This place is a gem. Not so much hidden, because it’s hard to miss a bright red shack like this in the middle of the sleepy Gillman Barracks – but a gem, no doubt. If it were a gemstone, I’m sure that it would be a ruby – a beautiful red, but nothing too outlandish – much like the place itself.
I love how quiet and peaceful the place is in the day. Not too sure about nightfall, though, when the cafe turns into a bar. But I like the serenity found here in the day. I’ve come to realise that I’m more of a morning person – I always have been, but it kind of feels like I lost myself in the last few months.
The first two times I visited this cafe, I had their french toast – a glorious hybrid of local flavours and brunch food. Topped with bananas, gula melaka sauce and a generous sprinkling of coconut shavings, you are also given the option of adding a scoop of coconut or vanilla ice cream on the side to make it all the more decadent.
I have two special mentions to give out here.
One, is to the crust of the toast. I honestly wonder how this crust is able to retain its lovely, crisp texture despite us being able to taste the egginess of the whole thing. I love how the toast is soaked all the way through by the egg mixture, but holds up a beautiful crisp/soggy contrast. The second special mention is to the gula melaka sauce! I’m not usually a fan of gula melaka, as I find that many of the offerings around are thin and watery, and taste way too much like coconut. This gula melaka doesn’t have that overpowering coconut taste; and I appreciate it for that. The sauce here is thick, rich, caramelly and pairs so well with the french toast-and-bananas combination.
I came here with my whole family on my third visit as it was Mother’s Day! And my mom wanted to visit a nice, quiet little cafe with good coffee, and Red Baron was the perfect choice. We had a lovely and peaceful morning, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The best part about visiting a cafe in a large group (well, my family is relatively big) is that you get to try more things. We ordered six mains for five people :x
This garlic prawn pasta was surprisingly delicious. The prawns were fresh, pasta cooked al-dente, and a sprinkling of parmesan around the plate gave the dish an added element of savoury goodness. My sister and dad shared this, and they ordered another one as they were still feeling peckish, and had enjoyed this one a lot.
Eggs on Toast, served with roasted vegetables. My mom and I went for poached eggs, while my sister went for scrambled. The eggs were well-poached (when I say this I basically mean that they fulfil my criteria for poached eggs), albeit a little watery around the edges – they could have been better drained, I guess. Multigrain and sourdough are my two favourite types of bread to be eaten on a regular basis, but I have a thing for the sunflower seeds that are often found inside multigrain toast. And this multigrain toast was so good! I couldn’t get enough. Neither could my sister (who can be decently picky with her food at times), who finished her two slices of toast with her scrambled eggs. Which she enjoyed so much, that she forgot to take a picture of it until she was done. But I guess that’s a good thing!
Bad edit (apologies) but I finally got to try the beefy ploughman on this visit! I was debating between this and the french toast on my second visit, but they were out of beef after the Labour Day weekend, and their supplier had yet to arrive that day. This was the last dish to come, and by then we were already quite stuffed… But I managed to make some space to try this! It was quite worth the price, though I wish that there were more caramelised onions. Overall though, everything in the sandwich went pretty well together. I love the combination of beef and cheese, and I liked the fluffy interior of the bread.
One thing I like about the Red Baron is how fresh the ingredients are. The menu is relatively small, consisting of simple breakfast dishes, pastas and sandwiches. But the mark of a good cafe (or at least, one mark) is the ability to elevate the simplest of dishes into something truly delicious and worth your money. Red Baron pulls this off tremendously well, and consistently, at that.
Coffee is Liberty’s Speakeasy blend – one of the most reliable blends around. Wholesome, consistent stuff. The piccolos here are ace, my mom and I always have two each when we go.
It is usually at this point I would post a picture of the exterior or the design of the place… But I don’t have any. So I’ll leave you to go and find out what it looks like for yourself (or, you can simply google). Bring a book, a companion, even your laptop to watch shows on – I re-watched the first two Harry Potter movies with a friend there, and the atmosphere was perfect. The natural light here is my best friend. So is the peace and quiet.
Given how good this place is, I fear it may not be peaceful and quiet for long. But good things are meant to be shared, I guess.