island), the humble establishment has come a long way from its cozy premises in Upper Changi Road, to its lavish new home at Changi Civil Service Club on Netheravon Road.
While the cafe was home to many a crowd in its early days, its current turf is a step up in decor and atmosphere. Boasting a warm blue and yellow tone in one room, and a nautical meets gold theme in the other, the space spells fancy yet intimate. A sprawling alfresco area is also available for those willing to brave the heat for that killer lighting.
Interestingly, Lots Gourmet has hardly tweaked their menu since their Upper Changi Road days, which speaks volumes about their consistency and loyal regulars. A Weekend Brunch menu is available from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, and dishes up affordable to mid range brunch selections like English Breakfast, Savoury French Toast, and Buttery Pancakes. For the gastronomically picky, a Make Your Own Breakfast option is available.
If you’re feeling extra indulgent, Lots Gourmet now offers Freshly Shucked Oysters (Seasonal Price).
The Prawn & Spinach Aglio Olio ($19+) sounded promising on paper – linguine cooked in spinach puree, chilli, garlic, and olive oil, and served with prawns. Aside from the very interesting shade of green from the spinach puree, the linguine was perfectly al dente, and remained piping warm even after five minutes. The kick from the chilli was not too overpowering, as was the garlic and olive oil. Overall, a really well done pasta dish whose flavours blended well.
What held back this dish, however, was the prawns. There was no fault with the cook, but the lack of freshness from the prawns was severely underwhelming after the fanfare from the linguine. It almost felt like I had stepped away from a nearly decade old cafe and into a run of the mill stall. For its price, this dish definitely deserves seafood of a better caliber; more portions wouldn’t hurt either!
Disappointing crustaceans aside, I’ve also heard good things about their Portobello Katsu Fries ($14.50+), which seemed to be making their way to a number of tables when I visited. The aroma from the crumbled portobello mushrooms tossed with truffle oil was highly enticing even from a couple of tables away; I would give them a try if I come back!
With its Christmas menu comes generously sized milkshakes which are hand shaken in full view of diners from behind the counter. The Triple Chocolate Shake ($9+) is one chocolate laden tower of indulgence, topped with crushed chocolate bits and chocolate balls for added sweetness and crunch. Do not attempt this alone unless you have thrown your calorie counter out the window.
While there were hits and misses, it’s not hard to see why Lots Gourmet continues to be a fixture for cafe hops in the east. Be prepared to travel quite a bit into the far reaches of Changi if you want to visit this hidden gem.
Address: 2 Netheravon Road
Nearest MRT: Tampines (Take Bus 29)
Monday to Thursday: 11am – 10pm
Friday: 11am – 11pm
Saturday: 10am – 11pm
Sunday: 10am – 10pm
Contact: 6283 0167/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Extra charges: 10% service charge