Dreams don’t have to stay dreams, something perfectly encapsulated by the rise of Whiskdom from a home-based business to the conception of their third concept, Ooze, smack dab in the heart of town at Orchard Central.
New Tanjong Pagar Cafe 51 Tras is a Flourishing Collective of Creative Energy
Nestled along a bustling lane, Just a stone’s throw away from Tanjong Pagar MRT, you’ll find a verdant panelled door at 51 Tras Street that leads inward into a spacious, industrial space. A space where, as you pass through the door arch, you can feel the distinct rumblings of electronic music vibrating through your body.
Despite the name, you’d find that Balestier Market Collective isn’t located in the Balestier neighbourhood — or a location bearing any semblance to a market. In fact, this speciality coffee bar is actually hidden within the uppity vicinage of SAM at Tanjong Pagar.
Waga Waga Den Is South Beach’s Newest Futurist Japanese Marvel
A sleek black glass monolith protrudes out of the ground, fenced in by an outer area populated with sleek white marble fittings and two dainty trees that extended skyward undeviatingly. Only a cryptic logo of Waga Waga Den is emblazoned onto the facade of the enigmatic glass enclosure as a hint of what’s inside.
The interior is yet another striking minimalist marvel — svelte black tables are welded to the metallic structural skeleton while zen garden pebbles lined the perimeter to give it a distinct cyberpunk edge.
What ties Waga Waga Den’s futurist aesthetic together succinctly is a cluster of overhanging geometric lights which flicker and snake vividly, like you’re sitting in a futuristic Tokyo district or something out of Westworld.
Waga Waga Den’s lavish sense of aesthetic is unrivalled by even the chicest brunch spots in Singapore — that said, it’s not designed as a mere cafe for coffee runs.
Conceived by the Black Cow team, this new spot at South Beach is envisioned as a tranquil unwinding hangout and lifestyle concept for CBD denizens.
While still figuring out operation nuances currently, they will progressively modify and eventually roll out after-work luxuries such as Sake that come straight from Black Cow itself.
It is with that vision in mind that all the intricacies are planned out and crafted into the space, especially the picturesque garden featuring oblique marble benches that actually draw out their insignia when viewed from above.
Ultimately, Waga Waga Den is meant to be a holistic hybrid that will allow customers to lounge in its vogueish premises round the clock — so even the shadows in the bar area will evolve based on the Sun’s position of the day and how daylight trickles in through their ceiling-height glass panes.
Refined Japanese Flavours
As with Black Cow, their new concept places a lot of pride in procuring premium ingredients to ensure pristine quality is translated into their offerings.
Provenance is assiduously planned for at Waga Waga Den, where premium ingredients like Japanese red sugar and some of the best quality Kyoto Matcha are sourced for.
At this fledgling phase, the main focus is funnelled into fine-tuning their coffee for the vicinity’s daytime crowd. In the long run, offerings will change with the seasons, as is the norm with speciality coffee, but the espresso blend will persist as a Brazilian-Guatamelan blend to ensure quality control.
The menu at Waga Waga Den is considerably varied but the unique creations that will probably capture your attention are their unique “cloud” drinks.
Extremely unique in presentation, the Cloud ($9) is a coffee that’s adorned with luscious mounds of chocolate-dusted clouds at the brim. A rare sight of the unique cloud as the progenitor of the style, Omotesando, had already ceased operations in Singapore.
Being milk-based, Waga Waga Den’s speciality is blessed with a soft creamy body to match the medium roast profile of the espresso. The overall profile is balanced, robust, and enriched by a beautiful dose of fragrant chocolate. No artificial sweetener, just good quality chocolate.
Atop their drinks, Waga Waga Den also has a few food items on the menu —mainly Japanese in scope— and their Warabi Mochi ($10) was what jumped out at me. Mochi is a simple tidbit but that also means deficiencies are made even more glaring.
Suffice to say, the Warabi Mochi here is executed to perfection. To the teeth, they are fluffy, light, and delightfully chewy while to the tongue, the coating and syrup imparted a brand of toasted sweetness that was bright but elegant.
Aesthetics wise, Waga Waga Den blows most of its Singapore competition away — very few cafes are given this elaborate attention to detail. In a way, it’s a small enclave in the CBD area where you’d feel spirited away to a futuristic Japan or Korean suburb.
Operations are still in process of fine-tuning, so this isn’t the finished product yet. But if they remain steadfast in their devotion to fine quality, I can’t wait to see what the future will bring.