What we enjoyed the most:
The chill vibes of the cafe and the book selection
The Salmon Wellington- unique pastry, a must-have
Latte Gula – for those who do not fancy coffee too much
What can be improved:
The Tandoori Chicken Wrap – we wish it was spicier but it was still delicious
As local businesses have been in the spotlight recently, one of the cafes you may have missed out on could be the Huggs-Epigram Bookshop cafe.
From Huggs local delights such as coffee, wraps, and cakes, to their books by various local authors, this place screams local talent.
To kick off the new year, we tried their new waffle and crowd-favourite beverages.
The cafe is located at an iconic spot at The URA Center (to make it easier for you foodies, it is right opposite Maxwell Food Centre).
We made our way down, hoping to enjoy a quick pick-me-up before getting back to a hectic day.
We were greeted by an 11-meter bookshelf, filled with more than 400 colourful books and titles. With such a captivating centrepiece, it is hard to miss the little Huggs coffee corner on the right end of the cafe.
Before browsing the books, we decided to try four of their crowd favourite drinks- Latte Gula, Cafe Latte, Ice Sumatra Kopi ($3.20), and Hoji-cino.
We decided to partner our drinks with a Tandoori Chicken wrap ($6), an Ice Cream waffle, and Salmon Wellington ($4.20).
The first beverage was the Latte Gula ($5) which was served in a paper cup. The aromatic smell of the latte was the first thing that caught our attention.
The drink had a milky note to it and was slightly sweeter than we expected. Interestingly, between the two of us who tried it, it quickly became the favourite for one of us while the other preferred the next drink.
This might be because the drink had a pretty light coffee flavour that is surely an acquired taste.
For those who prefer strong coffee notes, the next drink that we tried – Cafe Latte ($4.60) – would be a better choice.
This beverage had a thicker, nuttier, and heavier coffee taste.
For the size and taste of the drinks, we felt that it was a good value for money.
We paired the Latte Gula with the Salmon Wellington.
The Salmon Wellington is not a common item on cafe menus so we were excited to try it, and we were glad we did.
The pastry was not too flaky so it wasn’t too much of a mess to handle. The cafe staff had warmed it up for us on the spot so, when we dug into the pastry, the salmon was warm and scrumptious.
The sweet and tender notes of salmon came through pretty strong for us, which we enjoyed.
Next on the menu was the Tandoori Chicken wrap.
This wrap was easy on the eyes as well as it came in this light green wrap that was Instagrammable when placed in front of the shelves and next to the coffee.
When sliced open, the bold orange colours of the chicken, cheese, and tandoori masala popped beautifully. The flavour itself was interesting, not too spicy (though we would have preferred that) but the meat itself was tender.
It was on the sweeter side we would say but if you want something substantial, this will do the trick.
While contemplating what we should try next, we were told that they had a new waffle item on their menu. The recipe was specially curated by Huggs’ founder, so we knew we had to give it a try.
The preparation of the waffle was precise and quick.
They even checked with us if we would prefer a fluffier or crispier waffle. We went with the fluffier option.
Once the waffle was prepared, the staff scooped up two servings of vanilla ice cream and placed them on the waffle. She went ahead to drizzle chocolate all over the dessert and finished it off with chopped nuts.
Before trying it, we ordered their two highly raved drinks from the Sumatra coffee series. We chose the Ice Sumatra Kopi and Hoji-cino.
Another fun fact about the Huggs coffee place here is that they serve Sumatra coffee and tea bean options- meaning these beans are derived from Sumatra and they also have Specialty coffee and tea series whereby the beans used are blends of either Columbian and Brazilian beans or just Columbian ones.
The Iced Sumatra Kopi had a sharper note and when paired with the chocolatey waffle, was surely a treat.
The Hoji-cino was topped off with Matcha powder and the graininess of the green tea went perfectly well with the milky notes of the beverage and ice cream treat.
Though we were feasting at the cafe, you could choose to go with a beverage and pastry while choosing one of the many literary works to drown yourself in.
Our recommendation would be the Salmon Wellington and the Iced Sumatra Kopi.
If you intend to share or treat yourself, the waffle would be an ideal choice.
Other than purchasing the Huggs dishes and drinks, you can also choose to buy back any of the local authors’ works.
The books are priced from $9 to $245 with the average price being $26.
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