Mean Bean & Wicked Grind is a small little dessert cafe situated in The Plaza, an old shopping mall at Beach Road. The place is opened by 20-something Kimberley Yeo, who was inspired from her holiday in Europe. The cafe specializes in serving up the finest cut of desserts from an array of local suppliers.
Mean Bean is actually tucked away in one of the corners inside The Plaza. My friend and I got a little lost trying to find the place. It wasn’t listed in the shopping mall’s directory either. Finally we managed to spot it after making our way towards the link to the adjacent hotel. The place is surrounded by some other businesses of the mall, which include a tour agency & a convenience store.
What Mean Bean lacks in space, they make up from their nice but simple decor. The somewhat vintage cafe has sort of a European theme, with fairy lights hanging above and a faux red brick wall with street lamps. It gives off a very Parisian aesthetic through the combination of mood lighting and simple interior design. There is even a street-style clock on the side of the wall. Fancy their utensils, vintage plates or knick knacks? They are actually all for sale, you can make a query if you spot something you like.
Seating in Mean Bean is very limited, with only a bar top counter and high stools inside. The majority of seats are spilled outside the shop, which unfortunately makes for a more dreary & depressing mood due to the grey floors & lousy lighting of the mall’s corridor. Best to get a seat inside perhaps.
Now as I’ve mentioned earlier, the dessert selection from Mean Bean are mostly sourced from other suppliers. I would reckon around 80% of their items are from outside suppliers. (This seems to be a trend for certain cafes, which source the majority of their food and/or desserts from other suppliers. Other similar cafes that seem to do this include 7th Cylinder [review soon] & Working Title, both around the Haji Lane area.) Aside from the numerous desserts, Mean Bean also offers a small menu of savoury items, ranging from sausages, sandwiches & salads.
The selection of desserts of Mean Bean changes every few days. (A fact I unfortunately only learned on my visit itself.) Kimberley makes sure of choosing the best of the best desserts to sell in her cafe, while keeping prices affordable. Mean Bean also doesn’t charge service fees or GST.
One of the reasons I wanted to make a visit to Mean Bean was due to photos on Instagram. I kept seeing these fancy little eclairs that were offered, and wanted to try them myself. Unfortunately, on my visit, they were unavailable. This was when I learnt that the desserts from Mean Bean changes every few days. Perhaps I was already having a bad day, but to add insult to injury, I was told something like “If you were looking for something, you should have called.” I felt a tad offended. It made it seem as though I was obligated to call ahead when 1 – It was my first time there. 2 – I did not know they changed their menu every few days until I was already there. (I do blame myself for not reading up on the cafe beforehand. Lesson learned.)
After my experience at Mean Bean, I did my research and found out the eclairs were from a local baker who has an online bakery called “The Little Yellow Apron“. I eventually managed to buy the eclairs from her directly instead. [You can check out the review of those eclairs on my Facebook page.)
Worth A Visit/Revisit?
To be perfectly honest, I left Mean Bean with a sense of disappointment. Their desserts are definitely pretty good, but if you consider the fact that they are all mostly from suppliers and that the cafe itself is in quite a secluded area, it makes you think twice if Mean Bean is really worth checking out. Of course if you are a crazy cafehopper, by all means, go ahead and give Mean Bean a visit. The cafe is more for the workers of the commercial district around the area & the guests of the nearby hotel. I do sort of like their concept & vintage crockery but I don’t see myself heading back to Mean Bean any time soon.
MEAN BEAN & WICKED GRIND
7500A Beach Road, Singapore 199591
(Nearest train station: Bugis)
Contact: 6391 9749
Mon – Tue: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Thu – Sun: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm