Tucked away in the tranquil compounds of CHIJMES, along Victoria Street, lies an inconspicuous café known as DOUGH. Conceptualized by the original-and-now-ex-founders of The Glasshouse, DOUGH is backed by a trio of avid travellers and FnB enthusiasts. Inspired by the unique café experiences of Korea, Ben and his two partners now aim to create a safe haven for guests who wish to escape the monotony of daily life, work, and school.
Strategically situated within Singapore’s bustling central business district, yet far enough away from the area’s hectic atmosphere, DOUGH occupies a corner unit, sufficiently isolated from other neighboring restaurants. Armed with an aim to showcase the best origin beans from around the world, alongside an excellent bakes selection, DOUGH café prides themselves in being proactive in their sourcing methods.
Prior to Covid-19, the team personally sourced for their ingredients in Columbia and Myanmar, and have since maintained a close relationship with their suppliers, who are the local farmers themselves. Through my conversations with Ben, I’ve learnt that DOUGH’s direct-to-farmer approach in sourcing is actually highly sustainable and extremely ethical – considering how the price of coffee beans and seeds have dropped significantly, and how farmers have since struggled to make a decent living. As such, by avoiding third-party suppliers and liaising with the farmers directly, DOUGH is able to help boost each farmer’s earnings and overall profit.
They say superheroes never sleep, and indeed DOUGH’s ambitions extend much further than promoting an ethical global supply chain. During my visit, I was intrigued to discover the café’s short-term goal of including a variety of local, handmade goods such as clothing, soaps, and handles. Furthermore the café has since partnered with an up-and-coming local magazine titled, ‘The Slow Press’, and is expected to host the independent magazine’s official Volume Two Zine Drop Pop-up sometime this year. The café also invites other local artists to showcase and sell their works in-store for free!
An amazing socio-economic track record aside, DOUGH’s food is to-DIE-for, and while I’m not just saying that without reason, I hope you don’t take me too literally. Just based on the innumerable reviews I’ve read, I must admit I was expecting a simple slice of cake, a loaf of bread, and maybe some coffee – but what I got was so much better. If I wasn’t already sold on the store’s immaculate incorporation of Italian marble and other imported furnishing, or their undeniably warm hospitality, then I would’ve easily deemed their diverse selection of food, the cherry on top of a perfect morning.
For those looking for a great dating spot, a conducive work environment, or a scrumptious lunch option, this is the place for you! This morning, I was granted the pleasure of sampling two of the café’s six main dishes. These included the $26 Chicken Thigh, and $28 Salmon.
Plated neatly in a wide, circular bowl, DOUGH café serves the 230g Range-free Chicken Thigh complete with a side of spiced peanut sauce, charred brussels sprout, Japanese purple sweet potato mash, russet potato mash, and carrot mash. Incredibly tender and juicy, this plate features a delicate mix of textures and flavours which blend together harmoniously in every bite.
Salmon happens to be my favourite seafood of all time, so admittedly I had high expectations for this one. Served alongside house rosti, mixed greens, and kampot pepper, this 180g New Zealand King Salmon smelt amazing. Cooked to perfection with slightly crispy skin and an undeniably soft texture, this dish definitely enters my top ten salmon experiences.
While I didn’t specifically pair either dish with any drink, I did have the opportunity to taste the café’s popular $5 Hot White and $6 Cold White coffee, alongside the $7 Iced Matcha. Not a very big coffee drinker, I naturally prefer sweeter drinks over bitter and warmer variations, and as such, I spent most of my time chugging down the Cold White, though the Hot White which showcases similar flavours and an adorable milk-artwork was naturally really good as well.
Address: CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street, #01-30, Singapore 187996
Operating Hours: (Tues-Sun): 10am – 6pm