Cafe-hopping from home: Brunch delivery from The Lokal, a Baoventure & some positive vibes
12 April 2020 // Singapore
Appreciating little pockets of happiness (usually in the form of food in my case). Ft. food review of a brunch delivery from The Lokal, I made bao, and spreading some positive vibes!
It has been a week since Singapore launched its 'Circuit Breaker' efforts, but it has been two weeks since I've started working from home. And I am, well, restless.
The first week started off great: I was really productive, bashing through my daily to-do lists. But this week in particular passed at what seemed like a snail's pace, choked with an insatiable thirst for my pre-Covid weekend cafe hunts and neighbourhood adventures. The pictures I've been taking this week have been extra special- because they remind me of the many little things that I took for granted before, and I have learned to find pockets of happiness amongst them all amidst the restlessness. So, I decided to do something for myself this weekend: order cafe food delivery for the first time ever.
- Cafe hopping at home -
136 Neil Road, Singapore (usually)
Weekend mornings were always the most exciting : Friday nights spent planning which neighbourhood to get lost in, which new cafe to check out. This Saturday morning, however, felt the same as it did all week. So it being Easter Sunday, and after a long debate with my rational financial self later, I preordered brunch from The Lokal.
The Lokal tops just about every food blogger's list on 'best cafes in Singapore', and I have been meaning to try it. I was thrilled to find that they offer island-wide delivery (you can preorder on WhatsApp). What better time to try it in the comfort of my own space? Even though it is usually the cafe ambience I pay for...
But anyway, I jumped out of bed on Sunday morning, a little too excited for this, and actually waited by the main door until the delivery guy arrived.
'Please just leave it by the side gate, thanks.'
When the coast was clear, with quick steps and furtive glances, I hurriedly picked up the bag. Evidently, social distancing had me believing that I lived in a spy movie.
First impression: the packaging was so cute! It was like a DIY kit! Being a pretty visual person, I would always plate my food regardless of how hungry I was. It was actually really fun : I was humming like a kid as I got out my plate and started my favourite activity of, well, plating.
- f o o d -
Avocado & Ricotta Toast / $20 (+ Smoked Salmon / $8) and a Latte / $5
The food in 1 word : Australian. Duh Sheryl, it's called Australian restaurant for a reason. But you know the type of brunch that just yells : 'Aussie'? Yup.
That was one of the priciest avocado toasts I've ever had. From the first bite, I thought: 'That is one 'atas' (high-class) avocado toast'. I admit that the menu was partially the reason why I have been putting off this cafe because I thought: why would I pay so much for avocado toasts and salads when I can make that at home? Now I know that I was really paying for the top-notch ingredients used: a generous serving of perfectly seasoned mashed avocado paired with a big dollop of rich and creamy ricotta cheese with juicy slabs of smoked salmon on a slice of toast. Complemented with little bursts of sweetness and texture from the pomelo and almonds. Finished with a drizzle of olive oil, the flavour accentuated with flakes of seas salt. MMMmmm. Avocadoooo~
That was a really good classic Australian avocado toast.
Even the latte was oozing Australian vibes. It was smooth, aromatic with a robust flavour and medium acidity. It was good coffee, but just a bit too sour for my taste (I like low-acidity coffee).
o v e r v i e w
- Based on my opinions -
Coffee : 7/10
Smooth, robust, medium acidity. Too acidic for my personal liking.
Food : 8/10
Food was good, using high-quality ingredients and is a great place for health nuts!
Price Range : $$$
The avocado & ricotta toast was $20 (+smoked salmon is $8). The latte was $5.
They offer island-wide delivery! And can be contacted via WhatsApp.
You can expect good, simple food made with quality ingredients. But because the place is really small (you have to reserve a seat!), and the menu options were not particularly enticing to me, I don't think it would be a to-go place if I were visiting Singapore for a short time. Unless I was craving a really good avocado toast.
136 Neil Road, Singapore 088865
Whatsapp +65 64239918 for Island-wide Delivery!
- A kitchen mess -
What has everyone been up to at home?
There were a few mornings ( two, specifically ), when I woke up, looked at my to-do list and just went: no. And it was these mornings in particular when the kitchen called to me, which led to a Gula Melaka pound cake- a recipe I would soon be sharing, and bao.
a B A O v e n t u r e
Bao. Steamy, soft, pillowy buns that always fill me with
heartwarming memories of home.
I have no idea where my bao obsession came from. But these cute lil' buns always remind me of early breakfasts before dawn just before I was about to attend a camp or some school trip. While studying in the UK, winter always brought the thought of freshly steamed bao to mind. It's comfort food. Even in this situation.
I got this recipe from the Woks of Life. I was pretty happy that these did not turn out as monstrous as I thought they would since it was my first time making them, but I definitely need to practice kneading that dough! Stay tuned for more baoventures!
I ended up procrastinating that particularly unproductive afternoon, and made a bao campaign. Oh dear.
Same feels, anyone?
- Some Thoughts -
Before the Covid-19 outbreak, I was an uptight ball of stress and anger. The smallest things like missing my bus to work ticked me off. And now, ironically, with my life in a bit of a limbo, I am so much happier than I was before. I mean after my delivery from the Lokal arrived, I was beaming so much that someone commented: 'Wow, you look so happy.' LOL!
It is in this situation that made me realise just how fortunate I was and that the BIGGEST issue of my life right now was simply, boredom from staying at home. As much as I try to spread positivity and happiness to everyone, well, I can't dismiss the fact that there are people out there right now, fighting for their lives or even fighting for their next meal. And the fact that I can still afford cafe food?
This really has been a wake-up call for me. I used to believe that I'll only be happy WHEN I achieve success (whatever the hell that means), when I've achieved my goals, when I own a design firm or when I achieve complete financial freedom. But this has made me realise that it really isn't about the destination. That there is no such thing as ever achieving your goals, because those goals are just going to get bigger the closer you get to them. My conclusion? You don't need to chase those goals to be happy because happiness is around you in the smallest of things! Well, in my case, it usually is in the form of food. Or a quiet morning with 30 minutes to read in peace while sipping my coffee instead of downing it. It is a walk around the neighbourhood. It is folding batter, and the smell of freshly baked cakes. It is... a Korean drama (Yes, I watched Crash Landing on You and am a total fan ahhhhhh).
Anyway, hope this cheers you up a bit! Stay safe and stay strong for this too shall pass!
Have a great week ahead :)