Overpriced perhaps, but home to a unique enough menu that stands out from the typical Eggs Bennys of today’s saturated cafe scene in Singapore. And really, those steep prices are probably to cover the cost of the cafe being in such an upmarket location. That said, Robertson Quay offers a handful of other decent cafes – Toby’s Estate and The Book Cafe come to mind. But I think Common Man has been on everyone’s radar for a while. Anyway, I chanced upon the cafe during a work thing, and because it looked so gosh darn pretty, I decided to go back to try the coffee and food that very same week with James.
I like the warmth and the buzzing atmosphere in the cafe, though it can get a little overwhelming at times. The tables aren’t really spaced too far apart, so it can get a little bit impersonal when you’re squished between two packed tables, but other than that, the establishment makes for a good breakfast and brunch spot. Plenty of natural light filters in through the large glass windows, making photography a real breeze. Service is efficient, and their baristas do up a mean brew. I can say with certainty that I enjoyed one of the best flat whites I’ve ever tasted here.
The Organic Eggs Benedict (S$24) was pretty much rocket leaves galore, with a sneaky bed of braised ox cheek hidden under two poached eggs, all sitting atop some sourdough. I couldn’t quite taste the “chive hollandaise”, which seemed to have been blow-torched, interestingly enough. But the lovely, tender, flavourful ox cheek more than made up for that. The plating is unique and would probably intrigue your Instagram followers, if you’re into posting your #foodporn.
Slightly less hearty than the Eggs Benny is the simple Croissant Croque Monsieur (S$16), which will probably still be enough to fill the bellies of anyone looking for a savoury breakfast. Served with provolone cheese, ham, and a rather penny-pinching amount of béchamel sauce, it might not be the most competitive item on the menu. They were obviously more heavy-handed with the rocket leaves, but that’s the least interesting thing on the plate. You can always just add a few sides to top up your tummy if you’re still hungry. An extra pork sausage will set you back S$5, and so will half an avocado, or some sautéed spinach. Not the most value-for-money cafe in the universe, but like I said, Common Man’s located in a rather upmarket district, so expect the exorbitant prices! The coffee’s worth every bit of moolah, though.
COMMON MAN COFFEE ROASTERS
22 Martin Road
Opening hours: 7:30am – 6pm (Monday to Sunday)