While the café fare in Bukit Merah Central is few and far between, Dandelion Café has been a mainstay in the area. It first opened its doors in mid-2015 as “Ice Cream Shack” selling homemade gelato and waffles. Over the years, the establishment expanded its menu to offer savoury treats and entrees before rebranding themselves along the way.
The café is charming and cosy. The interior is crisp and white, with a nice beachy vibe thanks to the beach hut cut outs on the walls. Brightly-lit and rather peaceful during off-peak hours, it makes for a nice nook to hang out with a book in hand.
For a small café, their menu is extensive. They offer pastas, entrées, all day breakfasts, sides/salads, desserts and a myriad of drinks. We were spoilt for choice! The surest way for us to test out their best offerings was to pick from the chef’s recommendations, and that’s exactly what we did.
Most eateries that offer pasta will likely have an aglio olio dish on their menu. Dandelion Café was no exception. We tried their Seafood Aglio Olio (S$12.90) that came with reasonable amounts of seafood (prawns, white clams and squid) for the price. The plating, however, was rather ordinary and so was the flavor, but a fairly satisfying meal nonetheless.
The Hickory Chicken Chop (S$10.90) arrived as the menu described – smothered with hickory sauce, accompanied by a sunny side up egg, potato wedges and assorted greens. The chicken was good - succulent, as proclaimed. There was a decent amount of sauce, which was nice to dip the wedges into. The egg was well executed and couldn’t be faulted. The only disappointing thing was the “greens”. They were more, well, yellow to say the least. It also came with no dressing, and with just one type of lettuce, it was hardly “assorted”.
All day breakfasts are always a tantalizing idea. I mean, why just eat breakfast for breakfast when you can have it for lunch and dinner too? Hoping for Marché vibes, the Sausage Swiss Rosti (S$13.90) was our all day breakfast pick of the day. It came with two rather small chicken sausages – chipolata and Viennese, and a sunny side up egg. The “assorted greens” made an appearance once more, again with no dressing. The dollop of sour cream was hardly enough for the amount of rosti but with some scrimping, it made do. Overall, a rather underwhelming meal.
Now, since this café started off selling desserts, we couldn’t leave without ordering one of their Signature Waffles (S$8.50) that came with a scoop of gelato (classic flavor). Freshly made, the waffle was crisp and light. The Thai Milk Tea gelato we chose was decent and not too sweet but nothing to write home about. Still, it was a good way to end off the meal.
Overall score for Dandelion Café: 3.75/5
It’s a nice little hangout and the food is decent for the price. We will come back to Dandelion Café again when the hankering for café food arises, or when we need a cold treat to stave off the searing hot weather!