Address: 101 Upper Cross Street #01-02C People’s Park Centre Singapore 058358
Tel: +65 65335977
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am – 5pm, Sat: 7am – 3pm, Closed on Sun/PH
Budget: about $6-10 (including drinks, we spent $29.70 for 3 persons AND no service charge)
Recommendations: Curry Vegetables and Dim Sum (also see HGW here)
This week, we bring you a two-part special uncovering cafes and restaurants with a good cause: Breakthrough Cafe and World Peace Cafe.
Breakthrough Cafe may seem like an ordinary cafe nestled in the corner of Chinatown Centre and some distance in front of the Subordinate Courts, serving delicious dim sum and local delights. However, one may hazard a guess about the origins and mission of this cafe after seeing employees sporting big tattoos.
Run by a Christian mission organisation (Breakthrough Missions), Breakthrough Cafe provides a haven for reformed ex-convicts to provide their skills and talent in the F&B industry. I enjoyed my first visit here because it was unpretentious and the service was extra sincere, given the price tag for the food I ordered.
There are usually 4 main dishes that other gourmets order or rave about: (1) Dim Sum; (2) Curry Vegetables; (3) Pig Trotters in Vinegar; and (4) Nasi Lemak. My group opted for dim sum and curry vegetables, because I needed rice for a proper lunch.
We started with the Peanut Congee ($3.50), because that’s what goes best with quintessential Hong Kong dim sum. The porridge was both smooth and silky, while the rice grains were soft and tasty. Mr Mushroom finished it and I reckoned that there was only 4 words to describe it: 火候十足！
Next up came the various bamboo baskets of bite-sized dim sum. The Steamed Pork Ribs ($3) were probably my favourite. It comprises both the soft and firm portions of the pork ribs, so that the meat is both tender and chewy. One bite down and it almost melts in your mouth.
I personally found that the Siew Mais ($2.80) were good but not mind-blowing. That said, the affordable price is absolutely value for money.
The Char Siew Rice Rolls ($3.20) were both affordable and tasty. Rice rolls with filling go at about $1.60 – $2 each and to pack substantial charsiew filling in those rice rolls at such prices is a great lure for me. The charsiew was chopped up in bite sizes, the rice rolls were smooth and served piping hot, and finally the soya sauce was sweet and not too salty.
As a person with an undying love for fried food, Mr Mushroom wanted to order the Fried Dumplings. However, he had not been gymming lately and therefore I recommended the Boiled Dumplings ($4) as a healthier choice. The dumplings looked nicely wrapped in the delicate skin and packed a punch upon the first bite. Do not expect a floodgate of meat juices to ooze out of the dumpling like Xiao Long Baos, but just be careful not to soil your work shirts (like other office crowds). We were agile enough not to let that happen (if you know what I mean).
The Curry Vegetables Set (with rice) ($6) definitely deserves to be a signature dish. Generous servings of coconut milk (I presume) were added, giving the curry its desired texture and fragrance. Topped with cabbage, long beans and taupok, this is a complete meal, paired with either plain rice or you can also top it with Nasi Lemak, like some consumers did.
All in all, we thought that this eatery is definitely value-for-money and by dining here, you are actually supporting a worthy and meaningful cause. I would definitely be back to try the other recommended dishes!
Rating: 3.67/5 Dim Sum