Nestled on Neil Road in a row of shophouses, the Populus has been a happy little find that I chanced upon one morning after having brunch in Tanjong Pagar and looking for a coffee shop to hang out with friends.
This is a modern café with a fine selection of food, and coffee from Melbourne, Australia.
Ambience, Service and the Staff
The Populus has a modern interior inside one of Singapore’s iconic shophouses in this upmarket part of town.
The interior has an earthy look to it, thanks to the wooden veneer finish that offsets the modern whitewashed walls and black steelwork.
I had called the restaurant earlier and my reservation was quickly made. Generally, walk-ins at the Populus are required to take a number from an automated ticket machine at the door. I have seen days where there has been a long line outside the front door.
We were quickly seated at our table. The staff were warm, friendly and very helpful.
We ordered the Populus Big Breakfast and the Cod and Soba noodles, with a 2° North Mocha. Our food came out in 10 minutes, which was very fast.
The Cod was beautifully cooked – a little crispy on the outside which maintaining the flaky texture of the flesh. The soba noodles were infused with a vinaigrette which complemented the flavour of the cod, and offers a lovely balance in two contrasting primary ingredients.
The Big Breakfast is sufficiently large, with potato rosti, sausage, a salad, mushrooms, baked beans and hollandaise sauce served together to make a wholesome start to the day.
The Price Point
Food for two people with a cup of coffee for one set us back just under $70, which is a bit on the high side, even for this part of town. The quality of their food is high, and the portion sizes are generous.
The Final Verdict
The Populus does serve some very good coffee, and their food is really good too. They are a little bit on the pricey side, but do offer an awesome environment in a very nice part of town. I’ve been a repeat customer at the Populus and will continue to visit. This is a café that falls into the category of the sort of place that you go to for special occasions.
Address: 146 Neil Rd, Singapore 088875.
Phone: +65 6635 8420.