8Bar Espresso Review: TCM Hall-Inspired Cafe In Paya Lebar | Eatbook.sg
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8Bar Espresso Review: TCM Hall-Inspired Cafe With Furikake Bagels And Black Sesame Latte

10th March 2023

8Bar Espresso is a new Paya Lebar cafe that looks like a TCM hall

8bar espresso ambience

Aesthetic coffee and brunch spots have been popping up as of late, including Orchard cafe TAG Espresso and new croffle place Hellu Coffee in the CBD. The latest addition to join the Paya Lebar neighbourhood is 8Bar Espresso, which attempts to stand out with its Chinese medicinal hall-inspired decor and a wide variety of brunch fare.

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Food at 8Bar Espresso

8bar espresso flatlay

The menu at 8Bar Espresso is rather extensive, featuring rice bowls, all-day bagel sandwiches and toasts, as well as specialty coffee made with the brand’s house-roasted beans.

8bar espresso fries

We started with some Lu Rou Fries ($13+): Taiwanese-style braised pork, torched mozzarella, and bean-paste mayo stacked on hand-cut fries.

While I’m fairly familiar with loaded fries and poutine, this was my first time seeing lu rou paired with fries. This sharing-sized snack came with a generous amount of minced meat a la lu rou fan—just replacing the rice with potatoes here. I appreciated how there weren’t too many fatty bits within, as this sinful snack was already over-the-top indulgent.

surfboard bagel sandwich 8bar espresso

The Surfboard ($19+) was another flavour bomb; this loaded bagel came with a whole deep-fried soft-shell crab within. We also opted for the house-made Furikake Bagel by topping up $0.50+.

8bar espresso bagel open

Baked fresh on-site, the bagel itself had a good chew, though some might find it slightly hard. I thought the addition of furikake was an excellent idea, as it added even more umami to the crab sandwich.

8bar espresso bagel crab

It was also piled with creamy scrambled eggs, tobiko, and lettuce, though I felt that the greens should have been omitted as they didn’t add much to the dish. Over the course of the shoot, the lettuce leaves became soggy and unappetising, so I took them out eventually.

The fried crab was proper crispy, with an almost creamy, seafood richness to it. However, while each component—the bagel and the crab—was well-executed, I felt that it was a little too much with all the ingredients and sauces combined. Perhaps we should have ordered a simpler sandwich flavour instead, to better appreciate the house-made bagel.

8bar espresso milk toast

Another highlight of our meal was the Black Mango Milk Bread ($11+): milk toast with house-made black sesame paste, mango chunks, whipped cream, and cream cheese.

The slightly sweet milk bread, also baked in-house, was the perfect canvas for the fragrant, nutty black sesame spread—I could have this on its own, without all the fixings!

8bar espresso toast interaction

The whipped cream added some sweetness to the dessert, though I felt they were a little heavy-handed as it soon became overly creamy. Thankfully, there was some tangy cream cheese to offset the richness, adding another layer of flavour.

8bar espresso prawn bowl

For those who want something more filling, get the Deep Dive Bowl ($19+). This rice bowl came with two torched tiger prawns, scallops, oyster mushrooms, pickled mustard greens, and a hanjuku egg, atop short-grain rice. The finishing touches were a dash of bean paste garlic butter and prawn bisque reduction, which added a ton of flavour to the hearty dish.

8bar espresso prawn

I was particularly impressed by how well the prawns were torched; they were perfectly done, with a springy texture that’s hard to achieve.

8bar espresso scallop

The scallops were also sweet and juicy, torched just right.

8bar espresso drinks

If you love black sesame, you’d be remiss to leave without trying their Iced Black Sesame Latte ($9+). This came with two shots of espresso, fresh milk, and the same aromatic house-made black sesame paste. It was gao and nutty, with an ideal sweetness level—we kept going back for more!

There’s also an innovative Iced Matcha Mango ($10+), which I felt was too complex for my liking. The matcha notes were prominent, but I wasn’t a big fan of the mango pairing.

Coffee fiends will also be pleased to know that 8Bar Espresso roasts their own beans at their warehouse! The menu offers many other caffeinated options, including artisanal pour-overs and classic espresso-based drinks.

Ambience at 8Bar Espresso

8bar espresso storefront

8Bar Espresso sits on the ground floor of SingPost Centre, which is a brief five-minute walk from Paya Lebar MRT Station. I liked how the textured concrete walls added character to the space, complementing the sleek industrial decor. There are also red “cabinets” at the counter that nod to the medicinal cabinets found in most TCM halls.

However, the cafe is located within a mall, directly opposite another casual eatery. This means the shared walkway right outside gets rather busy, especially during lunchtime. Since the entrance is open and exposed, you also don’t get the cosy, exclusive vibes that many cafe-hoppers are keen for.

The verdict

8bar counter

My colleague and I left 8Bar Espresso happy and satiated. This was one of the better tastings we’ve had, as almost every item we tried turned out to be delicious. What the vibes lacked, the unique menu made up for it. Since I live in the East, I’ll be bookmarking this cafe for future weekend brunches!

Another unique cafe to visit is CATBAKE, a cat-themed bakery at The Star Vista with cheesecake, French toast and more. Otherwise, read our Equate Coffee review if you’re up for specialty coffee paired with thick sando and flaky croissants.

Address: 10 Eunos Road 8, #01-131, SingPost Centre, Singapore 408600
Opening hours: Daily 9:30am to 9pm
Tel: 8892 2094
8Bar Espresso is not a halal-certified eatery.

CATBAKE Review: New Cat-Themed Bakery In Singapore By Famous Japanese Pastry Chef

Photos taken by Chew Yi En.
This was a media tasting at 8Bar Espresso. 

8Bar Espresso Review: TCM Hall-Inspired Cafe With Furikake Bagels And Black Sesame Latte
  • 8/10
    8Bar Espresso Review: TCM Hall-Inspired Cafe With Furikake Bagels And Black Sesame Latte - 8/10


– House-made bagel and milk toast were delicious
– Many food options on the menu
– Convenient location

– Iced Matcha Mango Latte was $10

Recommended dishes: Black Mango Milk Bread ($11+), Lu Rou Fries ($13+), Iced Black Sesame Latte ($9+)

Opening hours: Daily 9:30am to 9pm 

Address: 10 Eunos Road 8, #01-131, SingPost Centre, Singapore 408600

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