Please, no more hipster cafe food

August 26, 2013

I don't usually do this (maybe I should more often) but here's a rant on something that I have observed lately.

What is it with the food served in hipster cafes? 

Do hipsters not have tastebuds? 
Do hipsters not mind being ripped off?
Do hipsters only like sandwiches?

I'm really generalizing here, but I have been to too many of these third-wave indie coffee shops that also sell food that is simply substandard

I understand that they need to supplement their coffee income with other items, to sop up the java and all, but to me, it's really simple. If you want to also sell food, make them good. Otherwise why bother?

The other problem is price. For a good cuppa sure, charge me a $4-6 for swirling that pretty heart on the foam and all. But charge me 9 bucks for a cold sandwich with a bit of limp lettuce and leathery meat to go along with it? Seriously? The worst part is, we don't have a choice.  

I can't count the times when all there is on the menu are 5 types of sandwiches, a few cakes/tarts and maybe two salads if you are lucky.

I know F&B is really tough, but I really do wish that cafes can take better care of the F as well as the B so I don't feel so much angst, and get to have decent food with my latte. Spend less on your vintage or quirky furniture and get a decent supplier, or fresh ingredients, or a chef, and I will gladly repeat my visits for lunch AND coffee. 

Is that too much to ask? No, because I have tried cafes with good food and coffee. And I am sick of hipster cafes selling overpriced substandard food that don't contribute to the food scene here.

Say yes to good food!


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6 comments

  1. Totally agree that's why I am long done with indie cafes here. Truth to be told, the indie café scene domestically is way too pretentious. I am talking about authenticity of their offerings, after a while, they're really just a replica of the next one, with oft hefty price tags. pfft

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  2. Yes I agree that a growing majority of cafes lack an actual food foundation. I love a good latte and a charming place to enjoy it. Most of the food experience though have left me wondering what were they thinking? I just paid 20 dollars for one latte, one sandwich*most likely dry*, and a pretty dessert with no Oomph!

    I know what they are thinking....the guy across town is doing well so lets copy him.

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  3. I definitely agree, and this trend has been going on for a while because everybody thinks it is easy having f&b business -easy money - and you can put part-time students pretending to be coffee connoisseurs. Plus the coffee machine and accessories are provided on loan by the coffee suppliers by contract(no need immediate payment) while food is different. usually is cash/cheque on delivery, if you do not forecast properly the consumption you can have a lot of wastages.
    Lastly the majority of cafes have no proper kitchen and kitchen equipment so they are forced to outsource semi-ready products from local supplier (i.e. swiss bakery has a company specialized in wholesale foodservice)and they need just to re-sell with the add of mayonese/lettuce/turkey ham same thing for cake etc...here you got the overpricing!! cheers

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  4. I gotta agree with this! And they're all located at some obscure dark corners of Singapore, but with long throngs of queue. I'd rather take good food, obscure spot, no queue.

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  5. The sad part is all these cafes are not genuinely 'hipster' or 'indie'... the real indie/hipster cafes died in Singapore, e.g. The Pigeon Hole. The essence of a hipster/indie cafe is not really in their food or coffee, but in the culture/vibe/ambience they exude, their philosophy and the colourful characters that congregate there (and not just there to be seen).

    So maybe we should also stop with the wrong use of the hipster/indie label on these establishments.

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  6. I do agree that some cafes serve substandard food and I always count it on my luck to "chance upon" nice cafes which serves good food at the same time. I think there are many people who don't go to cafes for the sole purpose of eating, but to chill and just enjoy the time there in the ambience that these cafes provide. Hence, you won't really find the mega-foodies in there - they are at the hawker centres or some biggie restaurant.

    Price is sure a concern as well, but every establishment, especially small ones, faces huge costs and they cater to people who are willing to pay, I guess. it's a whole different target altogether - those who enjoy cheap and good food just wouldn't go to cafes.

    Cheers~

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