Just when we had started to think we were running out of space for new cafes in land-starved Singapore, one pops up seemingly overnight at the top of an industrial building, of all places! Coexist Coffee Co. is a minimalist-themed cafe that is already making waves online for its red and white themed interior, as well artfully-crafted coffee and food.
Looking at the exterior of Hillview Terrace, the top of which Coexist Coffee Co. is situated, one would never expect a hipster joint to make its home here. Getting to this hole-in-the-wall cafe is an adventure in itself. Squeeze into an elevator that has a curious pole fixture (I promise not for reasons you are thinking of), exit at the “top floor”, then climb up a flight of stairs and join the growing queue at the narrow, non-air conditioned corridor.
If you can endure the wait, an idyllic brunch or tea time awaits.
Coexist Coffee Co. is minimally furnished, with an asymmetrical split of white and red and grey communal table serving as its “statement piece”. It’s clear who is Coexist’s main clientele. The al fresco area is fully decked with red furnishing; kind of apt to launch in July, with National Day a month away!
Coffee aficionados can choose from a line-up of seasonal brews, which include Guatemala Arayaza Vinoso and Sunda Radiophare. The iced Dirty Matcha ($6.50) provides welcome relief from the heat, with its coffee notes packing quite a punch. Pity the hojicha was not available when we visited!
Food-wise, Coexist Coffee Co.’s menu is best described as an eclectic mix of “West meets East”. Couples and dining groups alike can partake in some aesthetic sharing plates, which are the highlight here.
The Chilli Crab Shaksukah ($16) puts a local spin on a classic North African and Middle Eastern dish. Poached egg adds yolky richness to tarty chilli crab sauce that is loaded with mouthwatering jumbo lump crab meat.
With the generous amount of crab meat hidden beneath the poached egg, this sharing plate is a pretty good deal. I like that the sauce wasn’t overly oily, making the dish pretty light on the tummy. I wonder if we can choose between fried and steamed mantou to mop up the sauce with next time!
Transition from warm to chilled with the Burrata ($10). While most burrata is served in its pouch from, Coexist Coffee Co.’s rendition is “spilled” onto the plate, with balsamic tomato and orange chunks adding an interesting layer of sweetness to the cow milk cheese. A drizzle of honey and serving of buttered sourdough toast completes this appetiser.
The stringiness of the cheese in the middle of the dish makes for a chewy treat that you can mop up with the bread. If you’re looking for something refreshing to counter the heat outside, this is the dish to go for.
For mains, diners can choose from a variety of All-Day Breakfast staples with a similar Asian twist, as well as a selection of equally hearty plates. The Sambal Fish & Chips, Rendang Wagyu Beef Burger, and Bao Benedict are some names that stood out on the menu for us.
The Squid Ink Fried Rice ($26) screams aesthetics. Rice cooked al dente topped with paprika prawn ikura that adds a pop of umami to every bite. The garlic aioli sauce on the side is rich and thick, and pairs well with the rice. I was surprised to find the baby squid to be fried to a crunch; I would have preferred if it was perhaps grilled or poached to counter all that richness.
With the nearby Bukit Gombak Nature Park in view, Coexist Coffee Co. is an aesthetically pleasing haven for cafe hoppers looking for a new hangout spot. The staff is also warm and friendly, even offering to snap a photo of you with the cafe’s red-and-white background!
Address: 48 Hillview Terrace 08-00 Singapore (669269)
Nearest MRT: Bukit Batok NS2
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm daily