5 Reasons Why The Populus Will Be Your New Favourite Hangout Food Notes

From the guys who brought you the popular Department of Caffeine comes a more food-focused cafe – The Populus.

Brunch is booming business in Singapore, but the truth is, few people do it well. After visiting a few cafes, you’ll realise it’s pretty much the same thing on the menu — poached eggs, brioche toast, and smashed avocado — so it gets boring fast. The Populus, however, is not your typical brunch place. For starters, they are open for dinner as well (on certain days of the week) but more importantly, their menu is inventive without being bizarre, and the food – simply delightful.

Here are 5 reasons to check out The Populus:

1. The founders are committed to creating memorable dining experiences.

The Populus is the brainchild of Andrew Lek and Kang Yi Yang, and inspired by the duo’s travels to foodie destinations around the world. In an interview with Go Away, Andrew says, “I really enjoyed the cosmopolitan culture in the UK, especially when it comes to food and dining. While there, you can find flavours and influences from all over the world. Australia has a great casual dining scene and cafe culture. Italy is also big on communal dining and the local cuisine showcases their amazing produce”

He adds, “In Denmark, I was impressed by how they were constantly pushing the edge of fine dining. Closer to home in Thailand, I loved the punchy flavours of the local cuisine as well as the use of fresh herbs and spices. All these experiences played a part in our culinary style and direction for The Populus.”

2. Plenty of options for the health-conscious …

If you’re watching your waistline, try the Roasted Cod & Soba Noodle Salad, a light and refreshing dish of zesty cod loin and cold soba noodles, served with edamame, seaweed, chili, and green onions. Or, if you’re with a group of friends, go for the Avocado Superfood Green Platter, which is a nutritionist’s dream with kale, charred broccoli,  avocado, spinach, cottage cheese, marinated feta, pumpkin seeds, dukkah, grains, multigrain bread, and sous vide egg!

Teriyaki Salmon Donburi

Teriyaki Salmon Donburi

One healthful dish I really enjoyed is the Teriyaki Salmon Donburi, which may sound like a common dish, but The Populus has created a winning combination of ingredients. Their version is a petite portion of lightly roasted teriyaki salmon, flying fish roe, assorted Japanese veggies, and a gooey onsen egg  served atop fluffy Japanese rice – delicious to the last bite!

3. … and for the indulgent

Spring Pancake & Fried Chicken

Spring Pancake & Fried Chicken

Of course, it’s not just health food at The Populus. Another dish I really enjoyed is the Spring Pancake with Fried Chicken. Don’t get alarmed by the green hue of the pancake – the colour is from the spring onions it’s made from, and not any artificial colouring. It’s served with a generous fried chicken thigh fillet that is succulent, juicy, and best of all, fresh.

Another must-try is the Heirloom Rendang Rice Bowl, which they only serve in limited quantities because it’s actually prepared by Andrew’s mum! For desserts, you’ll want to try the Buckwheat Pancake simply because it tastes as good as it looks. Don’t take too long uploading pictures of the pancake on Instagram or Snapchat because you’ll want to eat this dish hot. Berry fruit compote, passionfruit curd, cornflake crumb (a sweet and crunchy upgrade of your usual cornflakes) is lavishly sprinkled across a thick, fluffy slice of buckwheat pancake … yum!

Buckwheat Pancake

Buckwheat Pancake

4. Excellent coffee

Founders Andrew and Yi Yang are also the owners of specialty coffee roastery,  2degrees North Coffee Co., which means coffee lovers will get to enjoy a full range of seasonal single origins and specialty coffee blends. With beans sourced from Kenya to Ethiopia, and a team of knowledgable baristas, the coffee here is seriously legit.

5. Special discount for Go Away readers!*

When you dine at The Populus on weekdays, simply quote “Go Away” when you’re making payment and you’ll get a 10 percent discount off your food and drinks. See you there!

The Populus is located at 146 Neil Road.

*Terms and conditions:

– 10% discount valid on mention of ‘Go Away’.
– Valid for weekdays only (closed on Tuesday).
– Valid for 1 month from publication of article.
– Valid for the whole table for food items only, not for alcoholic beverages.
– Reservations must be made in advance. Reservations made to redeem the promotion will be valid via telephone booking only: +65 6635 8420.  

For as long as she can remember, Vanessa has always wanted to escape to a place where no one knows her. But because that’s not always possible, she often retreats into the world of books and pop culture. When she does get to travel, she prefers going off the beaten track and back to nature. Some of her best memories include napping in a treehouse in Laos and cycling across padi fields in Bali.

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