Ever since discovering Tea Chapter at Neil Road, I’ve been fascinated by the area. There really are quite a few hidden gems there. Populus Cafe is located just a few doors down from another popular brunch favourite, the Lokal which we definitely want to try soon. Meanwhile, Populus looked a bit more chic and plenty of sunlight, so we settled in.
Overall: ★★★★☆ Hearty, quality food. Decent coffee.
I was feeling a little hungry, and went with the Populus All Day Big Brekky ($26).
It’s really all you could want in a hearty breakfast. Soft poached eggs, aerated hollandaise, potato rosti, frankische sausage, smoked salmon, homemade baked beans, L&P mushrooms, mixed salad. I loved the rosti! And the sausage tasted a lot like the ones Mcdonald’s uses in its McMuffins which i happen to like. The baked beans are also homemade, and had lots of flavour.
Sean ordered the Fried Chicken Burger ($18.50) which we saw a lot of people try.
It’s the cafe’s signature crispy succulent fried chicken thigh fillet, back bacon, apple & red cabbage slaw, and we swapped the shoestring fries out for truffle ones. The chicken was juicy, well-marinated and the batter wonderfully crispy. It wasn’t too oily either, and went very well with the cabbage slaw. The slaw could use a little bit of lemon juice, but overall sandwiched between two fluffy buns was a pretty decadent treat. The truffle fries weren’t as good as Atlas Coffee (less crispy and not as generous a helping of shaved parmesan), but overall it was a good meal.
I also tried their ‘Magic’ ($5.50) for a bit of a caffeine kick.
The coffee was pretty decent. I’d say it comes in a close second to my all-time favourite at Common Man Coffee Roasters. And really appreciated the unique look and feel of their coffee cups. It’s all in the details.
The seats are positioned a little close to each other, but we were lucky to get a windowsill counter seat which was great. If you’re early, you can ask them to seat you on the second level of the shophouse which is way more spacious. We’ll definitely be back to try the waffles and the other specials. Watch this space!