About Coexist Coffee Co (Paya Lebar Branch)
Coexist Coffee Co is a homegrown coffee establishment that should be on your radar if you can’t get enough of beautiful cafés! This year, Coexist has expanded into the east with a gorgeous, huge space conveniently located on the first floor the Lifelong Learning Institute, a short walk from Paya Lebar MRT.
Beautiful Zen-Garden Meets Lalang Field
What makes this outlet unique is the sprawling space with so many seating sections to choose from. The most cool-looking section would have to be the viewing gallery seats (see above), which are two stadium-like rows of cute little seating pads that have a great view of the rest of the café and perfect for people-watching. For bigger groups, there are larger tables both indoors, outdoors as well as on the upper deck (see below).
The café is also full of whimsical touches, from the lalang decor, to cute road signs and zen garden landscaping. It also has an impressive central bar area (see below) where you can see drinks being freshly made as well as take a peek at their in-house coffee roasting set up.
While this Coexist Coffee outlet is relatively new, it has already gained a strong following and you can expect to queue for quite a while during weekend peak periods. Also, on weekends, reservations are only available during certain non-peak hours, but it’s well worth it to not have to wait too long.
Top 3 Must-Try Dishes at Coexist Coffee (In Our Opinion!)
For those coming hungry (as you should!), there are a few dishes that are quite unique and are must-order here.
1. Carrot Cake Fries ($14)
The Carrot Cake Fries were a winning combination that everyone unanimously loved. Each piece of carrot cake is fried till it has a perfectly crisp skin while remaining fluffy inside. However, the real secret is in the addictively creamy and spicy sambal mayo that somehow makes this dish so finger-licking good.
2. Grilled Cheese Sandwich ($18)
Now, Coexist Coffee’s version of grilled cheese is another dish that really hits the spot on all fronts. It consists of two huge pieces of bread, fried till crispy and oozing with melted Pepper Jack, Colby Jack and Mozzarella cheese.
Also, did you know that grilled cheese is often served with tomato soup in the US? I didn’t know this at all and was pleasantly surprised by the smooth, rich bowl of homemade tomato soup that came with this grilled cheese. I would honestly order more of the soup alone if I could!
3. Squid Ink Risotto ($28)
Another unique dish that you should try would be the Squid Ink Risotto ($28). While it was certainly not cheap, it was really generous with the firefly squid and crab meat as well as tobiko sprinkled on top. The risotto itself was done just right and delicious on its own because of the savoury squid ink sauce. The only caveat is that the seafood taste on this can be quite strong so you have to really like seafood for this one.
More Brunch Items!
If you still have space, we would also recommend two more excellent brunch options.
Firstly, the Salmon Toast ($20) won us over as it was piled high with thick, savoury slices of smoked salmon. The light dill spread added a nice contrast and kept the dish really well balanced. Definitely one for the salmon lovers.
Second, the huge Coexist Breakfast ($24) is a true classic for those who love a good English Breakfast. I particularly liked the fried tater tots and the crispy bacon. The sautéed mushrooms were also really packed with flavour. The portion is a pretty large for this one and can even be shared if you want to save space for desserts.
Save Space For Desserts
Coexist has three categories of desserts on their menu – entrement, swiss roll and plated. As we were visited before 12pm, plated desserts were not available so we tried items from the other two categories.
Apparently, entrements are much higher-level desserts compared to cakes because they consist of many layers of different textures and types. The Coffee Entrement ($8) had coffee mousse, coffee caramel that oozed out from the centre, hazelnut praline and a base of chocolate sable as a base. It was really quite cute-looking and quite an interesting experience to consume. It is a bit pricey but fair for the amount of work that goes into one of these.
The Matcha Swiss Roll ($6) was pretty much mostly focused on the smooth mascarpone cream filling rather than the roll itself. Even so, it does pack a dense matcha flavour that is well balanced out by the cream.
Finally, we had some drinks to wash everything down. The quality of coffee was great, with distinctly earthy notes and a heavenly aroma. Pricing is average café price, at about $5 for a latte. The serving size is not particularly large though. The tea and filtered coffee selection is also quite interesting and worth a try for connoisseurs.
I would say that Coexist Coffee (Paya Lebar) is really a breathtaking café. You just feel really at ease in the beautifully designed space and it is worth travelling to the east for. The food is also a 10/10, kudos to the versatility of the chef in really being able to pull off so many different cuisines flawlessly! Can’t wait to be back.
Spent: $35 per person (~ Sharing appetisers + Main + Drink)
Coexist Coffee Co.
Address: 11, 01-02 Eunos Rd 8, Lifelong Learning Institute, 408601
Opening Hours: 8.30am to 10.30pm every day