Friday, March 20, 2015

Coffee: Nowhere, But Where?


The name of the cafe really makes you think doesn't it? So how would you pronounce the name?
It had been donkey years since I last stepped into West Coast Plaza or Ginza Plaza as it was formerly known as. I still remember taking a bus down to one of the comic shops there to sell my Dragon ball cards. Was trying to be an entrepreneur from young! Steady right? Anyway we got the chance to revisit it last week as we were invited to a dinner cum coffee appreciation session there! 

A place where specialty grade coffee is being served.
So let me introduce you to somewhere nice and inviting, a place called Coffee: Nowhere. Wait a minute, it's read as Coffee Now Here and not Coffee No Where, which I had thought initially too. Sets you thinking doesn't it? I already mentioned that I will introduce you to “somewhere”, so how can it be “no where”? Blah!!! Anyway now you shall remember, like I do. 

Got the chance to chat with the owner of the café, a highly-driven young chap named Welson Ang, who coincidentally is of the same age as me, but already owns a string of successful businesses. What nonsense entrepreneurship was I talking about earlier, regarding the  trading and selling Dragonball cards? THIS is the real deal, and oh, he is really friendly too. 

I loved the feeling when I first stepped in the cafe.  It definitely felt cozy, but yet had the luxury of space and it does not feel crampy at all, unlike some other coffee joints. In fact, the kiddos had so much fun roaming around the premise and treating it like their home. This is surely some place I can imagine relaxing with a nice drink, and surfing on my phone in peace, so I was rather worried that the kiddos would be a disturbance to other patrons! Although kids may be definitely welcomed here, coffee joints are still not indoor playgrounds afterall. 

The steps up to the back of the cafe where the cozy sofas lay.
The back where you can relax in the sofa with your laptop, or browse through the magazines and books provided.
The alfresco section where one can can sip coffee but NO longer take a puff.
The cafe is basically divided into 3 main sitting areas. There's the service counters and food preparation right in the center of the premise like an island. The front portion, towards the left of the café (near the main entrance) is catered more for dining, as the cafe serves a rather wide range of delectable dishes too (check out the food we had at the end of this post)! Not that one cannot order a cup of coffee and sit there but I would rather move on to the back of the service counters and enjoy my coffee in sofa comfort! While for those who loves alfresco setting, there is also an outdoor seating area at the back (behind the service counters).

Leroy having so much fun walking up the raised platform to the cashier counter to disturb the staff! Giving me the thumbs up some more, cheeky boy!
And here he is, eyeing the goodies!!!
The Art of Coffee 

There are many different types of coffee drinkers, such as the regular neighborhood Kopitiam kopi-drinkers, the affluent whatever-cinno drinkers who adores the café culture or the budget press-a-button in the pantry free instant coffee-drinkers. Then of course there are also the serious coffee connoisseurs who know and understand their beans and the 101 ways of brewing the perfect cup of coffee as well.  Although I am no connoisseur, and free coffee in the office pantry sounds pretty good, but I do buy the occasional ice-blended at times, thus I would really consider myself a casual but all-rounded coffee drinker la and it sure doesn't hurt to have more coffee knowledge!

We were given an introduction in coffee by Mr Ian Consulta, and he even managed to get the kiddos interested!
The kiddos concentrating as the expert shows everyone the different types of apparatus used for coffee brewing.
But Coffee: Nowhere is really serious about their coffee that they had even hired an executive consultant by the name of Ian Consulta who is a Q Grader (one of the only 15 in Singapore from what I was told) to procure the beans for the café. We were also lucky to be given a crash course, or rather, an introduction on the characteristics of different beans based on their origin, method of processing the fruit, the different type of roasting of the beans, as well as the different method of coffee brewing, by the real expert. 

We were also being taken through the different type of roast.  And here are some lightly roasted beans that were later ground into powder to be brewed.
Leroy was definitely entertained by the friendly expert as he prepares to show us the "pour over" method of brewing.
The first cup of coffee we tasted, rather acidic due to the light roasting, with the a lingering aftertaste.
It was interesting to learn that where the beans originated from would determine the flavor of the coffee, such as beans from Indonesia where there are lots of volcanoes tend to have an earthy taste, or how the water temperature affects the acidity of the brew too.  The hotter the water, the less acidic the coffee would taste we were told.

Next up, the demonstration of "Syphon" brewing, where an open flame is used to boil water which then rises to the top.  Coffee powder is then added in and the mixture is then stirred and agitated. Once the flame is turned off, the coffee will flow back to the bottom after passing through the filter.
Was told that if it was done right, there will be a "mushroom head" on the top, like the photo above.  The same coffee brewed using this method tasted less acidic due to the higher water temperature but the aftertaste also dissipated faster.
Next up, "Aeropress" method where a fellow blogger had a go at to have a feel of the pressure, both from the apparatus, and also from having to act cool in front of all the devices pointing at him.  The coffee brewed had a fuller body and we were told that it was because the additional pressure extracted more coffee oil from the powder. 
And here's Steffi with Mr Ian behind the brew bar at the end of his lively presentation.
Not Only Coffee

As I mentioned earlier, the cafe not only serves coffee, but have quite a big selection of teas and other beverages as well.  But not only that, the outlet serves some great tasting main courses and yummy desserts too! Check out some of the food we tried below -

Coffee is not recommended for the kiddos, so they have their own drink.  Stacci sure look satisfied doesn't she?
The starter started with the kiddos' favorite Cheesy Fries ($8.80).  Chessy is the right word for there were still cheese in the bowl even after we finished the fries, not that I am complaining.
Burger Nowhere ($14.80) - Thick flavorful beef patty with caramelized onion, thick-cut fries and salad.  I wouldn't mind having another burger for sure. 
Stacci posing with one of our main, Smoked Duck Aglio Olio ($15.80), with cheese still on her lips! Nothing to shout about and the smoked duck was a little too dry.  Choose the spicy one though, it tasted nicer!
Baked Cheese Mussels ($9.80) - To be absolutely honest, I didn't get to taste this but I reckon it should taste really safe.  How wrong can one go with just mussels and cheese?
Wild Mushrooms ($16.80) - If you love mushrooms, like I do, then this thin-crust pizza is a winner!  It's filled with different types of mushroom in every bite.    
This is the Double Chocolate Brownie with Chocolate Ice-Cream that Steffi and Leroy ordered on their own and I have no idea how much!.  Look at that HUGE scoop of ice-cream! We downed it in no time and went to chocolate heaven,
Just when we thought that that was all the sweetness we can take in a day, we were served another 3 waffles (promo price of $9.90/each), each topped with different ice-cream flavor, fruits and condiments! Now, that's what we call ending the day on a sweet note, or 3!
The location of the cafe is definitely not convenient for our family, but for those who drives, or lives/work in the West side of Singapore, I would definitely recommend a visit for their specialty coffee and their western / italian food selection too if you have done so yet!

Useful Information 

Address: 154, West Coast Road, #B1-06/07, Singapore 127371
Operating Hours: 10am - 10pm daily
Cost: Around $25/pax for a hearty meal!

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