Review: The Communal Place, Joo Chiat (Singapore)

After vacillating between many restaurants along the Joo Chiat stretch, my husband and I finally decided on The Communal Place to have dinner at. It had an inviting atmosphere and gave off good vibes, plus the items on the menu looked real tempting.

Street view of The Communal Place cafe
Street view of The Communal Place

Entrance to The Communal Place cafe

Upon entering the restaurant, an eye-catching and elaborate rustic floral display created by Windflower Florist stood to the left of the entrance to welcome us. According to the staff, the other floral decorations around the restaurant were also done by the same florist as part of their collaboration. Very pretty, the flowers really added to the ambience!

Also, I’m not sure if they chose a generic playlist or handpicked the songs, but the music playing that evening was pushing all my nostalgia buttons. It was as if I stepped into a music time capsule that brought me back to the 2000s, I was singing along to every song that came up. That was nice (:

At certain points, the restaurant got a tad noisy when many tables of people were talking. I found myself shouting across the table a few times for my husband to hear me. Maybe they should consider investing in some methods to reduce reverberation to make the dining experience more pleasant, especially for the times when they’re running close to max seating capacity.

Floral display by the entrance of The Communal Place cafe
Floral display by the entrance

Flowers and beer-drinking ad on one of the tables at The Communal Place cafe
Table flowers

Feeling a bit more extravagant that evening, I decided to order both a drink and a dessert in addition to our mains (I usually order either one or the other). Both my husband and I ordered the hot chocolate, which tasted super legit. It was smooth, milky and chocolatey – so good that my husband got himself a second cup! For the main course, I had the beef cheek ragu linguine while my husband had the fish and chips. Pretty standard fare, was nice but not fantastic. My main could’ve used a bit more salt and pepper for flavour. Lastly, our dessert was a brownie with a scoop of ice cream. It had a unique feature of a charred brownie base, leaving a smoky roasted taste which my husband thoroughly enjoyed. However, it felt more like eating burnt bits to me, not appealing at all. Plus there were chunks of walnuts in it too (I rarely eat nuts), so I just spent a lot of time picking stuff out from my dessert – that wasn’t very fun.

Fish and chips, beef cheek ragu linguine and hot chocolate at The Communal Place cafe

Brownies with chocolate ice cream at The Communal Place cafe

My overall rating of the experience: 3 out of 5 stars. The ambience was great, made more inviting with the pretty floral arrangements around the restaurant. The staff were wonderful too – very attentive and sincere in their service. We absolutely loved the hot chocolate as well, completely worth every penny. Unfortunately, the food was very average and didn’t strike us as particularly delicious. Although the prices of the mains here were comparable to prices you’d find on a typical cafe menu, they were still more than what I thought our meal was worth. Also, I didn’t fancy the dessert much (which factored into my rating), but I guess if you like their twist on the classic brownie and walnuts are your thing, then it might be worthwhile coming down to try it for yourself (:

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