(Bali Lane, Singapore) Brother Bird is a concept started by the owners of Stateland Cafe which focuses on delectable soft serves that pair with handmade mochi balls or donuts. I headed down on Vesak Day with my family to give it a try. Being located at the same place as its parent cafe, you can enjoy the flexibility of eating mains from Stateland Cafe and desserts from Brother Bird.
We actually ordered our soft serve first before we decided to order drinks. We eventually had a Mint Hot Chocolate ($5.50) and Vanilla Latte ($5.50) to share.
Here's where the problems started happening. Our mint hot chocolate was clearly normal chocolate. We asked one of the staff and she said that she would check. She came out some time later with a new cup, apologizing for the wrong order. Fortunately, the mint hot chocolate is pretty refreshing to drink. Mint taste is quite strong, which I like. Frankly, the regular hot chocolate was quite good as well.
The vanilla latte had a very fragrant aroma, but sadly tasted pretty much like a regular latte. Skip~
Of course, we wouldn't have gone to Brother Bird if we never thought of ordering their specialty, which comes in multiple options. We settled for the Earl Grey Mochi Donut Balls with Cookie Butter Soft Serve ($15). According to their menu, every mochi donut ball is made upon order, so expect to get it at its best. This was love at first bite, really. The donuts oozed a luscious earl grey lava filling that tastes clearly like what it should with a slight sweetness to it as well. The donut balls themselves were chewy but not enough to get stuck on your teeth, which was a yay for me! The cookie butter soft serve was heavenly along with the broken cookies around it. As I write this I can imagine myself taking a bite right now... We were in a rush (you'll find out why in the next paragraph) and could not take our time with this; didn't matter though because this was really good!
However, not all was smooth sailing during our time at Brother Bird. In fact, we waited almost an hour for our dessert. I asked one of the waitresses if our dessert was arriving and she proceeded to check on it for us. Yes, our order was indeed forgotten. However, here's where things, I would say, turned for the better. One of the staff came out to apologize to us about our forgotten order and handed me the full amount for the dessert. She then asked if we still wanted one on the house. This might sound outrageous but we actually thought about saying that it's okay because we were actually in a rush due to having waited so long. We agreed eventually because we were told it takes at most 15 minutes to have it served to us, and it actually arrived much faster. Best thing is that their soft serve and mochi balls are actually pretty rad and tempting enough to make me want to return, despite everything that took place that day.
So would I recommend Brother Bird? Despite all that happened that fateful day, I'd still say yes, because their soft serve is really good. Yes, service was pretty haywire that day, but it's not bad. At least the staff had the sincerity to apologize and make up for their mistakes. In future, to avoid such issues, make sure you ask about it if it hasn't arrived 20 minutes later (because I was told it takes up to 15 minutes to prepare their desserts after the apology was made). No one likes it when they have to wait so long for a dish to arrive; either your expectations increase tenfold or you just increasingly lose interest in what you're about to eat. It never sets a good impression on the cafe, its staff and sometimes even so, the food.
(A disclaimer: I'm not writing this review to convince people to go to cafes and wait hope that your food doesn't arrive in an hour so you can complain about it and hope you get it free. I was not at all expecting this kind of service recovery from the team at Brother Bird, and I think it's necessary to commend them for doing something many cafes might not even consider -- most of the time, for me, it's just an (sometimes seemingly fake) apology and more waiting unless we choose to raise it up again and walk out on our own, which reflects badly on all parties IMO. I really appreciate that the staff are sincere in their apologies. Kudos to the team and I really hope they learn from these mistakes to have a much greater service in future. So nope, sorry but this is NOT in any way a flaming entry whatsoever.)
Brother Bird/Stateland Cafe
30 Bali lane, Singapore 189966
(Nearest MRT: Bugis)
Opening Hours: 12pm to 10pm (Wed to Mon, Closed on Tues)
Contact: 9800 7628