|Artistry, Kampong Glam|
Artistry, Café and Art Space, Kampong Glam
Artistry inspires both the mind and the taste buds with its shophouse space dedicated to art and some of the finest brews in the city. Combining a gallery and performance venue, with the Singaporean inherent love for food, Artistry has formed a harmonious but exciting marriage.
During the day, Artistry hosts a vibrant café and coffee culture. At night, tables and chairs are cleared and the place is converted into a stage for both visual and performing artists to showcase their talents. Jazz, electronic music and art collection launches are just some of the things livening up the evenings. There’s a genuine sense of community and relaxed, casual vibe at Artistry. Staff are welcoming and there appears to be an authentic desire to build a neighbourhood where all are accepted.
Nestled on the quieter side of Kampong Glam, it’s pleasantly removed from the bustling shop, restaurant and nightlife core. From outside, a row of plants separates the corner lot from the road and, recycled timber tables and chairs protrude from a giant grey exterior wall. Blue and white ceramic pots sprout colourful bunches of freshly cut flowers, serving to brighten the space with nature’s beauty. The interior boasts an intimate space divided by a long communal table. The hardware is simple, allowing the current artworks to dress the setting with their message and mood.
|Artistry Cafe Interior|
A creative space deserves a creative menu and Artistry promises to deliver.
It’s late morning and I’m ready for caffeine. Artistry uses beans roasted by Liberty Coffee, an artisan roaster with a reputation for its small-batch roasting and hand-sifted beans. A Gibraltar ($5), served in a shorter glass than a latte with a double shot of espresso and topped up with warm milk, allows an appreciation of the rich, nutty coffee. If I hadn’t already had two cups at breakfast I’d easily be tempted into ordering a second.
Besides specialty coffee, Artistry is also known for stocking craft beers. A boutique brewery in the Swiss Alps is where most labels hail from, but an interesting potpourri of other craft brews promise to quench thirsts too. Being before noon, hubby goes for an unfiltered lager over an ale. Hell Quollfrisch (meaning fresh spring) by Appenzeller Bier ($12) is light and clean. Bubbles fizz to the top of the golden liquid and this beverage satisfies hubby with its aromatic bouquet and fresh finish.
|Swiss Craft Beer|
The weekend brunch menu is a saliva-inducing list of offerings. Artistry is known for their PB and J French Toast ($14) so it’s our first order. Hubby’s prolonged silence alerts me to my need to dive into trying this dish before he consumes the final crumb. I get in just in time to get a good corner and, upon biting, get that lovely velvety peanut butter texture filling my mouth and a sweet fruity jam sweetening the insides of my cheeks. Fat slices of fluffy brioche are stuffed with swirls of peanut butter and raspberry jam. They’re pan-fried until golden around the edges and soft in the middle. Completed with a decadent drizzle of syrup and smooth vanilla ice cream, I’m unsure of its classification as breakfast and am leaning more towards the idea of re-ranking it as a mouth-watering, things-that-dreams-are-made-of, calorie packed dessert.
|Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast|
Homemade Granola and Yoghurt Ice Cream ($10) is also not for those on a diet. Greek yoghurt pools a viscous pond in the bottom of a large serving jar and is topped with a house baked mix of oats, raisins, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds and coconut that have been sweetened with maple syrup. Finally it’s topped with a delicious blob of yoghurt ice cream and showered with berry compote. The granola is light and flaky, while the roasted nuts offer a good crunch. The end product proves a sturdy balance of sweet, tart, crisp, cool and creamy.
|Granola and Yoghurt|
Extolled as a must-eat at Artistry, the Crab Burger ($20) arrives sitting plumply atop a squid ink bun, with mayonnaise, sweet onion and tomato relish and, baby spinach. It’s sided with a choice of truffle, Cajun or plain fries and we go with the regular crisps. The patty is flash fried and then baked resulting in a slender coat, which envelopes a moist core. As we chomp down on the round, the soft bun flattens between our lips and the juicy contents squeeze into our mouths. It’s deserving of the not-to-be-missed repute.
We learn further how much of a community business Artistry is, when we discover that Aunty Jane (one of the co-owner’s aunts) is responsible for the table floral arrangements and also the cakes.
The daily treasury is on display near the cashier and gets a good gawking at almost anytime of day. Mascarpone Cheesecake drizzled with caramel and cashews is one of their best sellers. Hubby’s drooling before the word “cheese… cake” is even completed, so I guess we’re having that. The ivory triangle based with a biscuit crumble and zig-zagged with sticky caramel and nuts turns out to be just as luscious as it looks. The unbaked mix of cream cheese and mascarpone has a hint of lime and proves unbelievably creamy and light. Just a suggestion of salt adds complexity to the caramel drizzle and, lightly toasted nuts impart a firm crunch.
|Cheesecake with Salted Caramel and Cashews|
Fig and Chocolate Loaf served warm with fig and honey ice cream takes my fancy. As it’s heated, melty bits of chocolate ooze into the bread adding a layer of texture to the chewy figs, nutty walnuts and dense loaf. Bitter, sour and sweet provide intricacy in the overall taste profile and, a ball of cool thick vanilla ice cream is a perfect complement.
|Chocolate and Fig Loaf|
I finish with a Cappuccino ($5) made from Liberty Coffee’s Speakeasy blend and decide it’s so good I’d like to take some home. Priced at $16 per 250g, this medium bodied coffee, with chocolate and nutty tenors has a prominent caramel closing.
|Cappuccino Made from Liberty Coffee|
It’s now past midday, so hubby justifies another beer. This round it’s The Full Nelson, a Maori Pale Ale ($14). He smells fruit at first whiff and when pressed to describe it further reads from the label. “Strong grape flavours,” complemented by “sweet Munich malt” makes it “crisp and refreshing.” Well said (read), we agree.
|The Full Nelson|
Artistry is a fine spot for brunch, lunch or a nibble. Liberty Coffee and craft beers keeps all well hydrated and, the art space injects a little inspiration and creativity into our day. We’ve heard rumours of Kaya French Toast and some other fascinating inventions in the works also, so we look forward to a not-too-distant return.
Reasons to visit: PB & J French Toast; Crab Burger; Mascarpone Cheesecake; excellent coffee; craft beers; art inspired space and location for enjoying the performing arts.
17 Jalan Pinang
+ 6298 2420
Open Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 7pm
Evening events are scheduled regularly so check out their Facebook page to find out the latest.
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