KICKING BACK COMFORTABLY across the road from the Jalan Besar Stadium, sits a cafe helmed as a joint venture between two good friends, Vincent Teng from The Plain and The Shak.
Not to be confused by the similarly named American band that had mysteriously left the music scene, the name for The Bravery Cafe was inspired by a quote from Paulo Coelho: “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”
Locating and entering The Bravery in itself is a challenge for the brave with the absence of a signboard and a visible entrance; push the wrong panel and you risk getting stares from patrons inside. Choose the metallic gold panel in the middle to be rewarded with quality coffee paired with simple Aussie fare with a Mediterranean edge and a laidback vibe. Just like the service at The Plain, the service here is impeccable—friendly without being overly intrusive.
What used to be a deserted industrial estate on weekends, Jalan Besar is quickly becoming the “next upcoming area for cafes and restaurants,” something The Bravery firmly believes in. The almost masculine raw and industrial interior—retained from the past tenant who was a scrap metal dealer—seems to juxtapose nicely with the romantic colour lights that dangle from the ceiling and the reddish sunset glow of natural light that filters through the panels.
A line of coloured light bulbs pool around a horse art sculpture in the middle of a communal table, its plywood table tops weighed and supported down by metal scaffoldings as table legs. This strangely fascinating centrepiece of the room, “How to run at the speed of light”, is an art piece done by a young emerging artist, Ms Lan, whom they had commissioned to create something physical for the interpretative appreciation of customers.
“We love horses for their beauty and stamina,” Shak, the co-owner of The Bravery, says, “but especially because it represents personal drive, passion and a strong motivation that carries one through life.” He later explains that the art centrepiece symbolises the cafe to a tee as they are “passionate about their coffee and food, and providing friendly service to all our customers.”
The star of the simple menu seems to take the form of a Beef Steak Ciabatta ($13.50); people seem to rain praises on this humble sandwich consisting of juicy rump beef silvers, caramelized onions, melted mozzarella cheese and chopped tomato salsa generously sandwiched in between two slices of Italian white bread.
Other notable dishes on their menu include the Brave Begedil ($17), poached eggs, avocado and turkey bacon atop a bed of corned beef hash, and the Pancakes Stack ($15), which is served with mildly sweet ricotta cheese, bananas and chopped pistachios together with a surrounding pool of honey.
Genovese coffee reigns here—done in whichever way you prefer to take your cup of coffee.
Just you wait, The Bravery with all its unfurnished simplicity and paint-cracked walls—achieved by painting a white crackle layer over seven layers of paint—may start to grow on you in time.
Other photo credits to The Bravery Cafe