CHINATOWN - Brought to us by the same folks behind Department of Caffeine and 2 Degrees North Coffee Co., The Populus Coffee & Food Co. is a sleek self-proclaimed gastro-cafe serving up specialty coffees and contemporary cuisine. You can’t miss the bright white facade in the middle of a row of shophouses on Neil Road, and once you step inside the long narrow space, you’ve got plenty of Instagram ops from the cool chrome, wood and brick decor to the artfully presented dishes that fly out of the kitchen.
Why you should come here:
If you work in the area this is a good spot to grab wholesome lunch options like their Donburi Rice Bowls and Grain Bowls that come with ample portions of protein like roasted teriyaki salmon, pulled pork and chicken cutlet, as well as colourful and crunchy vegetables. It’s not so much a place we would suggest for a takeaway lunch, but it’s more of a cool spot to sit down for a bit and enjoy an ample portion of healthy food while you check your emails.
What we love:
The interiors are cool both in temperature and style, and it’s fun to sit and watch the baristas behind the long wooden bar whipping up all manner of caffeine fixes. Speaking of caffeine, the coffee here is specially roasted by 2 Degrees North Co., so it’s rich, aromatic and always fresh. All day breakfast options are never a bad thing in our books, and at Populus you can get dishes like their famous Populus Scramble with creamy scrambled eggs seasoned with fresh herbs and served with marinated feta, streaky bacon and a croissant any time you pop in.
If you’re coming with six or more people, make a reservation, especially if you’re coming in for weekend brunch because it does get very busy. Also keep in mind that they have a special weekend menu that features more brunch type dishes and less rice and grain bowls than the weekday menu.