Here lies the Espresso Nook.
Tolido’s Espresso Nook Cafe & Coffee Bar is a cafe situated in one of the older estates of Singapore, which is near North Bridge Road. The cafe is right under a HDB building, with the whole stretch of the first level dedicated to commercial shops, ranging from hardware stores to party supplies. It definitely comes as a surprise to find a cafe smack dabbed in the middle of all the different stores. Tolido’s is quite known for their great coffee & latte art, with head barista/owner Douglas Tan having won third place in a local latte art throw down.
Inside the nook.
View of the counter space where you can often find Douglas himself brewing up coffee orders & latte art.
What I like about Tolido’s is how cosy the cafe feels. It could be that I went on a weekday, but the place was just as quiet & peaceful as the neighbourhood it is situated in. The interior decor of the place seems to encompass a barnyard/wine cellar quality. The counters of the cafe are panelled with wood, with wooden tables filling the place & metal chairs working as companions to balance all the wood. At the far corner inside of the cafe, lies a “relaxation corner”, with a high shelf supported by wooden supports above & comfy sofas below. The whole look is tied together with homely decor & dim warm lighting. It’s definitely one of the better places to get some peace & quiet and just relax with a cup of jo.
All-day Breakfast & Mains menu of Tolido’s.
Here with have the starters, desserts & drinks.
The food of Tolido’s are mostly your usual all-day breakfast/brunch, with dishes like pancakes, French toast, waffles & American breakfasts. They also offer an extensive range of mains ranging from sandwiches to pastas. One unique thing about the cafe is that they serve their starters in bamboo steamers, which I find very interesting as they are reminiscent of Dim Sum. And of course, as I’ve mentioned before, one of Tolido’s main draws is their coffee/drinks with their main specialty being the “Sea Salt Caramel Latte”.
What’s great about Tolido’s is that their dishes are all quite affordable, with prices mostly below 12 bucks for their mains & all-day breakfasts. They don’t charge GST or service fees as well!
Sea Salt Caramel Latte ($6)
This is one of Tolido’s specialty drinks. I was fortunate to have mine brewed by Douglas himself. Really nice latte art!
If you’ve read my previous food reviews, I would’ve always mentioned that I’m in no way a coffee connoisseur. Of course, I think I’m getting better at it, as this was the first time I could experience the acidity of the latte. I quite liked it, it was a nice perk me up sort of thing.
Bandung Ice Blended ($5.90)
Chocolate Milkshake ($5.90)
My friend & I actually hung around the cafe for a few hours and so felt thirsty for more drinks again. (It was THAT quiet & peaceful that we could do this.)
I wanted to try something different, so I went with the Bandung Ice Blended. I was worried it was going to be overly “iced”, but it was really smooth & more like a drink, which I really liked.
My friend previously had a Chocolate Ice Blended, and finally at my behest, he decided to try a milkshake this time. One sip of his milkshake, his eyes opened wide & he exclaimed “This is really good!”.
Tolido’s Truffle Fries ($10.90)
Thick-cut Fries, Premium Truffle Oil, Parmesan Cheese
I tend not to order truffle fries any more as they tend to start tasting the same but Tolido’s version looked really great & unique in a bamboo steamer. (Ah, for the sake of food photography.)
My friend mentioned that the fries were quite salty, but for some reason they were addictive. I agreed, there was something here that makes you wanting more.
(While most of their prices are low, I can’t say the same for their fries. It is average pricing among cafes though.)
Cereal Bacon Rolls ($10.90)
Cereal, Oven-Baked Pork Bacon, Wrapped around Puff Pastry, Slice of Cucumber
Do I love…
Bacon? Check. Cereal? Check. Puff pastry? Check. Price for this? Nope.
I’m a huge fan of cereal prawns and so when I saw this, I just HAD to order it. It’s the same type of cereal they use for cereal prawns. Add them to bacon? Sold. It smelled heavenly & tasted so delicious. Add this one to the guilty pleasure book.
(Of course, the price is what gets me. When I told my friend how much it was, he was stunned. That’s the huge problem with starters… always so overpriced yet so tempting. I do admit that while I loathe starter prices, till this day, I would still order them… You win this time, society!)
Rösti with Smoked Bratwurst ($16.90)
This was another thing that I wanted to try at Tolido’s. Some reviews mentioned that they were better than Marché’s. They were definitely right, it tasted really good. One of the better Röstis that I’ve had.
Smoked Salmon Carbonara ($15.90)
My friend & I actually had the overly salty Truffle Fries right before we tried the Carbonara. When we did, it was slightly off putting as it tasted quite bland in comparison to the salty fries. The upside was that I could taste that the cream sauce was better than most of the ones I’ve had, it just needed a pinch of salt to really bring it out. (Which you can do yourself with the salt shakers provided.)
Triple-Decker Gelato Pancake ($8.50)
With a scoop of Cookies & Cream Gelato & Strawberry Sauce
While I did find the taste of the pancakes to be pretty nice, I felt the presentation of the dish left much to be desired. Perhaps some icing sugar & some cut fruits around it would have made it look superb. The scoop of gelato was also kinda underwhelming, could be bigger in my book. I thought it was pretty ingenious for the cook to make a hole in the top pancake for the gelato to balance on as well. (Or is it a way to get less bang for your buck? Hmm…)
By this point, my friend & I were already pretty full and so couldn’t finish this. (What a waste!)
A pretty cool vintage tape recorder-turned planter outside the nook.
Worth A Visit/Revisit?
In this day & age of constant emerging hipster cafes, Tolido’s Espresso Nook seems to be one of those that stand out for me. The food’s good, drinks are great, service fantastic, atmosphere phenomenal. It was one of the few places that I actually enjoyed hanging out at, with the surroundings so peaceful & quiet and the crowds nowhere to be seen. No rush, no fuss. The place is definitely unpretentious as well and I highly recommend a visit to this little nook if you have not been yet.
TOLIDO’S ESPRESSO NOOK
462 Crawford Lane, #01-63, Singapore 190462
(Nearest train station: Lavender)
Contact: 6648 0178
Tue – Thu: 9:30 am – 7:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 9:30 am – 10:00 pm
Sun: 9:00 am – 6:30 pm