There’s no short of pleasing cafes in Lavender, but AEIOU deserves mention for its unique vintage atmosphere and Avocado Coffee. Located on King George’s avenue, it’s easy to miss the cafe as the previous occupant’s signboard still remains at the front facade, which confuses first time visitors (yeap, guilty here). Do take a mental snapshot of the picture below lest you get lost.
The interior is thoughtfully done up, filled with designer furniture and decorative items for sale. Generally, the vibes are cheery and service warm and efficient.
AEIOU’s Avocado Coffee ($8) is a breath of fresh air from the usual cuppas you’ll see in other cafes. Lusciously smooth avocado smoothie is presented in a recycled vodka bottle with 2 separate espresso shots. This combination is a new experience for me and boy this is delectable! I’m not a fan of coffee (tea drinker here) but could not stop myself from sneaking repeated sips from my dining companion’s cup. Thankfully, portion is generous and there was enough for both of us.
The Mushroom Soup ($8.90) with crisp garlic bread arrived on a large wooden plank in the shape of a dinosaur (the cafe’s mascot) was quite a sight. The soup is made with white button mushrooms blended to a thick, creamy consistency, garnished with sautéed shimeiji mushrooms and basil. A splash of truffle oil completes the starter. As the flavours were mellow and texture too heavy, we didn’t particular enjoy the soup and were struggling to finish it.
The French classic, Duck Confit, is not commonly served in cafes; hence we were pleasantly surprised to see it offered at AEIOU. The French Duck Confit ($24.90), accompanied with soured cabbage and cauliflower gratin, had enticing crispy skin, but alas its meat was a tad too dry. Notice the dinosaur-shaped board? Its quite impressive.
There’s nothing too complicated with the Roasted Chicken ($16.90 for half, $25.90 for whole). Stuffed with garlic, rosemary and thyme, the aroma and flavours were mouth-watering. One thing I could not overlook was the dryness of the chicken. I dunked the meat into the accompanying mustard and mushroom sauce in an attempt to conceal the dismal dryness, but gave up finishing up the chicken after a while.
Not a common flavour, but AEIOU does a mean Avocado Cheesecake ($8). Taste-wise its appealing, but I’d have liked it more if the texture wasn’t so crumbly.
The Salted Caramel Cheesecake ($7) deserves a mention. Although the portion is small for $7, its rich creamy texture and prominent, balanced salted caramel flavour made it worthwhile.
Other attractive desserts on display include Classic Tiramisu ($8.50), Summer Tiramisu ($8.50) and Lime Tart ($6).
Admittedly we were disappointed with our experience at AEIOU, but don’t write if off just yet as ours could be an isolated incident.