The Place Joo Chiat is getting exciting with new cafe openings like Tigerlily Patisserie and Prairie by Craftsmen Joo Chiat, and another new cafe to sprout here is Common Man Coffee Roasters Joo Chiat (CMCR JC). The brand is no stranger to coffee connoisseurs and cafe hoppers in Singapore, after it opened its first outlet in Martin Road back in 2013, and is definitely one of the most established cafe brands in Singapore to date.
The Joo Chiat outlet is a corner shophouse setting and I like how airy the space is, as the windows open out to the buzzing Joo Chiat Road, while a dedicated filter coffee brewing bar takes centrestage here as well. Indoor and outdoor seats are available.
The Food You can expect an extensive all-day breakfast and lunch menu (salads, burgers, sandwiches and mains), with highlights like the duo of Sourdough Pancakes exclusive to CMCR JC. First up, Flat White (S$6) to start. CMCR an established coffee brand in Singapore as it is a collaboration between the renowned Five Senses Coffee Australia and Singapore based Spa Esprit Group.
The Savoury Sourdough Pancakes (S$24) is topped with crispy bacon, a Kampong fried egg, maple syrup and seasoned creamy butter. Nice soft pancake texture here, and that creamy butter is sinfully good.
Conversely, the Sweet Sourdough Pancakes (S$24) is topped with chocolate almond ganache, almond praline, vanilla bean ice cream and citrus marmalade.
Avo lovers can opt for the Umami Mushroom Avocado Toast (S$22), where you get toasted sourdough focaccia layered with togarashi – seasoned avocado and sauteed oyster and maitake mushrooms before being paired with a tangy red onion pickle, young pea shoots from CMCR’s Edible Garden farm and a herb oil made from the kitchen’s herb trimmings. Can’t go wrong with this option!
Other classic Common Man favourites include the Turkish Common Man Breakfast (S$28), a delicious combination of phyllo wrapped soft boiled egg, crispy crumbed sheep’s feta, pumpkin hummus, pumpkin seed praline, pomegranate and fresh herb salsa.
For burger, the Café’s Smash Burger (S$28) spots a juicy freshly ground beef patty smashed with bone marrow, sandwiched between toasted buttery brioche buns, a beetroot barbeque sauce along with cheddar cheese, onion jam and a side of paprika herbed fries.
For something light, there is the Common Man Caesar (S$25) with Butterhead lettuce paired with charred brussels sprouts, creamy stracciatella cheese, chicken breast, focaccia croutons and a Manchego laced Caesar dressing.
The cafe also strives to collaborate with the community, hence the birth of the collaboration with Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique for the Affogato (S$10), with a choice of either the Strawberry Basil or White Chrysanthemum. These two gelato flavours are also the signature flavours at Birds of Paradise.
Rants The indoor space is not huge, and you can almost expect a full crowd on weekends.
Will I Return Again? CMCR JC is a great addition to the Joo Chiat enclave and hopefully, it will create more buzz in the neighbourhood. I am happy to drop by for coffee or pancakes any time.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Common Man Coffee Roasters Joo Chiat
185 Joo Chiat Road
Tel: +65 6877 4863
Monday to Sunday: 7.30 am to 5.30pm
(5pm last order)
Ranted by The Ranter