December 02, 2015
Caffé Bene @ Vivocity ~ Popular Coffeehouse Chain From Korea Opens In Singapore
First opened in year 2008 in Korea, Caffé Bene has since grown in popularity to an expansion of over 1,500 stores worldwide. The number is still growing, with the opening of Singapore outlet on 18 November 2015 marking another addition.
Caffé Bene is literally translated as "good coffee". The branch at Singapore's Vivocity (located on level 2, next to Sushi Tei) mirrors the concept of serving brewed coffee, hot and cold beverages, waffles, gelato, not unlike the menu that is being offered in Korea.
Oh yes, we can enjoy Bingsu, those refreshing Korean shaved ice dessert, here as well.
Can't help but feel that prices tilts towards the steeper end, though scarily, it's becoming the norm to pay these kind of prices for a café experience nowadays.
To give you a sense of what Caffé Bene is charging: Plain Waffle ($6.90), Tiramisu Waffle ($10.90), Garlic & Cheese Bread ($13.90), Pat Bingsu (Single $13.90 / Double $18.90), Coffee Bingsu ($14.90/$19.90), Green Tea Tower Bingsu ($15.90/$20.90).
I wouldn't have mind paying more if product quality is there, but what I've tried made me wondered what the hype about this popular café is all about.
The Strawberry Bingsu (Single $15.90 / Double $20.90) was a pretty sight with fresh strawberries, strawberry gelato and red bean paste over snowy white shaved ice. I was advised by the staff to push all the ingredients down into the ice and mix it well for maximum enjoyment of flavor.
But the problem was with the ice. Its coarse texture was not exactly what I would expect of a bingsu, being accustomed to the soft and fluffy versions such as those by Nunsongyee. This rendition is more like our local ice kachang, albeit an expensive one with nary even half the satisfaction.
No doubt it is Instagram-worthy, but no thanks.
The fusion-style Rice Cake Waffle ($8.90) is an interesting change from the usual, with a layer of soft, gooey rice cake over waffle and dusted with kinako (roasted soybean flour) and almond flakes. If only the dainty-size waffle (choice of original or walnut base) has a less dense and cakey texture.
Caffe Latte ($5.80/$6.20) was decent with full-bodied taste, and there are also non-caffeine beverages such as Sweet Potato Latte ($6.50/$6/90) and the multi-grain Misugaru Latte ($6.50/$6.90). An assortment of Salads and Wraps are available for those who are looking for some light bites.
Not a place that I would make a rush back to, but my sense is that Caffé Bene would still be well-received with the greater public because of the convenience of location and comfortable ambience.
Address: VivoCity, 1 HarbourFront Walk, #02-150, Singapore 098585
Contact: +65 6635 1778
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 10am-10pm / Fri-Sun 9am-11pm
Prices stated are inclusive of 7% GST (no service charge).