Lunar Coffee Brewers @ OUE Downtown Gallery 2

Previously featured in The Straits Times for her outstanding entrepreneurship capabilities, accomplished barista-cum-businessnesswoman, Ms Daphne Goh, 26, has opened her newest cafe in the heart of the CBD – Lunar Coffee Brewers. The 30-to-40-seater café had been furnished with glossy metallic stools and jet-black tables decorated with a tacky marble coating. An open-concept barista bar take centrestage in the middle for diners to enjoy the coffee preparation process, amidst the contrasting ombré walls where linear gradients of dirty blues disrupt the chic, industrial décor.

Having chanced upon the opportunity to meet the beauty behind the successful brand, we decided to have a quick chat with Daphne to discover more about her Asian-inspired menu for Lunar.

According to her, the rice and stew staples (available from 11am onwards) on the menu have been thoughtfully concocted to instill a sense of warmth and nostalgia in the bellies of CBD workers. Savoury items such as the Miso-Nori Salmon Soba and the Lu Rou Belly Don make use of familiar ingredients and taste profiles which are relatable to majority of the Singaporeans. To cater to Western palates, the Everyday Shakshuka features a French ragout served alongside crusty sourdough toasts. And since caffeine is highly sought-after in the area, the coffee-based Milky Way Soft Serve has been created to inject additional doses of energy for the hardworking or tired souls.

With 4 wobbly legs and 2 hungry stomachs to feed, we proceeded to quell our hunger with a large order of 3 gourmet bowls, 2 soft serves, and a cup of 9oz latte, specially prepared by the owner herself.

First to be devoured was the Japanese-inspired Miso-Nori Salmon Soba $14.50. Although the salmon was poached to pure perfection, the negligent oversight of leaving the skin soft and squishy was just too much of a blunder to go unnoticed. The noodles, on the other hand, were slightly overcooked – soft and overly brittle, but the savoury, yet piquant sauce coating the soba noodles was, thankfully, sufficient to revive some vigour in the dish.

As for the miso-nori butter, the promised flavours of fermented soybeans and seaweed were somehow lost in translation; a misfortunate ratio mishap on their part.

Next to be consigned to the warmth of our mouth was the Gochujang Chicken Don $14.50, a comforting bowl of sliced chicken thigh, melted mozzarella cheese, pickled vegetables, kimchi, and an onsen egg served atop a bed of short-grain Japanese rice. Disregarding its frightful appearance, the thigh was indeed tender and well-marinated in a Korean-style sauce where an inviting mix of sweet, savoury, and spicy notes aid in beefing up the slightly bland protein. The mozzarella cheese, however, was a firefighter in disguise – disappointing fans of spicy food, or rather us, with its heat-suppressing properties. That said, it would be a pleasant surprise for those who do not fancy too much spice.

Despite deviating from the authentic recipe, the Lu Rou Belly Don $14.50 was still a pretty decent bowl. The pork belly slices were fork-tender and glistened proudly in a malevolent shade of brown – a notable sign that they had been lovingly braised in the soy-sauce-based broth for hours till soft and flavoursome. On a side note, the onsen egg didn’t exactly pique our interest and we found it to be slightly misplaced in the dish; a better alternative would involve replacing the onsen egg for the more traditional braised one.

The Earl Grey Soft Serve $5.90 and Milky Way Soft Serve $5.90 are 2 highly recommended desserts on Lunar’s menu.

The former features a refreshing and delightful bowl of soft serve infused with the scent and flavour of the beloved tea blend. A generous helping of maple-glazed cornflakes were also found lying lazily at the base of the bowl, imparting a fabulous crunch and texture to the dessert. Though the soft serve was initially creamier and more heat-resistant, in the sense that it didn’t melt too quickly, recent trips to the café revealed a more sorbet-like consistency; a little icier, but, nevertheless, still delicious.

The latter, on the other hand, was a coffee-based soft serve that’s perfect for those who require additional jabs of caffeine into their system. Taste-wise, the coffee flavour was moderately strong, and paired really well with the rich, buttery shortbread crumble. If we had to choose between one or the other, the Earl Grey Soft Serve was definitely more outstanding, as well as being a really good palate cleanser.

A unique trait of Lunar Coffee Brewers is that their hot coffee comes in 2 friendly sizes – regular (7oz) and large (9oz). We ordered the 9oz latte and found it to be rich, intense, and potent to the point where our hands started trembling with joy. Perhaps a little too much caffeine for us, but what we enjoyed the most was that the coffee was well-balanced and not a hint acidic.

Be it a casual date, a family outing, or even a solo trip, Lunar Coffee Brewers is undoubtedly a good place for one to relax and unwind. Moreover, the café does not impose additional GST/service charge on customers, and even offers free WiFi and sparkling water. Yes, you heard it right – an endless supply of complimentary sparkling water so there is probably no reason why you should not add Lunar to your list of cafe places to visit this weekend!

6 Shenton Way
#01-49/50
OUE Downtown Gallery 2
Singapore 068809

Opening hrs:
Mon to Fri: 8am – 8pm
Sat: 9am – 3pm
Sun: Closed

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Words and Photography by Kenneth Lim (@sempiternal.indulgence)
The writer is an avid tea drinker who enjoys slicing cakes with his golden fork. 

Singapore

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