One Man Coffee @ Upper Thomson Road (Food Review)

It was a rainy Saturday morning during the long National Day weekend. The toddler’s music school was closed (so no class yay) so I grabbed the chance to try out One Man Coffee‘s breakfast and coffee. I probably have been wanting to try it for the past years coz it’s so near me!

It’s appears quite small when you see it from the outside but when I stepped in at about 920am that morning, I was pleasantly surprised by the nice and cosy set up. There were 2 long tables for bigger groups and at least 5-6 two-seaters.

IMG_5860Somehow the woody interior reminded me of Common Man Coffee Roasters.

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Simple 1-page menu – both hubby and I ordered the Big Brekkie, along with a Cappuccino for him and a Long Black for me.

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When I ordered at the cashier, I requested for more of something else as I did not want the rye bread. The guy in specs suggested giving me more button mushrooms, which I happily agreed. It was nice of them to oblige to the special request!

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After hubby’s Cappuccino arrived, I realized that One Man Coffee was having this promotion which they advertised on their Facebook Page/ Instagram – free Latte with every Big Brekkie.

Why wasn’t I informed of this when I was ordering my TWO sets of Big Brekkie?

Never mind. Not a big deal. Maybe they forgot or maybe they intentionally decided not to inform customers because they wanted only the Facebook/ Instagram followers to know. And I respect that.

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My Long Black. It was thick and fragrant, but with a sourish aftertaste which I don’t prefer. My office’s Long Black tastes way better, it’s free and comes in unlimited servings. Oh well, it’s an individual preference. Some people actually love the sourish aftertaste.

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But it still makes a pretty picture 🙂

Hubby and I had about an hour for this breakfast, then we had to leave for Thomson Plaza to get our usual marketing done from about 1030 to 1115am. It wasn’t too crowded that morning, so we reckoned an hour would be more than sufficient. After all, how long can they take to cook a few breakfast items?

  • Eggs take 6 minutes.
  • Bread toasting – 1 min?
  • Sautéed mushrooms & tomatoes – max 5 min?
  • Candied bacon – max 5 min also?
  • Spinach salad with dressing – 30 seconds?

Let’s say they do this one after the other, plus maybe busy with another order before us – I shall give them 20 min max?

However, we ordered our food by 925am and our food came only at 1006am which was a total of 40 minutes waiting time (according to the time on my iPhone when the below picture was taken):

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Prior to the arrival of our food, there was a minor power shutdown in the cafe so I suspected that the delay might be due to that. Well, that COULD BE THE ONLY VALID REASON.

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As you can see, my Big Brekkie had no rye bread so my eggs were placed on the board. My button mushrooms did not seem to have increased in quantity (as promised) compared to hubby’s either. Ok, maybe by 3 half-mushrooms more?

Never mind. Perhaps a slice of rye bread costs them 3 sautéed half-mushrooms.

I am someone who can wait for food, even if it’s a dramatic FORTY MINUTES in a NOT-SO-CROWDED cafe. I understand that there can be 1,001 reasons why there may be a delay in the food arrival. I started munching on the spinach salad which was dressed in a very tasty sweet vinaigrette. We didn’t have much time left to eat, it was 1006am and we had to leave at 1015am.

Then hubby gave a WTF frown and said “The eggs are cold!”.

I scooped a bit of my yolk and tried it – Yup it was at room temperature, not even slightly warm.

SIGH. Unreasonable waiting time – still can tahan la.

Cold food – unacceptable la.

Hubby called a staff over and told her plainly, “Your food is cold.”. She stood there, not knowing what to do.

(I could totally understand the awkwardness, I was a waitress before).

I gave a small smile (despite my cold food) and replied “We just wanted you to know that the food is cold. But we will finish it.”

I did not tell her that we had no choice but to finish it, because we had to rush off and did not have time to wait for them to prepare all over again.

So we continued gobbling up the cold food. It was not pleasant at all, eating food that were cold but having to finish it coz we had no other choice.

After maybe 5 minutes, another staff came to us with a stash of cash in her hands. She apologized and wanted to refund us for the cold food served.

It was a nice gesture on their part, truly. I replied “No it’s okay, we have finished the food.”.

She went “Are you sure?”. Not the best way to respond but I just nodded and she went away.

Seriously, did they really expect us to accept the money after eating? I appreciate the effort put into service recovery, but bad service rendered is like spilt milk or a broken mirror in my opinion. Maybe some customers would be happy with a refund (even after eating up everything) but not for me and hubby.

I paid a good $40 bucks for this breakfast. Minus $10 for the air con and the simple food presentations, I could have spent $30 at Shunfu Food Centre just further down the road and gotten TEN x hot piping delicious breakfast dishes.

Another thing I noted from One Man Coffee – they did not do frequent checks on the arrival of the food. Ensuring timely food arrival is the job of both the FOH (front of house) and BOH (back of house). Instead, the staff were spotted chatting at the cashier and not checking on the orders. Things could have been better if they found out earlier (eg after 15min) that our order would be delayed and informed us / offered us some read-to-serve appetizers or a free refill of coffee. Honestly, if Hubby and I have been informed, we would have requested for a refund of the food, left and gone somewhere else for a quick meal. At least the impression won’t be so bad and I would definitely go back to eat again!

We spent more than an hour in One Man Coffee, mostly feeling annoyed, frustrated and helpless. Yet at the same time, I showed grace and courtesy in my conversations despite everything. I write this not to boast of my incredibly God-like character, but I write this to emphasize that this is not an experience I want to go through again.

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One thought on “One Man Coffee @ Upper Thomson Road (Food Review)

  1. Kally says:

    I was looking for new reading material and I stumbled upon your blog. Great post. Well written. Looking forward to coming back and explore other ones you have. You made me miss Singapore!

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