Published on Monday, 06 February 2017 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
“The more we get together, the happier we'll be,” is To-Gather Cafe's motto, and we couldn't agree more especially when the gathering involves a wide array of food available with pricetags that can rival the affordability of Western kopitiam stalls.
Nothing is more enjoyable than gorging yourself with family and friends on food and drink galore. Eating and drinking are the two basic human needs for survival since the dawn of humanity. It has since evolved to become a pleasurable social activity, but there arises the problem of cost.
You and your friends will often find yourselves stuck in the dilemma of choosing between cheap food in a hot and noisy kopitiam and expensive food in a relaxing air-conditioned cafe. Finally, you can have the best of both worlds – a chill and cozy ambience to catch up with your friends without hurting your wallets at To-Gather Cafe.
To-Gather Cafe was set up with the realization that Singaporeans of all ages are getting more receptive towards the cafe culture, with the aim of offering a casual-chic dining space in the heartlands where Generation Y and Z can gather with their friends and elders for a satisfying meal.
The restaurant occupies two units under Block 84 along Bedok North Street 4, and is tastefully done up in bright and colorful hues. A lot of cream-colored panelled wood is used in its furnishings to give off a more homely setting to the cheerful cafe.
The establishment has a big board which acts as a divider where happy customers have plastered the entire fixture with raving reviews and well wishes in the form of sticky notes. To-Gather Cafe also supports home-grown talents, featuring wall murals painted by local artists.
Hot Matcha Latte, $5.20
Sweet, creamy and velvety, this steaming hot cup of matcha latte is perfectly brewed with just the right amount of milk and sugar. Not only is it loaded with a chock-full of antioxidents, the fragrant and leafy taste of the matcha green tea will both sooth and rejuvenate you.
Crispy Thai Chicken Cubes, $6.50
Chicken cubes are deep-fried in a flavorful batter drizzled with sweet thai chili mixed with mayo. Other than the thai chili mayo concoction, the chicken cubes had no other thai elements. The chicken meat within is juicy, but the exterior is not as crispy as we typically like our popcorn chicken to be. Nonetheless, this is a great low cost side dish that your friends definitely won't mind sharing to satisfy their greasy deep-fried cravings.
To-Gather Big Breakfast, $9.90
The only breakfast/brunch item on the menu consists of a slice of cheese and fluffy scrambled egg on toasted ciabatta loaf with bacon, sausage, wedges and mesclun salad topped with a savory sesame sauce for taste. You can't go wrong with these breakfasty ingredients if you are in the mood for some brunch food, especially when they have managed to perfect the coveted pile of soft and creamy scrambled egg that is light and fluffy on the palette.
Creamy Truffle Mushroom Pasta, $10.90
The creamy truffle mushroom pasta is unanimously everyone's favorite dish in To-Gather Cafe during the media tasting of 7 pax. At just $10.90, the earthy and musky aroma of truffles heavily emanated from the dish, attracting and seducing everyone's olfactory systems. The pasta cooked perfectly al-dente was profoundly inundated in a pool of rich mushroom sauce simply overflowing with the garlicky and woody flavors of black truffle. They do not scrimp on the mushrooms either, each twirl of the fork yielded a creamy, earthy, musky, silky bite with soft and tender mushrooms. This rich dish is truly a delight for the senses and will definitely satisfy truffle lovers.
Cheesy Baked Japanese Curry Rice, $10.90
We advise against ordering the cheesy baked japanese curry rice unless all your teeth have fallen out. It is a bowl of mush with strange flavor combinations that do not match well with each other. The rice within has the consistency of porridge, and the prawns and diced chicken did not possess any taste. The potato cubes further added onto the sloppiness of the dish with the cheese providing a little bit of textural contrast with a hard and plasticky stiffness.
Mexican Quesadilla, $7.50
Mexican cuisine is rare to come across in Singapore, which is what makes it costly in other places. At To-Gather Cafe though, a simple and yummy quesadilla, a quintessential mexican dish, is priced at an affordable pricetag for a satsifactory portion. Grilled chicken slices, sauteed mixed bell peppers and mozarella cheese are sandwiched between two thin pieces of tortilla and pan-fried so that the cheese inside melts and incorprates with all the other ingredients. The chicken slices are tender and juicy, the cheese is creamy and stringy and the mixed bell peppers add a touch of fresh sweetness to the dish. It is served with a side of tomato salsa for a refreshing tanginess.
Grilled Pandan Chicken Chop, $9.50
Grilled in pandan leaves, drenched in a delicate coconut sauce and topped with pineapple salsa, this chicken chop is definitely one of the more unique fusion items on the menu. The chicken thigh is perfectly grilled with slightly charred edges and a smoky taste that perfectly complements the fragrant aroma of pandan. The meat is juicy and tender when we cut into it. The light coconut sauce provides a creamy richness to the meat while the pineapple salsa rounds up the myriad of flavors and textures with a sweet, fruity and crunchy contribution.
Pork Cordon Bleu, $11.90
This deep-fried breaded pork loin stuffed with ham and cheese is served with mustard cream sauce, fries, and mesclun salad. The golden parcel has a crispy exterior of breadcrumbs deliciously contrasting with the gooey interior that explodes with molten cheese when you bite into it. The pork loin that encompasses the cheese and salty ham is tender and juicy. Slather the mustard cream sauce over for a sharp, creamy kick.
Grilled Ribeye Steak, $17.90
Imported chilled, never frozen, from New Zealand, the grilled ribeye steak sits in a pool of black pepper gravy with creamy mushroom ragout spooned over. It is served with lyonnaise potato and seasonal vegetables by the side. While the ribeye was juicy, succulent and adequately seasoned, it was a tad too tough to our liking. We like our steaks with a little bit of marbling within for a creamier and buttery-soft bite, but then again, for just $17.90, we shouldn't complain.
Chocolate Lava Cake with Vanilla Gelato, $6.20
Rich and thick molten chocolate oozed out of the heart of this warm dark chocolate cake as we dug into it. Bitter and sweet with a viscosity that coats the entire tongue, the cool vanilla gelato helped to wash down the syrupy richness of the cake.
Matcha Lava Cake with Vanilla Gelato, $7.20
Unlike its chocolate counterpart, the matcha lava cake was a hit-and-miss. Its exterior had a strange doughy texture akin to plasticine and it was barely molten within. The cake was a sugar bomb. We couldn't taste the refreshing bitterness of the matcha. Overwhelming sweetness just engulfed our tastebuds and brought fears of diabetes to mind. If you are a genuine matcha fan who loves the leafy fragrance of it, go for the matcha latte instead.
Almost entirely consisting of soft and fluffy mascarpone cheese that is velvety and rich with a sweet, bitter and slighty alcoholic finish, we were astounded with the quality of this tiramisu, considering its humble pricetag of $5.90. Most places, which market themselves as economical cafes, skimp on the creamy mascarpone cheese, filling the bulk of it with mediocre spongecake to cut costs and turning it into a disgrace of a dessert that the Italians will spit on. To-Gather Cafe actually went the extra mile when it came to its tiramisu, filling it with quality and pride. Now if only they would create whole tiramisu cakes for us to take home and binge on.
With the myriad of yummy dishes To-Gather Cafe offers on its menu along with its extremely affordable prices, the food practically sells itself. The cafe is relaxing, clean, cozy and comfortable with the aroma of good food wafting about. We can imagine ourselves chilling out here for hours on a lazy Saturday afternoon chatting over a cup of tea and indulging in small bites if we lived in the East.
Address: Block 84, Bedok North Street 4, # 01-25 / 27, Singapore 460084
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 11AM – 10PM
Tel.: +65 6445 1011