Monki Cafe at Holland Drive
Though Easties have been constantly proclaiming that the East is the best side of Singapore, the West has been putting up a strong fight in recent years with many new cafes and eateries too. Two spots that I can think of are Oh My Mango and Nasi Coco, and joining the list would be Monki Cafe – a Taiwanese cafe offering affordable snowflake desserts at Holland Drive.
Food at Monki Cafe
With the unexpected mini durian season that happened in March, many durian desserts have been hitting the streets. Monki Cafe joined the bandwagon and created their very own Durian Coconut Snowflake Dessert ($7.80). Topped off with durian pengat, sea cucumber, some green jelly, and a pinch of desiccated coconut, this makes quite an Instagrammable dessert.
Digging into this treat, I went for the durian pengat first. It offered a rich, creamy texture, and a bittersweet aftertaste, which I loved. Having mixed it all up, the rich flavour from the king of fruits complemented the light, refreshing coconut-flavoured ice. The chendol and sea coconut added a chewy contrast to the smooth combination of the ice and durian pengat. Its well-balanced flavour had me hooked on this dessert, devouring it in minutes.
If you and your friend can’t agree on which flavours to get, or you are just as indecisive as me, Monki Cafe’s Double Flavour Snowflake Dessert ($10.80) is made for you. With more than six flavours to choose from, we finally settled on matcha azuki and chocolate banana, which would have cost $6.50 and $7.80 respectively. With its aesthetic presentation, I couldn’t help but whip out my phone and take one for the ‘gram.
For someone who doesn’t like matcha, I caught myself going back for seconds. Unlike many matcha desserts, the green tea flavour here didn’t hit me like a wrecking ball. Instead, it was light and surprisingly refreshing. The red beans that came along were not cloying, but sweet enough to cut through the bitter aftertaste of the matcha.
My excitement to try the chocolate banana portion was quickly washed away when I had my first bite. The chocolate-flavoured ice was slightly too sweet for my liking and the banana element seemed to be missing from my bowl. I guess I’d just stick to the matcha azuki next time.
What is a Taiwanese eatery without lu rou fan? Monki Cafe’s Taiwan Braised Pork Rice ($9) came with rice topped with some preserved vegetables, cucumbers, peanuts, an egg, slices of lotus root, lettuce, and a small portion of braised pork.
I was impressed by the fatty chunks of braised meat; they were tender and melted like butter in my mouth. The preserved vegetables paired well with the slightly greasy pork, making the latter less jelak. However, I wished for more meat to go along with the warm bed of rice. For $9, I expected a lot more in quantity.
Ambience at Monki Cafe
Just a 15-minute walk away from Buona Vista MRT Station, Monki Cafe is located steps away from Holland Drive Food Centre, giving many an alternative from hawker fare. The warm lights, yellow furniture, and cute toys peppered all around the cafe create a cosy environment that will no doubt draw diners in. And, good news for all studying in that area! Students are offered 10% off their total bill, as long as they present their student card.
While this place serves up a mean plate of lu rou fan, its portion would have me think twice about coming back for it. That being said, the snowflake desserts are worth trying. Jio your friends for dinner at Holland Drive Food Centre and catch up over some sweet treats here!
Address: 43 Holland Drive, #01-41, Singapore 270043
Opening hours: Daily 10:30am to 9pm
Tel: 6258 8112
This is an independent review by Eatbook.sg