Despite strong café culture brewing strongly here in Singapore, options for tea drinkers remains plain. While coffee selection often fills up more than three quarter of the menu, tea bags is not exactly an exciting choice, really. For a quaint café experience, English Tea boutique is of course the place to be but provided one can ever afford to visit regularly. Some may suggest Tea House for a Zen afternoon. But with Lipton tea as our imprint cup (for most of us I assume), that can be a little too daunting ....
Tea should be simple, enjoyable and accessible to all. We met Kaysa, one of Teadot's founders. Driven by interest and passion, they established Teadot in 2009. Since then, this tea café has been growing steadily their pool of royal customers, who have been following them from Bugis, Tampines, NEX and finally to Westgate. Despite having to relocate a few times, business has now stabilized and they are now ready to serve up more sumptuous food to their guests, wholesome all-day brunch items and gourmet sandwiches.
White Orchid Oolong 3.8/5
Being housed in a solitude structure on the ground floor can't be more apt for this café. High ceiling, warm lighting and glass panels showcasing the outside world, it seemed to shelter me from the citybuzz on this lazy Sunday morning. I sipped away my White Orchid Oolong ($6.65) as i waited eagerly for my All-Day Breakfast. It certainly felt good to have something warm and light bodied early in the day. The tea was smooth and fragrant. If only my untrained senses could pick up the mellow notes of the orchids, like how I could sense Osmanthus instantly.
Royal Earl Grey Latte 4/5
My other half ordered the Royal Earl Grey Latte ($6.80). The caramel-vanilla smell seemed to soften my senses as I took in this milky concoction. Compared to honey, this sweet-smelling caramel elevated the notes of the bergamot even further. I would have much preferred the tea to be stronger, but the strength may take the comfort away.
All Day Breakfast 4/5
Then came my All-Day Breakfast ($17.95). My fork went straight into the scramble eggs heap instantly. It was moist and creamy. Together with the well toasted brioche, it was a heaven in itself. Portobello was firm, yet juicy and the same for the German bratwurst. I appreciate the good portion of the crunchy side salad. As for the bacons, I would much prefer the crispy streaky type for a more flavourful punch.
Smoked Duck with Cranberry Sandwich 4/5
Kaysa also introduced to us one of their popular creations - Smoked Duck with Cranberry Sandwich ($13.95). And I can see why. The meat was surprisingly tender, and unlike some which I had tried before, it was not overly salted. The brie cheese was not too sharp and together with the sweetness of the cranberry sauce, they paired perfectly with this savoury smoked duck. It was surely satisfying as I munched my way into the thick melted cheese with the tender smokey meat. It would have been a lot more gratifying if the filling was more generous. But thumbs up for the effort.
Caesar Salad 4.2/5
The Caesar Salad ($10.95) may be quite a hit for veg lover. Our eyes lit up when it was served to us. Large greens filled the bowl, topped with roast chicken, croutons and parmesan cheese. I appreciate the way they sliced the roast chicken till thin, which made the breast meat seemingly tender. Their house dressing was tinged with slight tanginess and less creamy than the usual Caesar dressing. What could have otherwise perfect this dish, I thought would be the quintessential hard boiled egg that was missing in this salad.
Carrot Cake 3.5/5
Teadot offers a range of in house cakes specially created to go with their teas. Between the Carrot Cake ($6.50) and Wild Jackfruit Cake ($6.50), the latter won hands down. The mousse in the middle was at my desired consistency and every bite was treated with the tangy sweetness of the juicy jackfruit pulp. The thin layer of mascarpone cheese on top lent its texture to the mousse, giving it an extra smoothness. Durian as an ingredient is extremely common in our city but jackfruit? It is indeed one of its kind.
Wild Jackfruit Cake 4.2/5
Among Chinese teas, I like Pu'er the most. I have never thought that I can find it here in a western cafe, let alone 菊普. For novelty, I decided to pair my cakes with their Imperial Puer ($6.45). If you are a dim sum person, you would probably have tried this before. It is like the best of both world. The calming fragrance of the mellow white chrysanthemum and the sweet aftertaste of the full-bodied Pu'er.
Yuzu Oolong 4.5/5
To cool yourself in this hot weather, their ice teas will be a great choice. Iced fruit teas are common, not iced oolong perhaps. Instead of using sugar, more natural elements are used to boost the mildness of the ice tea. Yuzu Oolong made use of Yuzu fruit bits to accentuate its sweetness and it was so refreshing that I wish I could have it in a pitcher instead!
Mocha Lava 3/5
Although tea is their specialty, they surprised me with their fine latte art. The baristas are given the liberty to infuse their own inspiration in every cup, and customisation can be done upon guests' requests. Given the size of their serving cups, I would say that their coffee are more meant for light coffee drinkers. The Mocha Lava ($6.85) which I tried was quite comforting but more chocolate and stronger coffee may create more oomph.
Unlike some cafés which I liken them to a cup of bad coffee - emerges strong but tastes disappointingly weak, Teadot on the other hand, epitomises fine tea - Mellow, but exudes strength. It takes time for one to appreciate its quiet characters. instead of using French press, perhaps serving their hot teas in teapots might further strengthen their identity as a modern casual tea cafe. Some may find the prices slightly steep, but with the current promotion*, this place is still quite pocket friendly. Indulging in brunch is always rewarding, somehow. If you are tired of drinking teabags in a coffee cafe, you may just want to give it a try.
Current Promotion at teadot outlet: *Great Value Deal: Customers can get ANY regular gourmet drinks at $2.50 with any meal item.
Written and Photography By Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food.
3 Gateway Drive
Nearest MRT: Jurong East (EW Line, NS Line)
Daily: 9am - 10pm
1) Alight at Jurong East MRT Station. Take Exit A. Walk to Westgate Mall. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]