the new black

I like the bear, I wanted to bring it home

I like the bear, I wanted to bring it home

A few years ago, the only coffee I drank were those thick pitch black brews made from muddy-brown socks at ‘kopitiams’ (coffee-shops). This was the coffee that kept me up through the night during my university years, when I was poring over my books. Coffee was a necessity, not so much a desire. It was my drug. I used it to combat sleepy spells.  A cup before afternoon lectures, a cup before heading to the library for exam revision.

That time, I did not know what macchiato or Americano meant, let alone an espresso con panna. I did not know how to appreciate coffee for what it was. Until I started work and we had a LavAzza espresso machine in the office. That marked the start of my espresso-stained mornings. I grew to appreciate the thick concentrated 30ml shot of caffeine. It became a ritual. I started to understand what it meant to taste the different nuances of an espresso shot. This led to an exploration. Whenever I was at a cafe, I ordered an espresso and sometimes a macchiato. God I love the word macchiato and I like to say it out loud. I still do. It’s a strange obsession.

Overtime, I discovered illy espresso, Vittoria, etc. They are still my favourites. Today, I get excited whenever a new coffee place opens. Thankfully, there have been more serious coffee offerings  made available by coffee aficionados who wanted to share their passion with like-minded coffee lovers. Along came Oriole (which I adore) and now, black coffee dessert bar.

Having walked past it once, catching a glimpse of its cool dark interiors, I made a mental note to visit it soon. Turned out that I need not wait that long. I was around the area yesterday and decided to drop in and check out the coffee.
This was our table. No kidding.

This was our table. No kidding.

First thoughts upon entering – the place was really dark. It harboured along brooding to sexy, with a touch of vintage. Vintage because of the antique items peppered around the small area. I spotted several old television sets, a teddy bear and later on discovered that our table’s base was an old television. It looked so much like the old telly that we had at home when I was a kid.

I went straight to the display counter and was disappointed to find only a few baked goods. There was a carrot cake, a cheese cake and some random bagels. I looked at the chalkboard menu and spotted milkshakes. There was a chocolate earl grey milkshake. I picked that and a carrot cake and went back to my seat.

Ordered at milkshake at first. But the affogato shouted out to me soon after and I succumbed.

Ordered at milkshake at first. But the affogato shouted out to me soon after and I succumbed.

Then I spotted their gigantic menu and skimmed through it quickly.

And there it was, shouting out to me – affogato.

I love affogatos. Very very much. Everywhere I go, if a place offered affogato, I would pick that. Only because it is not very common here and I have been looking for the best one.

So I immediately changed my milkshake to a hazelnut affogato.

Fig & manuka honey icecream calling out to me. Another time, when I have more stomach space.

Fig & manuka honey icecream calling out to me. Another time, when I have more stomach space.

Back at my seat, I scrutinised the menu somemore and found that they serve fig & manuka honey icecream. I wanted to order it, but decided not to. Dinner was pretty heavy and I had no more stomach space. But I will be back to try it.

Too bad they ran out of the Valrhona chocolate banana cake

Too bad they ran out of the Valrhona chocolate banana cake

They apparently have a popular valrhona chocolate banana cake, which clearly wasn’t available. We were there at 10pm. Ah well, this just warrants another visit. Soon, I hope. Anyone interested? Let me know.

Pleasant carrot cake with a moist crumb

Pleasant carrot cake with a moist crumb

The carrot cake was apparently good, so we had that. I liked it. I ate most of it. But I ignored it the moment my hazelnut affogato came:

Vanilla bean icecream bathed in solid espresso

Vanilla bean icecream bathed in solid espresso

What’s a good affogato? Personally, I think the espresso has to be really solid (but of course.) and the ice cream has to be well-frozen. You cannot have runny ice cream swimming in hot espresso.

My heart skipped a beat, literally. Before and after consuming this. It was 10pm!

My heart skipped a beat, literally. Before and after consuming this. It was 10pm!

Black’s affogato sat well with me. I tasted the espresso before eating the affogato up ferociously. There was alot of depth. My favourite kind of espresso is one that is deep and aromatic, with a thick crema. The bitter note should unfold into an array of other smaller  notes. If you taste it slowly, sometimes you can taste berries. Yes it is very much like wine I would say. As a huge fan of hazelnut, I liked black’s combination. So smart. They were generous with the chopped hazelnuts too. One of the best affogato’s I’ve eaten so far.

Sexy black interiors.

Sexy black interiors.

Would love to come back in the day time. I wonder how it would look then.

This place is definitely my kind of coffee place. Even Monocle thinks so. They had listed black as one of the top five bars/restaurants/coffeeshops to go to. They wrote that black had great espressos. I second that.
Apparently, they do great latte art too. I need to see that. I like this black. It is my new black.
black coffee dessert bar

Tripleone Somerset
111 Somerset Road, #01-13

Opening Hours :
8am-10pm Mon-Thu
8am-12am Fri
10am-12am Sat
10am-10pm Sun
Join their facebook group HERE.

(They have another outlet at Hitachi Tower,#01-11/12, at Collyer Quay, 65344220 that’s open Mon-Fri, 7am to 8pm)

Posted on 10th Jan 2010 in Uncategorized


There Are 12 Comments


august commented on January 10, 2010 at 2:24 pm

you made me totally wanna visit and try everything you tried. that’s surely the mark of a good food blogger 🙂


yixiaooo commented on January 10, 2010 at 3:20 pm

ooo … you. me. there. soon.


Cheryl Chia commented on January 10, 2010 at 3:44 pm

@august: so i have convinced you? if yes, please do visit this place!

@yixiao: my dear, it’s a date. just tell me the when. 😉


rachel commented on January 13, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Hi .. used to follow ur blog really close till u went on a hiatus .
and here u are now!* happy *
this place sounds good!
wanna go .now .now!


Lina commented on January 15, 2010 at 11:13 pm

I didn’t know you like this place! It’s just below my office and the staff there are super friendly.. a cappuccino and a bagel with cream cheese in the morning just makes my day 🙂


Cheryl Chia commented on January 16, 2010 at 9:02 am

@rachel: well, it’s really good to be back! i’m blogging with a vengance now. haha making up for lost time. got my groove back ;p thanks for your support! please do check out black, especially if you like good coffee.

@lina: babe! ya, wanted to ask you about this place because i know you told me your office is now in that building. their bagel’s good? hey we should meet up soon, and catch up. it’s been a while! let me know when’s good for you!


myfoodsirens commented on January 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Great, another must try place in town, love the vintage decor!


kad commented on January 17, 2010 at 11:51 pm

hi!! so glad that you are blogging again. used to follow your blog…I enjoy food as much as you do and enjoy taking nice pictures of them, just that i do not have the time to most, I only post them on facebook 🙂

btw, which part of somerset is black coffee dessert bar located? Looks like a nice chill out place..Thanks..


Cheryl Chia commented on January 23, 2010 at 11:12 am

@Kaelyn: Yes, please do, especially if you are a coffee fanatic like me. Don’t you just want to bring home the antique television sets? I know I did!

@kad: Thanks for your kind words. I am glad to be back. Me too; my facebook is filled with more than 90 photo albums, and about 80% are all food porn. My friends complain that I make them hungry ALL the time.

black is just behind the new mall ‘313 @ Somerset. Here’s what you can do: Take a train to Somerset MRT, and go to 313. Look for the back exit (there’s a Greenhouse Cafe there). black is in the building (TripleOne Somerset) across the road (from 313). You can spot it from the orange signage (Candy Empire’s opening there). It used to be the former ‘not-so-funky-looking’ PUB building, beside Youth Skate Park. Hope this helps!


Frances commented on February 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Hey Cheryl – loooong time!! I been to black once and didnt want to leave– thankfully there were 3 of us so we got to try 3 different desserts & drinks – love the carrot cake like you do! Then there’s banana rum crumble which sounds exotic to me and never regretted trying:I wanna go back to Black~~


Kat Goh commented on April 1, 2010 at 2:41 am

Hi there,

Am one of those who followed your blog until it’s untimely hiatus!

It’s a coincidence coz I just went to the cafe last Saturday (after lunch at Applebee’s), and decided to check out what others think of it and so googled my way accidentally back to your blog!

I really like the decor – quirky but yet not over the top! Anyway, they’ve a few more desserts since your visit. I tried their red velvet cake and chocolate tart. Pretty good, and I’m quite particular about my red velvet cake somemore!

Funny how quiet it was though, for a Saturday afternoon. Such a nice place. Good for dates, I think!

Anyway, must keep blogging k?


Victor commented on July 30, 2014 at 10:38 am



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