Well Collective Brings Pet-Friendly Holistic Cafe Vibes to Sleepy Punggol
If there’s any apt descriptor for the sleepy neighbourhood of Punggol, hidden in the far North-Eastern corner of Singapore, it’s “young BTO estate filled with young couples”. Given that reputation, I have growing bewilderment towards the void of trendy brunch spots in the area. Well, the new pet-friendly Well Collective fits just the profile.
Unexpectedly, I had found myself in the purple-line purlieus, inching closer to my virgin visit to the foreign compound of Northshore Plaza. After trudging past a blur of generic shopping-mall mainstays, a chic, swanky shopfront called out to me from an inconspicuous alcove.
Talk about a juxtaposition of moods because Well Collective is, well, a whole vibe. Sleek white walls and tall window panes welcome you inside, where you’re swiftly greeted by the warm, creamy glow of neon lights.
Being a sister concept of popular brunch spots Botany and Ritual, Well Collective is an extension of that minimalist, holistic approach to running a cafe. It’s a place to unwind, a place to bring your pets and kids, and a place to dilly about on your laptop on low-intensity workdays — they have plugs covering every corner.
As they say, “home is where the heart is” and Well Collective brings that beloved brunch experience closer to the heart — a sanctuary for your spirit and well-being on those days spent away from the office.
That’s the reason behind the minimalism and laid-back ambience indoors, filled with lush natural plants and soothing neutral tones. Whereas a roomy outdoor patio provides a breezy alternative where your furkids can relax and indulge in some puppucinos.
Well Thought Out Quirks
Well Collective’s offerings are described as “French-Japanese”. As it stands, you can expect quirky flavour flings here beyond your routine acai bowls and cuppas.
Starting off is a rather familiar taste profile — that of McWings. Not exactly the same but Well Collective’s Mid Wings ($13) tasted almost like a healthier take with a similar texture, complete with fragrant garlic chilli but also balanced by an elegant touch of Yuzu.
The highlight though was undoubtedly Well Collective’s No-Chicken Katsu Sando ($19). Genuinely a pretty good sando despite the use of alternative meat, a soy-based ersatz chicken that actually sported a snappy patty bite.
What it lacks in unbridled meaty succulence, it repays with an articulate balance of umami, peppery heat and, above all, a delightful heaping of pickled daikon tartness. All that embraced within crisp and slightly twangy sourdough for a great mix of textures.
Conversely, Well Collective’s Barramundi with Miso Sauce ($28) could do with some tweaking. While bathed in a potently rich sauce, also tinged with zippy yuzu and embellished with a silky-buttery kiss, the fish itself was a tad dry.
Still, it could be an off-day and soft opening kinks — overall, a dish with good potential, if and when done right.
A Sweet Collective
I reckon french toasts have become such a trite aspect of the brunch experience, renditions of it can be expected on almost every menu. That said, the Creme Brulee French Toast ($19) at Well Collective belongs to the upper tiers.
Rich, pillowy brioche sticks are given a shimmering coat of crackling caramelisation that leaves an intoxicating scent of burnt sugar — simple but done oh-so-well.
While I wouldn’t place the Passionfruit Meringue Tart (S$9.50) in the same echelons as artisan specialists such as Tarte, Well Collective’s in-house team gave a good account of themselves.
It’s got everything you’d want in a meringue tart — that airy meringue factor, oodles of vivacious zest, and a crumbly tart. On the plus side, the facade is also a sight for sore eyes.
As a retreat from the austere stylings of the towering BTOs in the estate, Well Collective does its job perfectly — providing a little oasis for hard hustlers to unwind with grace. Having adorable pups running around is just the cherry on top.
Make your reservations here.
- Address: Northshore Plaza 2, 418 Northshore Dr, #02-11/12 Blk 418, 820418
- Hours: (Mon–Sun) 10am–10pm
*This was an invited tasting.