Food Review: Black & Ink Cafe

(located in Swan Lake estate, somewhere near the defunct Opera Estate Primary School in the past)


Standard cafe layout. Adequate space of 40 indoor seats consisting of 4 or 6 seaters and 4 side seats and 20 seats consisting of 4 seaters.

Nice ambience cafe style. Self service for water and utencils and cutlery. Cutlery are not exactly the cleanest and we have to choose quite a few times for clean ones.

The previous time when we were here, we had duck confit, fried chicken wings and bangers & mash. To be honest, the bangers & mash had a weird taste while the duck confit didn't impress us much. The fried chicken wings are decent though. Having seen the review from IeatIshootIpost, we decided to give this a shot again, ordering the suggested signatures this time.

In general, the serving time is slow so if you are hungry, better try to have something light elsewhere before coming.

Price: $10.90

The S.E.T set comes with 2 sunny side eggs, 2 brawurst sausage, 1 skinny sausage and 2 buttered sour dough slices.

The sour dough slices are used throughout the mains in Black&Ink. While it's not bad but it's nothing to shout about as well and I don't think it's homemade. Sausages and eggs are pretty run-the-mill versions that you can get anywhere so nothing to comment much. In summary a standard fare breakfast good for people with normal appetite as the portion is just nice. Was hoping for a little greens but no biggie.

Char Bowl (Signature)
Price: $15.90

The Char Bowl is the signature of Black&Ink so it's a must to try. The bowl consist of achar, runny egg and Char Siew.
The char siew is slightly sweet, abit tough on the meat but fats made up to it. The surface of the char siew is roasted to a good charred surface with a good smokey smell and taste which is enjoyable. Pretty good charsiew in my opinion.

The rice is laced with sweet charsiew sauce and goes well with achar to break the sweet taste after a while. The achar is standard achar so I will not comment much about it. The bowl is most enjoyable when you mix the runny eggs with the rice and achar.

The only complain I have for this bowl is the quantity. For $15.90, the quantity is really very small. Consider if you have seen the rooster bowl in real life, you would have guessed the serving portion. It's really too expensive for a small bowl in an estate cafe.

Fat Otah Toast (Signature)
Price: $15.90

The dish comes with some salad greens, potato chips and the mains itself which is otah.

Otah is from muar with that distinctive taste and a full slab of it and panfried to a crisp on the surface. The main consist of a sour dough slice, toasted and buttered, with the otah itself with mayo and top with a runny sunny side up. End result is a good balance of local taste with a western combo. The mayo and otah is a good combo that makes it balanced with otah spiciness and mayo with good runny egg yolk flavour. However the price tag again is very high though the Char bowl is significantly more expensive.

Tipsy Otah Fries
Price: $9.90

Again, expect otah from muar, deep dried with light batter and comes with mayo dip. Good combo again for the mayo and otah and crispy as well.

Cold Latte (Signature)
Price: $6.80

I have seen the review from IeatIshootIpost with the owner claiming that people stock up their latte and hence, prompted me to try them again.

To be honest, the latte has a good coffee kick and not acidic at all. Take note that the latte is unsweetened (which is how I drink by default). I usually like my coffee with a nutty taste but this latte is more of a woody flavour which is not my cup of coffee but having said, i think the blend of milk and coffee is good and balanced. Not quite sure that people will come and stock this up but it's a good cuppa.

Ginger Latte (without tea)
Price: $6

Very gingery milk with bits of ginger in the cuppa. To patrons who like ginger a lot will probably like this as it's really pure blended ginger mixed with milk and it leaves a strong lingering ginger taste after a sip. Good for people having a flu as well.

Price: $3.50

Good for kids. Very small in size and comes with good blend of marshmallow. Chocolate is standard hot chocolate taste with hersley choc syrup but portion is just nice for kids.

In summary, Black&Ink serves decent cafe food with certain dishes that you can try like the Char Bowl but take note of the price tag and quantity. It's probably good for some dishes which may have bigger quantities but for dishes with small quantities, you can visit if you are thinking of having a light meal. Recommended dishes will be fried chicken wings, Char Bowl and perhaps cold latte.

3V out of 5 (Really small portions even for small eaters like me)


29 Swan Lake Ave, Singapore 455718

Google Map:

Suggested Carpark
Along Swans Lake estate and around. There are ample parking around with a little walk

Nearest MRT
Bedok MRT (Not within walking distance)

Mercedes Benz A200