Want to enjoy some peace and quiet over a cuppa, but don’t want to leave the kids behind? Well, head to Caffè Vergnano 1882. At Caffè Vergnano, the two can go hand in hand. You can sip on a cup of your favourite brew (or bite into a Pain Au Chocolat) while the kids happily gobble their grub. The coffee is Divine with a capital D and child-friendly, vegetarian food options here are aplenty. Your kids even get a complimentary Babycino when you have a coffee.
*Caffè Vergnano 1882 Singapore has ceased operations with effect from 9 October 2018.
First, Let’s Caffeinate
Let’s talk coffee first, because us parents need that strong cup that hits the right notes to carry us through most days (and nights)!
Italy and coffee go hand in glove. So when an ancient Piedmont coffee-maker and one of Italy’s most prestigious beverage manufacturer launches the world’s 100th Caffè Vergnano 1882 concept café in Singapore, the coffee has to be worth a shot. No pun intended! What started in 1882 in a small town in the foothills of Turin today exports to over 70 countries and remains proudly family-owned. As opposed to commercial turbo toasting, at Caffè Vergnano beans of each origin are roasted separately to perfection to accentuate the full aroma and quality. The signature 1882 Espresso blend is available only at Caffè Vergnano coffee shops around the world.
As I entered the charming 42-seater café set in the swanky area of South Beach Avenue, I was aware that I was not walking into just another café, but a family run establishment with a legendary reputation for coffee. The aromas and the decor speak volumes about the heritage of the coffee here.
The cafe churns out delicious and satisfying espresso-based drinks such as Caffè Gianduja (cioccolata, espresso, milk), Nocciolino (chocolate hazelnut latte) and a Turin signature – the Bicerin, a traditional warm concoction of espresso and luxurious cocoa topped with cream – all priced between S$3.50 to S$7.50.
My favourite coffee here is the Marocchino (S$6.00) an Italian mocha with chocolate, espresso and steamed milk – one sip of this concoction and I am enveloped in a warm and fuzzy, happy haze. The coffee achieves just the right harmony of sweet and strong. Once you’ve enjoyed Vergnano’s Mocha, a regular Mocha elsewhere just won’t do. Get your coffee with a warm and buttery Pain Au Chocolat (S$3.50) – baked in house, this piece of pastry with dark chocolate bits is as good as it gets.
If you are wondering when I’ll get to the kids’ meal part; right about now…
How about a Cioccolata (S$6.00) to start? This Italian hot chocolate is made in house with pieces of chocolate, sugar and milk and is churned in a special machine to avoid lumps. Rich, with an almost pudding like texture, this drink is sure to win brownie points with the kids.
Bake My Day
With the drinks sorted, let’s dive into the top 3 vegetarian child-friendly foods:
A staple of children’s diets (ok, I’ll admit it, mine too), there’s just something comforting about this simple pizza. And the Margherita (S$12.90) at Caffè Vergnano doesn’t disappoint. Baked on a soft bread without skimping on the cheese, this pizza has a nice homemade feel to it that is sure to satisfy any palate.
Smashed Avocado & Eggs / Mushroom Medley on Toast
This is the perfect breakfast, lunch, snack or even light dinner to fill your belly. The avocados in the dish are fresh, ripe and nicely mashed, and the white button mushrooms are sautéed to perfection. I love how nicely the sourdough was crisped to the right degree of chewy. Eggs are cooked your way and served on the side – you can ask for the egg to be omitted.
Cinnamon Chocolate Waffle
I am sure that there aren’t many things that could come close to the thrill of eating a Waffle for lunch. Vergnano’s Cinnamon Chocolate Waffles (S$13.50) are GREAT – nice and light, with just a hint of cinnamon and a scoop of ice cream on the side, this is going to be a sure hit with the kid tribe, including the picky eater. And, the best part is that the waffles are not too sweet, so no guilt (ok, less guilt).
Apart from the above, the cafe also whips up Tomato Bruschetta, French Toast and a Vegetarian Pasta, along with a nice selection of Croissants, Pastries and baked goods.
So, if you are looking for a light lunch or brunch with the kids or if you are in the mood to sit with a friend for a long chat over coffee – hit Caffè Vergnano 1882 without a second thought.
Caffè Vergnano 1882: 26 Beach Road, #B1-17 Singapore 189768. P: +65 6385 5579.
Aruna Rao is a nomad at heart, always on the lookout for new adventures, be they related to food, places or experiences. A full-time working mother to 3 gorgeous kids, she’s lived in 4 countries and declares that ‘home is where her kitchen is’.