Don’t you just love uncovering hidden gems, that sudden rush of euphoria, as if you have just discovered the next best thing? I kind of wish to keep this place a secret, but I believe it does deserve the publicity. Hidden away amidst hipster cafes and bars, this unassuming shop is located opposite the famous Tong Heng eatery.
Afterglow is among the growing number of healthy eateries that have been popping up everywhere; however what sets it apart is its specialisation in raw food. The menu, comprising 6 sections, all embody the establishment’s belief in bringing the Farm to Table experience to customers with strong insistence on fresh ingredients. Although the recurring theme is raw, grains and soups are cooked.
Sliding open the door, what immediately captivated me was the décor- a mismatch of items that all seemed to come together. A random bike hanging on the wall, a birdcage in the corner and a lonesome chair with a darth Vader logo. Each table has a unique setting and a candle that adds to the warm setting. The staff were also extremely friendly, introducing us to their concept, highlighting their best dishes and personal favourites; they even brought an extra chair for me to place my bag.
Curried Pumpkin Soup ($12)
We started off our meal with their special of the day, a hearty bowl of curried pumpkin soup. Unlike the usual pureed variety, this clear-based soup that reminds me of chicken soup was lightly spiced with chunks of carrots, potatoes and of course pumpkin. Though slightly salty, the spices shine through, with the occasional sweetness that cuts through as you savour the pumpkin. Even my dining partner who hates pumpkin agreed it was good.
Kimchi Nori Roll ($12)
For mains, we decided to share their best seller, a kimchi nori roll that comes with homemade kimchi, carrots and a light sauce (which I’m guessing is cashew-based), all tightly wrapped with nori. The crunch of the carrots, the refreshing burst of kimchi and that lusciously creamy sauce that brings everything together –amazing. I was secretly plotting on eating my friend’s share.
Raw Tiramisu ($10)
Lastly, we ordered the raw tiramisu. After the first 2 dishes, this dessert fell short of my expectation. The flavours were too faint and I was reminded more of chendol as opposed to tiramisu. I was expecting creamy spoonfuls, however the cream veers towards the runny side. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad –just average.
Granted, the prices here are a little on the pricey side for café standards, however I believe this place warrants a return. They also serve up a mean cup of coffee with beans from common man coffee roasters. If you are curious, do give this place a try. I know I’ll definitely be back soon to try their sushi bowl that comes with black rice, avocado and miso, as well as their raw taco bowl.
24 Keong Saik Road
Opening hours: 11.30am – 11pm (Mon-Sat)
-Written by Priya Naresh Kumar.