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Stories from Eat-Drink, Nourish

Inside The Ritual: Hearty Café by Day, Wellness Community by Night

by Voices Wellness 12 Apr 2021
The Impossible mala somen.

Serving hearty and healthy food by day, The Ritual transforms into a space for wellness experiences when night falls. By SAMANTHA FRANCIS.

At first glance, The Ritual has all the makings of a hipster café with clean white walls, wooden furnishings, and a striking neon sign that reads “All we have is now.” But beyond its millennial-friendly interior, the bright and airy space reflects founder Cassandra Riene Tan’s desire for a purposeful life through meaningful rituals that balance mind, body, and soul.

These lofty ideals are channelled through a menu of healthy and hearty food offerings, a retail corner that purveys sustainable and eco-friendly brands, as well as community-building activities in a safe and non-judgmental space. The sister establishment of all-day dining restaurant Botany, The Ritual is located on the ground floor of Alocassia Service Apartments along Bukit Timah Road, making it a cosy spot to chill and work at if you’re in the neighbourhood.

The bright and airy space.

Designed to be inclusive, the menu comes with plant-based and gluten-free options for diners with dietary restrictions—but that’s not to say there’s nothing indulgent in there. For starters, we recommend the tofu tempeh fries which come with a sweet and spicy dip. A healthier option compared to greasy fries, these morsels of tofu and tempeh came in a light and crispy batter that left us wanting more.

From the breakfast menu, standouts include the beetroot gravlax bagel and the Madame’s truffled egg croissant. The former is excellent and comes as no surprise considering head chef Mathew Tham has had former stints at Two Men Bagel House and Meta Fine Dining. Loaded with beet-stained gravlax, pickled beetroot, and a generous schmear of cream cheese, the bagel is a flavour-filled treat. For something decadent, the truffled egg croissant will satisfy with its fillings of creamy scrambled eggs, brie, bechamel, and black truffle shavings. Skip the Instagramming and enjoy right away—our croissant winded up soggy after we took one too many photos.

Madame’s truffled egg croissant.

Diners who prefer Asian flavours will fancy The Impossible mala somen, which features thin and silky somen noodles tossed in a homemade Szechuan sauce, garlic crumble, plant-based minced meat, and a sous vide egg. Though not quite fiery by our standards, the savoury noodles were moreish all the same. For a sweet ending, order the salted caramel and banana waffles, a classic flavour combination that’s hard to beat. We particularly liked the waffles, which were soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Coffee drinkers can make a beeline for the café’s Italian-inspired house blends, which ARE roasted locally. Expect bold and fruity flavours without the bitterness thanks to the mix of 85 percent Arabica and 15 percent Robusta. Aside from coffee and tea, there’s also craft beers from local brewers available on tap.

Coffee and croissants.

Café by day, The Ritual will soon start offering wellness programmes when night falls. Led by its “tribe leaders”, which include mental wellness advocates, coaches, industry experts, and social leaders, experiences will span workshops and mingling sessions covering topics such as sexuality, metaphysics, spirituality, as well as alternative healing methods like Ayurveda, herbal remedies, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Reiki.

More information here.

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