Grids & Circles is the new minimalist Chinatown cafe with a retail corner and event space

Grids & Circles is the new minimalist Chinatown cafe with a retail corner and event space

Photo: Grids & Circles/Facebook

COCONUTS HOT SPOT — In a white shop house along the bustling South Bridge Road stretch sits Grids & Circles, a chic space devoid of typical touristy Chinatown tackiness or traditional old school details commonly found in the area. With an interior dominated by warm woods and pastel touches, the cafe is a welcoming sight for hungry bellies, or anyone in search of shelter from scorching rays, really.

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The second floor space. Photo: Coconuts Media

Don’t be put off by its tiny first floor seating space though — the second level, which can also be used for workshops or events, is a lot more spacious, with plenty of comfortable nooks for you to dine undisturbed.

Stepping in, we were drawn immediately to the quirkily-designed menus promising coffees, teas, pastas, pancakes, and more. By the counter, the ever-changing display of beautiful cakes and tarts will serve as a reminder not to over-order, just so you can make way for dessert.

If you’re keen on doing a little post-meal shopping, the little retail corner houses colorful mugs, bowls, and tea ware for you to spruce up your home.

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The retail corner. Photo: Coconuts Media

The menu itself is a mash-up of different dishes, most of which will be familiar to cafe-goers — think comforting bowls of Kinmemai brown rice with toppings like roasted wagyu beef with sesame soy tofu and onsen egg ($20), pork with okra and buttered corn ($14), or salmon with nori, shiso, and bacon dashi green tea ($16).

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Pork rice bowl. Photo: Coconuts Media

On the pasta side, it’s a small selection of two items: Summer Pasta ($16) of tagliatelle with bacon cream sauce, fennel, and watercress, and the almond bacon carbonara with onsen egg ($16), which came with a slightly watery sauce and rather mild flavors.

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Almond bacon carbonara. Photo: Coconuts Media

If you pop by after peak hours (from 2-6pm), try the high tea set ($35/one person, $58/two people), which comes with macarons, mini cupcakes, tarts, scones, finger sandwiches, quiches, and your choice of coffee or tea.

Otherwise, go for something a tad sweeter, such as the Strawberry Wonderland ($16) stack of two pancakes with plump strawberries, strawberry compote, Chantilly cream, and basil mint sauce. Or stay on the saccharine side but lean towards healthy eating with blueberry and banana or cherry and chocolate oats ($8 each).

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Strawberry Wonderland. Photo: Grids & Circles/Facebook

In the realm of desserts, you’ll find varieties like apple crumble ($10), tiramisu ($10), matcha affogato ($11), and stocky date pudding ($10).

To chill over a cuppa, browse the coffee and tea selection for classics like cappuccino ($5.50-$6.50), mocha ($6-$7), matcha latte ($6-$7), and lavender latte ($6.50). Iced teas ($7.50) come in blends like hibiscus honey with mandarin oranges and high mountain oolong with white peach, while craft beers on the line-up range from Rising Sun Pale Ale ($14) to Kurofune Porter ($15) to Pearl Rose Grapefruit Pale Ale ($15).

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Cinnamon roll and coffee. Photo: Grids & Circles/Facebook

Flavor-wise, we’ve got nothing to complain about — but then again, not much really stands out either. And with the myriad of culinary options surrounding Grids & Circles, we can’t help but wonder if aesthetics and decent food will be enough to sustain the eatery in the long run.


FIND IT:Grids & Circles is at 200 South Bridge Rd.

Mon-Thurs 9am-9pm, Fri-Sat 9am-11pm.

MRT: Chinatown

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