(Updated 11 June 2016 – Current menu and more pictures at the bottom of this post) The first Coffee Academics Singapore outlet (TCA) recently opened in Scotts Square. The new cafe by the highly rated coffee specialty store from Hong Kong takes up 3,000 square feet of space at Level 2 of this glamorous mall. The rest of Level 2 is now occupied by ladies’ shoes retailer, On Pedder, which has done a good job in converting the whole floor into a ladies’ shoes paradise. This bold expansion had apparently played a part in attracting TCA to Scotts. The founder of Coffee Academics, Jennifer Liu, said in an interview with the Today newspaper that they were close to signing a lease for a shophouse in the Duxton area but ended up with Scotts Square because she liked its innovative approach in opening the Pedder On Scotts store.
The two words that come to mind when describing The Coffee Academics Singapore at Scotts Square are “spacious” and “fresh”. Various coffee-making stations are spread out over the 3,000 sq ft space. The actual dining tables are clustered in some of the areas. This is not like any other coffee shop in Singapore. It seems like a showpiece, a beachhead to launch their domination of Singapore. Which was fine with us, as long as the prices stay reasonable.
As you can expect, the emphasis at Coffee Academics Singapore is the coffee. Food is also served, but the range is quite limited. Here are portions from their menu.
These were the items that we tried: Academics Breakfast ($25), Scrambled Eggs with Crayfish ($23), Crispy Fish Fillet Tacos ($21), Academic Pancake Tower ($19), Soup of the Day (mushroom – $15) and some coffees ($6.50 for cappuccino).
The Academics Breakfast (above) was like any other breakfast platter – sausage, eggs, bread, salad and baked beans. Not bad but not distinctive either. The Scrambled Eggs with Crayfish (below) sounded interesting but turned out to be quite ordinary. The crayfish was not the type that we had expected. They were much smaller, looked and tasted more like prawns.
The best dish of the day was the pancakes. They were fluffy and buttery. The dish looked beautiful as well.
The fish fillet tacos was another dish for which we held high expectations as it was a rather unusual item at all day breakfast kind of cafes. They were generally good. We could taste the chunks of fish. The only area of improvement was the taco shells. We thought they were meant to be crisp but they were more chewy than crisp. The curly fries were good.
The mushroom soup seemed to have a lot of substance but somehow the mushrooms used did not have much of a mushroom taste. It had a mildly bitter, vegetative taste.
Finally, we turn to the main event of The Coffee Academics Singapore – the coffee.
We are happy to say that the coffee was very good. We don’t know how to describe the taste – it just makes you want to drink more and more of it. At $6.50, prices are on the high side but this kind of prices for coffee is, sadly, not unusual these days .
Level 2 of Scotts Square has been transformed into a bright and refreshing retail space with the introduction of the Academics and Pedder on Scotts. We were less than impressed with the food at TCA Singapore, but some of us will surely be back for the coffee and pancakes in between shoe shopping.
Another positive development that we discovered during our visit to Scotts Square was the new points system which you could chalk up with purchases at SS. These can be redeemed to get shopping vouchers or to pay for parking charges. Something like the system at Ion Orchard, but the details differ. A concierge desk now exists on the ground floor to attend to such matters. These are welcome and long overdue developments. We hope to see more exciting stuff when the new shops at other parts of SS are eventually revealed.
Here are some wise words from our friends at The Coffee Academics Singapore.
June 2016 Update – pictures of current menu and more pictures of Coffee Academics, On Pedder and other interesting stuff on Level 2 Scotts Sq below:
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
The Coffee Academics
Scott Square #02-01/02
Tel: +65 65381940
Opening Hours : 9 am to 9 pm
Nearby MRT Station : Orchard