Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Bar

Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Bar

Address: 150 Tyrwhitt Road Singapore 207563

Opening hours: Tue to Fri: 9.00am – 7:00pm, Sat & Sun: 9.00am – 10.00pm, Mon Closed

Introduction

Chye Seng Huat Hardware Store, or simply CSHH, is currently one of the most hip cafes in Singapore that is very well known for their coffee. It is one of the three cafes owned by the Papa Palheta. Papa Palheta is a independent coffee boutique that specialise in roasting specialty coffee in Singapore and Malaysia. They also conduct Barista training course and coffee appreciation classes.

CSHH – The Interior

From the outside, CSHH looks like an old hardware store, but it’s totally another haven on the inside. It is divided into a few areas – the indoor and outdoor dining area, the roastery, the coffee tasting room and a small area that sells their own merchandise like their blend of coffee beans and equipments for hand-brewed coffee.

CHSS, Chye Seng Huat Coffee

The Outdoor Dining Area

Apart from the food, their drinks are mostly self-service. There is no restaurant treatment here as you need to look for your own seat and place your order and make payment at their counter.

CHSS, Chye Seng Huat Coffee

The Roastery

Large group seating is difficult to get in this crowded cafe as there is only one big table at the indoor area. Visit this cafe in smaller groups if you can.

CHSS, Chye Seng Huat Coffee

The Merchandise Area

Updated Menu as of Oct 2014. Click to enlarge.

Old Menu: Click to Enlarge

Caffe Latte 

CSHH serves their Caffè Latte in regular and small size that cost $4.00 and $5.50. The Barista at CSHH effortlessly pulled a latte art and it’s served to you right away. I thought their caffe latte is nice but dont really differs a lot from the rest. The more interesting coffee are in fact the hand pressed coffee with a different range of coffee beans to choose from.

Hand-Pressed Coffee

If you are sitting near to the counter, you can see their Barista in action and i was quite entertained by seeing how their Barista prepares a seemingly simple coffee that involves numerous sophisticated steps.

I can’t say which brew is better as coffee taste is very subjective. We ordered their Bright and Bold which one is more acidic while the other is fuller bodied but i love the deep, rich aroma roast of both cups.  It’s rather interesting to be able to try out different kinds of coffee beans rather than a typical espresso bean.

There are also a variety of muffins available for food pairing at their counter if you are not in the mood for their main course. I give my vote to this buttery sweet Chocolate Almond muffin.

The Huat Breakfast ($17.00)

At a net price of $17, it’s rather decent. Although the taste does not differ much from a typical “big breakfast” platter, and as a meat lover, i am quite pleased for the inclusion of a whole sausage. The baked potato is also a healthier choice compared to hash brown.

Scrambled Egg is smooth and runny but I wish that it can be more flavourful though. The portion is also quite decent for this price. Overall an “OK” dish.

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich S$13.00

Among the three main courses, i like this Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich the most. The bread is well toasted, the steak slices is well flavored that is topped with melted cheese and served fresh from the oven. And how bad can a serving of nachos be? Ordering this should be a decent and safe option.

Cod Fillet S$19.00

Their cod fish is rather disappointing. The portion is small. Appearance wise is not appealing and the cod fish is rather dry and tough and doesn’t come cheap. I’m sorry but this is a big thumbs down.

Can a piece of Cod Fish looks any sadder?

Conclusion

I thought sitting indoor is a much better experience as you chill out and just sit around, watching how the Barista enthusiastically prepares every cup of beverage so as to appreciate the effort behind a cup of hand crafted coffee.

As for their food, i am not particularly impress and CSHH’s food is probably not my first choice at the area. While i love the Aero-Pressed Coffee more than their Caffe Latte, their food didn’t exactly score well here. It’s a pity that the food does not excite me as much as their beverages.

Therefore my conclusion is Chye Seng Huat Coffee Bar is a great place to chill out and to grab a cup of coffee after a meal, and maybe plus a cup cake, provided that the crowd is not crazy.

Advertisements

Lola’s Cafe – The most popular Cafe at Kovan

Lola Cafe

Address (Google Map): 5 Simon Rd Singapore 545893

Opening hours: Sun to Thu 10am to 11.30pm, Fri & Sat 10am to 12am, Closed on Mon

Introduction

Lola’s cafe is another hipster brunch cafe that is situated near to Kovan MRT. You won’t believe how popular this cafe is. Despite the inconspicuous location, there is even a queue on a weekday lunch hour.

I went there a couple of times, once on a Sat afternoon at about 3pm and i was told that there are ten people in the queue so i left. When i returned at night at about 8pm, i was told that I needed to wait for 45 minutes so i left again. Then, I visit this place on a Friday afternoon at 11.40am and I STILL NEED TO QUEUE. Need to be so popular or not?

But this time, the waiting time is only 15 minutes and I got myself a seat for two pax. They have a queuing system whereby a diner enters his contact mobile into an ipad and system will give you a call when your table is ready so that you do not need to stand outside the cafe like a dummy and i like this system very much.

They serve breakfast menu from 11 to 3pm and dinner from 6 to 9pm. Note that they only serve starter dish and finger food between 3 to 6pm. All prices on menu are nett with no GST and service charge.

Menu 1: Click to enlarge

Menu 2: Click to enlarge

Lola’s Full Monty Breakfast

In recent years, brunch culture is blooming in Singapore and everyone started selling breakfast platter. Majority of them are actually mediocre and seeing all-day breakfast on the menu does not excites me as much as before.

However, Lola’s breakfast platter brought back some excitement to the term “All-day breakfast”. Unlike some restaurants that charge for the sky, Lola’s is at a reasonable nett price of $15.

Their honey glazed ham and bacon is outstanding with a tinge of char-grilled flavour by torch flaming it for a slightly charred outlook. The scrambled egg is creamy and well-flavoured with a runny texture. If there is one thing to improve, they can increase the quantity of the bread for a fuller meal.

Butter Croissant ($13 nett)

Melted Cheddar Cheese, Sliced Ham, Pan Fried Bacon, Scrambled Egg wrapped in a lettuce and freshly toasted Croissant.I love the Croissant. Cripsy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Each mouthful is sinfully good with chunks of egg and melted cheese.

This dish not exactly an exciting option, but Lola’s manage to bring together people’s all time favourite ingredients and made it into something better. The only complain is it’s served on a flat wooden pan. Although it looks nice on photo, the crumbles of the Croissant fell all over the place and was really untidy. There’s gap on the table top so these crumble even fell onto my legs.

Paparika Honey Wings

This is a highly recommended dish by many fellow Singaporeans. It was sold out when I went there for brunch so i returned on another day’s evening for this. The garlicky wings are well marinated and lightly battered and it’s served piping hot. The exterior is really cripsy while the interior retains it’s tender juicy texture. The added paprika powder is mild but yet adds a rich flavor to the wings and the final touch is completed by the sweet honey taste. Love every bite of the wings.

Dinner menu

While I’m back the second time, I ordered their dinner menu, but it was not as impressive as their breakfast menu.

The chicken burger ($14 nett) is rather mediocre and it’s marinated in a curry powder marinate with the bread spreaded with aioli. The only good thing is for the tenderness of the patty and the generous amount of fries.

The Bacon and Mushroom Spaghetti in Truffle Cream Sauce ($14 nett) is not bad though not impressive and probably is my favourite among the mains that I had. The pasta is creamy rich with a generous amount of mushroom but can be better as the truffle taste is not strong enough.

Duck Leg with Honey Mustard Sauce ($16 nett) The Duck leg is well-cooked, but i can’t accept the supposed Honey Mustard Sauce that is drizzled on the duck. If you enjoy sour and sweet sauce on your duck, then likely you can accept this dish better than me.

Their Banger and Mash is an all-day dish but I find comfort in this dish after a few not-so-exciting experience of their main courses. The sausage is the same as the breakfast platter.

Conclusion

It’s a pity that their dinner menu is not as good as it’s breakfast menu so sadly only Lola’s breakfast menu works for me. You can see many youngsters pantronizing Lola’s as it probably has something to do with Lola’s affordable pricing as well as their sinfully good side dishes.

Truffle Fries ($12 nett) with grated parmesan cheese

Judging from the waiting time, having Lola’s in the vicinity is definitely a move welcome by the residents of Kovan. However, that also means that instead of being the place to chill and hang out, it became a eat-and-pay-your-bill as there are much people waiting for a seat. On top of that, Lola’s tables are very close to one another and is rather cramp. As such, my conclusion is – Dinner? So so. Place to relax and chill? Not really. Brunch? Yes.

Stateland Cafe at Bali Lane (Bugis)

Stateland Cafe

Address: 30 Bali Lane

Opening hours: Mon – Thu 12.00 pm – 10.00 pm, Fri – Sat: 12.00 pm – 12.00 am, Sun: 11.00 am – 6.00 pm

Introduction

People eat with their eyes first. This is what I always believe and that leads me to a small cafe a Bali Lane. Among so many cafes, Stateland Cafe stood out for it’s Red Velvet Waffle and Butter Toast in the virtual Singapore Instagram world.

I visited this cafe on at 11am on a Saturday and there is no crowd. Upon stepping into the cafe, the first thing i noticed is for it’s industial-theme interior. From the rustic old school electric fan, red metal railing, aluminium hanging light, to the black and white photos hanging on the wall, i can see that there are much thought put in for the interior design.

Menu: Click to enlarge

Red Velvet Waffle with Ice Cream ($14.90)

This is what caught my attention on instagram so this is definitely on my to order list. I was waiting in much anticipation as it took about 25 minutes for the dish to be served. I give this dish a 90/100 for it’s appearance and not so much for it’s taste though.

I love the ice cream. On the menu, it says that there are chocolate in the waffle but sadly I can’t taste much of it because the cream cheese taste basically overpowered the waffle. The waffle itself is also rather dry. I prefer a lighter cheese cream that is sweeter and more moist rather than salty and dry. Sad to say that this dish don’t work very well for me but I think there is potential in this dish.

Hazelnut Honey Toast with Ice Cream ($14.90)

After visiting Bangkok’s After You Dessert, i really miss the Shibuya Toast and i thought that Stateland Cafe’s Honey Toasted concept is quite similar to Shibuya Toast. Chocolate Ice Cream, Nutella Spread, Honey Syrup, Thick Toast with Salted Butter sounds lovely as a dessert, however it’s not very much so when all appears in a single dish.

Due to the rich flavour of the Nutella spread, i can’t really taste the toasted buttered bread and there is almost no need for the honey syrup as the whole thing is already very sweet. The only thing i can figure out from the bread is for it’s crispy texture.

I thought it will be better if the Nutella Spread is served separately from the butter toast like how the honey is served. Another suggestion is probably the Nutella can be drizzled (maybe by adding fresh milk or something and cooked to dilute the nutella) over the toast instead of spread. Probably it’s my mistake and i should order the original honey toast if i wanted something not as sweet.

Caffe Latte

I am not an expert in coffee but Stateland’s Caffe Latte is evidently more milky than usual. There is little espresso taste. It’s probably less than a shot of espresso or it’s a different kind of coffee bean used on that day. I don’t know. I love the steamed milk taste so i got no issue with that.

Conclusion

Actually i am not that satisfied after visiting Stateland Cafe and i immediately took to cab down to Loo’s Curry Rice for my lunch part two. Maybe it’s a wrong choice of dish ordered on my part. So kindly leave a comment if you think that there is any dish that is worth ordering and i will probably try it on my next visit.

Overall, I like Stateland Cafe, their friendly folks and the industrial-look-yet-cosy feel of the cafe. I think the concept of the dishes is good. The only thing is just basing on the two dishes i ordered, there should be more thoughts given to it as we won’t necessary get a good dessert by just putting many ingredients that we adore into one dish.

Please note that this cafe only transact in cash term. They don’t accept NETS and credit cards.

Ice Edge Cafe (Kovan) – Cosy not-so-little Ice-cream Cafe

Ice Edge Cafe

Address: 2 Kovan Road Simon Plaza, #01-10,

Operating hours: 12.00 pm to 12.00 am daily

Introduction

Ice Edge Cafe is one of my favourite cafes along the MRT north east line region that is within walking distance from Kovan MRT. Most of the time I will just pop by for their hand-crafted ice-cream and sometimes for their buffalo wings.

Ice edge cafe had recently just expanded their business floor area after taking over the shop beside it and they are offering a more extensive savory menu that includes a fixed 1-for-1 weekday lunch item on their menu. I had indicated the 1-for-1 menu at the bottom of the post. I had tried a couple of their dishes and I am writing those that I personally think it’s not bad.

Pesto Cream Chicken (17.90+)

This dish comes with a small portion of salad and flavored potato wedges. I like how Ice edge prepares their chicken which the surface of their chicken thigh is pan fried until it’s a little charred and crispy while the chicken still retain it’s overall tenderness. The aromatic buttery peppered pesto sauce is also quite well done which Ice Edge claimed that it was prepared using eight different kinds of herbs.

Salon Steak with Potato Gratin (19.90+)

Some of you will agree that some salmon will have a very ‘fishy’ taste that affects the overall taste of a grilled salmon. I am rather sensitive to that taste but Ice Edge’s grilled salmon contains almost no such ‘fishy’ taste (at least for this time).

Similar to their Pesto Chicken, the surface of the salmon is pan fried to crispness while it’s still soft and succulent on the inside. I thought the potato gratin is quite decent as well. It’s soft and well-flavoured with pepper, cheese and cream without overpowering the potato’s natural sweetness.

Buffalo wings (10.90)

The price is not exactly cheap for three pieces of drumlets and three pieces of mid-wings. But somehow the taste of these crispy wings managed to convince me to order their wings again on my subsequent visits. I particularly like the spicy/sour vinegar pepper hot sauce of ice edge’s buffalo wings.

Waffle and Ice-Cream

My favourite items from Ice edge’s menu -their handcrafted ice-cream. Ice Edge offers a decent variety of flavours like Lychee Martini, Salted egg yolk, Tiramisu, Rum & Raisins, Belgium Chocolate, Baileys, Champagne Vanilla, Pistachio, Snickers, but my favourite? It’s their Rocher and Mao Shan Wang Durian.

On a typical day, I will just pop by for a scoop of ice-cream but on pay day, I will order two scoops of ice-cream with their freshly made waffle! This is really sinful, as well as satisfying. Just looking at the waffle alone makes me a happier person. LOL. After Ice edge’s expansion, they are also offering sherbets but I have yet to try them out.

Others – Mao Shan Wang Lava Cake

By the way, i had also tried their Mao Shan Wang molten lava cake that comes with a scope of Mao Shan Wang durian ice-cream. I didn’t have my camera then so there’s no photo. The fillings of this cake is replaced by molten durian paste instead of molten Chocolate. I thought the cake does not taste as good as it sounds. The Molton durian paste is a little artificial for my taste and not the expected natural Durian taste like their Mao Shan Wang ice-cream. Their ordinary Chocolate Lava Cake is much better in my opinion.

Conclusion

I consider ice edge to be one of the very decent cafes at the Hougang/Sengkang/Punggol area, especially so if you are looking for one that is near a MRT station. This cafe will always be on my mind if I am having my meal in this area and is looking for a good place to chill out and to have dessert, maybe after a Soon Soon Teochew Porridge, Punggol Nasi Lemak, Qi Wei Chicken Pot, Nakhon Kitchen or Xin Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh at that area. Quite some good food at Kovan right? Not to mention about the Kovan Hawker Centre.

1-for-1 Weekday Lunch Menu

Here is the 1-for-1 menu during weekday lunch. You will be charged the higher price among the two:

Salad – Tomato Salsa 8.5, Sausage Salad 11.8

Soup – Mushroom Soup 5.8, Minestrone Soup 5.8, French Onion Soup 5.8

Appetizer & Light Snacks – Calamari Fritti 12.8, Chicken Wings 8.8, Buffalo Wings 10.8, Potato Wedges 6.8, French Fries 6.0

All Day Breakfast – Breakfast Stew 14.0

Oven Baked Rice -Salmon Baked Rice 17.0

Pasta – Seafood Aglio Olio 16.8, Penne all’ Arrabiata with Bacon & Ham 14.8, Spaghetti alle Vongole 15.8, Spaghetti Beef Bolognese 14.8, Prawn Pesto Cream Linguine 17.8, Chicken & Mushroom Cream Linguine 14.8

Western – Beef Ribeye Steak 26.8, Beef Tenderloin Steak 28.8, Salmon Steak 19.8
PEsto Cream Chicken 17.8, Double Pork Chop 15.8

Kids Meal – Chicken Nugget Set 9.5

Drips Bakery Cafe

Drips Bakery Cafe

Address: 2 Tiong Poh Road #01-05 Singapore 160082

Operating Hours: Sun – Thur: 11:00am – 9:30pm Fri & Sat: 11:00am – 11:00pm

Introduction

This place is recommended by my colleague who had high rating for their sandwich where the bread is freshly baked everyday. Drips bakery cafe offers a good range of pastries, tarts, cookies and cakes as well as hand crafted coffee.

Initially, i wanted to drop by at a cafe at Yong Siak Street only to find most of them are really crowded and a little noisy but i am in a mood to find a quiet place for a good cup of coffee after my lunch at Beo Crescent Hainanese Curry Rice and i am glad that i did.

At Drips Bakery Cafe, the tables are well spaced apart with a high ceiling. There are also sofa seats at the other end of the cafe that is situated below a sun roof. I did not opt for the sofa seat as it was at 1.30pm and sunlight is directly shining onto the sofa.

 

The ambiance is very relaxing with light music playing at the background. Perfect for a great afternoon chill out session! They do not have a fixed menu which i think they will just wipe off an item from the menu black board if it was sold out for the day.

Fruit Tarts

I heard that the pastry chef from Drips Bakery Cafe was once with Shangri-la. We were fortunate to be able to try the tarts freshly prepared from the kitchen. The mango and blackberry tart cost me $8.00 which i think it’s a little pricey but taking account that they are actually quite generous with the fresh fruits, it’s still reasonable.

When the tarts were brought out from the kitchen, everyone started crowding at the counter and most of the tarts were snapped up in no time. I thought the crust taste very similar to a butter cookie but the best part of the tart is the cream filling. I like the smooth texture of the cream and for the fact that it’s simply not too sweet.

Sandwich

Drips bakery cafe offers some sandwich choices like Smoked Salmon, Virginia Ham, Vegetarian and Honey Low Fat Ham. For a meat lover like me, of course i opted for a Ham sandwich – The Honey Low Fat Ham. There’s only one option for choice of bread which they call it the “Baked Bread”.

The veggies are really fresh and i particularly like how they toasted the tomato to mild warm before serving. And for the bread, the edge of the bread were really crispy and soft on the inside.

Conclusion

Fresh tarts, fresh bread, spacious, relaxing, good cappuccino are all the reasons that i have to come back to Drips Baker Cafe again. I actually wanted to try their buns like their curry bun and their Macadamia Tarts but after eating a plate of curry rice, a sandwich and a tart, my stomach gone already. So probably i will pop by in near future and to try out their sandwich of a different flavor and hope that their bread is as good as this time!