Staying afloat is this competitive café scene is not easy considering the sheer number of newbies popping up every other day. The newbies all want a slice of the pie, and the oldies have to ensure they remain afresh in customers' mind and encourage return visits, while stepping up efforts to attract new patrons. One way is achieve this is to entice with regularly revamped menus, and re-enforcing their presence by tapping on the influence of social media, just like what Backstage Café is doing.
Already in operations for over a year, Backstage Café falls into my "oldies" category (I define cafés which are opened for over 3 months as "old"), and I would probably have given the place a miss if not for their sincere repeated invitations. So glad we went afterall, as the food were decently good and I especially love its spacious interior completed with tall ceilings. Truly a space where we can relax and unwind, just like how performing artists take a breather backstage in between showtimes. By the way, that's the inspiration behind the café's name and concept, the building in which it is situated even houses a filming studio!
Being located within a rather secluded (so ulu!) industrial area at Kallang Way can mean inconvenience for a non-driver like me, but I can imagine how thankful the working crowd in the vicinity must be to have a nice air-conditioned café near them and enjoy 3-course Promotion Set Lunch/Dinner (main + soup + ice cream) starting from only $15nett & above. A very nice and affordable change from staff canteens or coffeeshops!
The usual cafe grub dominates the menu with popular brunch items like the Egg Omelette ($14) with mushroom, ham, bacon, onion and cheese and Backstage Benedict ($18), a hearty combination of poached egg on toast with salmon "rose", serrano ham and mesclun salad, as well as crowd-pleasing munchies such as Truffle Fries ($8) and Fried Chicken Wings ($8).
We also had the Seafood Marinara ($16) which satisfied with its well-cooked spaghetti and medley of prawns, mussels and fishes coated with an appetizing homemade tomato sauce infused with just a little white wine to further enhance the flavors. Not too bad at all for their pasta selection which also includes Prawn Aglio Olio ($15), Spaghetti Carbonara ($15) and Crab Meat Pasta ($16).
I was told that the Crispy Breaded Chicken ($16) layered with sauteed shiitake mushroom and melted trio cheese is a favorite at Backstage here and has remained consistently on the menu which changes every 2 to 3 months, but being a non-fan of breast meat, I went for what I thought was a more interesting choice: Duck Confit ($19) served unconventionally with white rice and spicy-sweet sambal chilli!
Marinated in Chinese herbs, the dish when enjoyed as an entirety reminded me of our roasted duck rice (I meant it in a good way!). The skin's thin crispiness was exceeding enjoyable, and I was surprised the duck meat still retained the desired succulence and tenderness. Certainly a far better execution than the renditions of most other cafés.
For desserts, their Chocolate Lava Cake with Berry Compote ($9), Waffle with Maple Syrup ($8, add $2.50 for a single scoop of chocolate/vanilla ice cream) and homemade Crumble Cheesecake ($6.80) did not disappoint. My Café Latte ($4.50) was brewed using beans which are darker roasted, as Backstage feels that its heavier taste and body suits their regular clientele better.
Overall, it was a good visit to Backstage Café. A very good choice if I wanna get away from the evening crowd or pretentiousness of some popular joints. Tip: Drive over (or get your friend to drive you) and get complimentary parking when you spend $20 & above.
Address: 158 Kallang Way, #01-06 Performance Building, Singapore 349245
Contact: +65 6743 6893
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-9pm / Closed on Sun