Tag Espresso unveils second outlet at Takashimaya; boasts a garden-themed concept

By Phyllis Leong February 27, 2023
Tag Espresso unveils second outlet at Takashimaya; boasts a garden-themed concept
(Clockwise from top left) Smoky fried rice, French toast, shrimp-paste pork belly, and fish and chips. Photos: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere
  • Premium coffee brand Tag Espresso opens a second outlet at Takashimaya 
  • The cafe features a botanical-themed concept with Japanese fusion fare
  • Specialty coffee and seasonal brews are available at the store
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Coffee connoisseurs, you’ll be thrilled that premium homegrown coffee brand Tag Espresso has just unveiled its second brick-and-mortar store in the heart of Orchard Road! Following the successful launch of its first boutique coffee stand at Raffles City Shopping Centre, the brand has expanded its menu to include savoury brunch delights. 

The new 30-seat outlet serves Japanese fusion fare, complemented by a gorgeous botanical-themed concept. The design inspiration stems from Tag Espresso’s vision to offer diners a serene oasis to indulge in quality brews and mouthwatering light bites, amid the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Tag Espresso’s minimalist interior at Takashimaya Shopping Centre. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Set foot in the store, and you’ll be greeted with a minimalistic interior and friendly staff. The coffee house is furnished with elements of wood, stainless steel and pebble wash, accented by luscious plants to infuse the space with colour and tranquillity.

We love how the espresso machine is the centrepiece of the cafe. Here’s where you’ll witness first-hand the baristas at work, expertly pulling shots and churning up aromatic concoctions.

The outlet-exclusive dirty yuan yang. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

We tried its outlet-exclusive dirty yuan yang (S$15). A creamy Kahlua-based cocktail, it features a harmonious combination of Tag Espresso’s signature midnight blue dark roast coffee and red tea. 

The beverage is full-bodied, boasting just the right balance of bitterness from the espresso and sweetness from the red tea leaves. The subtle floral, nutty notes also lend a heavenly fragrance to the drink. 

Other signature drinks on offer include the Americano (from S$5) and kaya pandan latte (S$9).

Shrimp-paste pork belly, topped with tobiko roe. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Its food menu offers a selection of brunch staples and rice bowls.

If you’re a fan of prawn-paste dishes, then you’ll love the shrimp paste pork belly (S$14.90). It’s a unique rendition of har cheong gai (also known as prawn-paste chicken) and features thin pork belly slices coated in a rich batter made from fermented and dried silver shrimp. 

It’s then deep-fried to crisp perfection and topped with crunchy tobiko roe. The latter bursts with umami goodness and pairs well with the savouriness of the pork belly. 

The highlight is undoubtedly the prawn-paste marinade, for it isn’t overpowering and infuses fragrant flavours into the meat for it to truly shine.

Tako kaarage, deep-fried to sinful crispiness. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

You can’t miss out on the tako kaarage (S$13.90) when you’re at the cafe. This is Tag Espresso’s spin on the beloved Japanese bar snack: Fried calamari. Instead of using squid, the dish stars juicy morsels of octopus marinated with shoyu, dashi and ginger. It’s then deep-fried to sinful crispiness and sprinkled with sesame seeds and furikake. 

The octopus is succulent and fresh, while the batter is light and airy. Drizzle some lemon and dip the octopus in the tartar sauce for that extra punch of savouriness.

The avocado toast is the perfect brunch staple. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

What’s brunch without a heaping slice of avocado toast? Tag Espresso’s avocado toast (S$17.90) finds fluffy scrambled eggs and creamy avocado slices atop crunchy rye bread. It’s slathered in a homemade Dukkah spice and pesto and served with mesclun salad and smoked salmon.

Classic fish and chips. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

You can’t go wrong with fish and chips (S$24.90). This classic dish boasts tender, juicy cod that’s battered to a golden brown. It’s also paired with crispy fries. But don’t be fooled by its unassuming appearance the sauce accompanying the dish is the star of the show! 

More than just your regular tartar sauce, it’s a one-of-a-kind coffee lime aioli that’s made from Tag Espresso’s signature midnight blue coffee. The result is an indulgent buttery dip that’s tangy, sweet and slightly bitter.

The smoky fried rice packs a spicy punch. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

If you’re keen on a heavier meal, the smoky fried rice (S$16.80) won’t disappoint. The dish comprises Japanese short-grain rice that’s topped with mouthwatering ingredients such as smoked bacon, prawn, egg and chilli. 

Each spoonful was an explosion of flavours in our mouths and had us reaching for more. Be warned, though. The smoky fried rice packs an incredible spicy punch, and it’s not for the faint-hearted.

One of the signature desserts, French toast. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

A meal isn’t complete without dessert. If you’re craving something sweet, then the irresistible French toast (S$16.90) is the one to go for. It’s the perfect Instagrammable dessert, for it’s crowned with a scoop of vanilla gelato, and garnished with edible flowers and fruit. There’s also chocolate syrup on the side, and you can drizzle it all over the toast for that viral-worthy shot. 

A display of Tag Espresso’s coffee capsules. Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Next to the entrance, Tag Espresso’s coffee capsules are on proud display, and with good reason. The product catapulted the brand to fame, thanks to its hassle-free convenience of being brewed without the use of a coffee machine. 

An extensive catalogue of dark and medium roast flavours is up for grabs, featuring 100% Arabica beans from leading coffee regions such as Ethiopia, Columbia, Guatemala and more. 

As part of its exclusive store opening, the brand is hosting a limited-time promotion. From March 1 to 31, customers receive a free Tag Espresso two-capsule pack with every dine-in and takeaway order made in-store (excluding the purchase of capsule packs). The giveaway is limited to 100 redemptions per day.

For more ideas on what to eat, check out our article on Artbox or affordable buffets under S$21.

Tag Espresso is on the GrabFood delivery service and offers free delivery (up to S$3 off) with GrabUnlimited. You can also book a ride to Tag Espresso at Takashimaya Shopping Centre.

Tag Espresso at Takashimaya Shopping Centre

Ngee Ann City, 02-11, 391 Orchard Road
Monday to Friday (8am to 10pm), Saturday and Sunday (10am to 10pm)

Ngee Ann City, 02-11, 391 Orchard Road
Monday to Friday (8am to 10pm), Saturday and Sunday (10am to 10pm)

Picture for WP

Phyllis Leong


The resident sweet tooth with a severe addiction to desserts.

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