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.

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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.

Creamier Cafe, the hidden little Waffle Cafe at Toa Payoh

Creamier Cafe

Address (Google Map): 128 Toa Payoh Lorong 1 #01-835

Opening hours: Tue to Thu, Sun: 12pm to 10pm, Fri & Sat: 12pm to 11pm, Closed on Mon

Introduction

I had been really into Waffle recently, but with so many cafes selling waffles, which is Indeed the best? This is a very challenging question because you declare a waffle cafe as the best, and ten new waffle cafes pop up on the next day, and the hunt continues. As such, finding a best waffle is not very feasible but finding the good ones is not a difficult task.

Recently there had been a lot of attention on this small little neighbourhood waffle place at a super hipster location – The Creamier Cafe. It’s situated in between Toa Payoh MRT and Braddell MRT.

Their menu: Click to enlarge

I consider it within walking distance from Braddell MRT but it takes a little time though. Creamier is hidden among the daily provision shops beneath a HDB block and I was like “Huh? Confirm can find Waffle Place at this neighbourhood or not?”.

Creamier Cafe mainly sells waffle, ice cream and beverages (coffee, tea and alcoholic drink) and there is also a self service ice water counter.

Waffle with Ice Cream

I ordered their Waffle with Ice Cream ($8.50) with additional scoop of Ice Cream at mere additional $2.50 (+ $0.80 for premium flavor). Comparing to the recent waffles I had, creamier is really generous in term of portion of their ice cream and this is a great plus.

The waffle itself is slightly sweetened and the shape of the heating pan ensures that the waffle is crispy at every edges. I love the egg fragrance of Creamier’s waffle with it’s fluffy moist center that is good even without the ice cream. i thought it lived up to its name of “best waffle in Singapore”.

The sea salt Gula Melaka is definitely the icing on the cake that completes the great dining experience. The not overly sweet Gula Melaka flavour is well balanced with the salted taste and every mouthful is an enjoyment. I thought the madagascar vanilla flavour is a little more normal, or it’s just simply outshine by the sea salt Gula Melaka flavour.

Other ice cream flavours and light bites

Here are some ice cream flavours available at creamier:

Orange Cranberry Vodka, Summer Strawberries, Mango Passionfruit Sorbet, Orange Milk Chocolate, Thai Milk Tea, Banana Chocolate, Chips Crumbles, Butterscotch Almond, Roasted, Pistachio, Chestnut Rum, Earl Grey Lavender, Strawberry Lime Sorbet, Black Sesame, Cookies and Cream, Plain Ole Chocolate

I think they don’t sell savoury items though. They do offer “light bite” of the day. On my visit, they are offering Windowsill Pies ($7.50).

Conclusion

Although the location of Creamier is rather inaccessible for friends who are not driving, i still consider it as walking distance from Braddell MRT. It’s actually a very straight forward walk along a stretch of sheltered walkway until you see a wet market and creamier is just around the corner.

Creamier Cafe’s waffle is something worth trying, but probably not for frequent visits unless you are driving or staying around the area.

The one thing i dont really like is the super small table and the cramp dining area. I was sitting in the middle of the cafe and it was so cramp that i had to lean forward whenever a person needs to walk past me. Probably It will be a better experience if i took up the corner seat.

Else, everything else is good.

Hatter Street Cafe, the hipster cafe near Kovan MRT

Hatter Street – Bakehouse & Cafe

Address (Google Map): 212 Hougang Street 21, #01-333, Singapore 530212

Opening hours: 1:00pm – 10:00pm, closed on Monday

Introduction

When i first know about Hatter Street Cafe, i was quite excited as there are rather limited (hipster) cafes along the north-east MRT line. Hatter Street Cafe is walking distance away from Kovan MRT and it’s literally beside a rather well-known Thai neighborhood eatery Nakhon Kitchen (see my previous review).

When i first visited this place, i remember it was not as crowded,  and a fatherly figure attended to my order. Not knowing that i blog about food, he was so painstakingly selling the pastry concepts, the thoughts behind it and explaining the effort put in in decorating the cafe in hoping to get more returning customers. i figured that he may be the father of the boss and if he really is, that’s a good father all right!

Hatter Cafe is a rather cosy restaurant that has an indoor sitting capacity of no more than thirty pax. The interior design is inspired by the popular animation Alice in Wonderland. It sells mainly drinks, pasteries and waffles. Apart from their brownies and waffles, i think they do not have a fix food menu.  What ever you see in their fridge is what ever you can order for the day.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Waffles drizzled in Salted Caramel $8.90

I had this twice and it’s still as good on the second time.  In fact I thought the portion is bigger. Their waffle is exceptionally crispy and yet the inside remain moist. I find caramel sauce quite sweet most of the time but not for Hatter’s salted caramel. There is a good balance between the sweet and salty taste that goes perfectly with the waffle.

There’s no complain for their ice-cream. It’s rich, creamy and good till the last drop. At a price of $8.50, this should be among the best waffles (in term of taste + value) that i had.

Pandan Ice Cream Waffle with Gula Melaka $8.90

This is also another interesting flavour as Hatter decides to drizzle their waffle with Gula Melaka and pair it with a unique pandan flavour ice cream. It is largely popular on social media and many said that it’s the best waffle that they ever had.

For me, the pandan ice cream don’t taste exactly like what I imagined it to be, probably lacking the fragrance of a real pandan leaf but the Gula Melaka drizzle works for me. This is good but if you ask me, I prefer the vanilla ice cream waffle with salted caramel.

Alice (White Chocolate Brownie) with Home Made Ice Cream $6.80

Apparently the intended signature dish of Hatter Cafe is their home made brownies. However the waffle is much more popular instead. With much curiosity, i ordered their white chocolate brownie.

As expected, the cocoa taste is not as rich as a typical brownie but the sweet milky white chocolate taste is unique in it’s own way. The brownie is not too dry but lacks in texture. It taste like a compact sponge cake. I feel that their brownie is ok, but if I know in advance that their waffle is sold out, i probably won’t specially make a trip down for their brownie.

Other Pastries

Here is a list of what you may find In Hatter Street Cafe:

Chocolate Ice Cream Whoaffles with Chocolate Sauce – $8.90

Mad Hare – $7.50 (Rich Brownie topped with Home Made Ice Cream)

Alice – $6.80 (White Chocolate Brownie served with Home Made Ice Cream)

Oh My 天 – $7.50 (Cookies and Cream Brownie with Oreo Ice Cream)

Kick 来 Liao – $6.20 (Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake)

It’s so Kumquat – $6.00 (A Chinese New Year inspired Tart)

Smoked Saw Dust Pudding – $5.00 (Experience Macau through the journey of food)

To Arthur with Love – $6.20 (Guiness & Tiramisu)

水井坊 Tiramisu – $6.20 (Tribute to a very fragrant Chinese White Wine)

Conclusion

Apparently Hatter Street Cafe intend to market their home-baked brownie as their signature dish but it is their waffle that stood out in the end and I totally agree. For those who love crispy waffle, i am willing to bet that you will enjoy this. For the first to comment that you don’t like these waffles, i’ll do up a review base on your choice of restaurant. Not too ex please. Hahaha.

One thing to improve is the air conditioning. During busy time,  the air-con is not strong enough and the cafe is a little hot, especially when people are going In and out of the cafe. Apart from that, Hatter Street Cafe had made it’s way into my list of best waffle in Singapore.

Oblong @ Serangoon Garden

Oblong, the hidden little ice cream shop at Serangoon Garden

Address (Google Map): 10 Maju Avenue

Opening hours: Sun to Thu: 12.00 pm – 12.00 am Fri & Sat: 12.00 pm- 2.00 am (as per FB page)

Introduction

Oblong, is a cafe that mainly serves ice cream, waffle and pastries that is situated at the Serangoon Garden region. I actually like Serangoon Garden a lot because it’s a very laid back neighbourhood and we don’t see people rushing from places to places.

Menu written on the glass wall behind the counter. Click to enlarge

Oblong Cafe’s minimalist industrial design gives the cafe a bright and spacious outlook which all attention will be brought to their pastry counter and the scribbled menu of the glass board.

The owner also casually place some random items like the ukulele, magazines and a basketball hoop at various corners. Customers can play or read them at our own comfort and it seems to be inviting us to “make ourselves at home”.

Red Velvet Waffle with Ice Cream Combo ($10.00)

I was quite surprised when I saw that they are offering a waffle, a scoop of ice cream and a cup of gourmet coffee at $10.00. At most places, a waffle already cost more than that and a cup of Caffe Latte already cost about $4.50 to $5.00.

The portion of the waffle is smaller (but not by a lot) but it’s good enough for an after-meal dessert. The waffles is crispy and not too dry. The red velvet waffle actually doesn’t taste very different from an ordinary waffle just that there is a hint of chocolate flavour and red food coloring. The difference is actually the cream cheese that comes with it that completes a red velvet waffle.

I enjoyed Oblong’s cream cheese very much. The cheese salty taste doesn’t overpower the cream’s sweetness and i love it for it’s moist and creamy texture. I don’t even need the ice-cream and i can finish just the waffle with cream cheese.

As for the ice cream, I’m not sure is it just me or what. I thought there is a taste that don’t normally exist in handmade ice-cream. I can’t really tell what it is but it taste something like ermm… soy milk? Apparently when i posted a photo of Oblong waffle on instagram, unlike me, most people seem to comment that they enjoy their ice-cream very much.

Buttermilk Waffle with Ice Cream Combo ($10 with drink)

Unconvinced, i ordered a Buttermilk Waffle just to have another shot on their ice-cream and this time i ordered a hazelnut flavour, and there is the same exact taste in a different flavour. Am i the only one? Let me know if you feel likewise.

Considering that the regular waffle cost exactly the same as the Red Velvet Waffle, i will go for the red velvet any time. It’s not that the waffle is bad, but the red velvet is better.

Conclusion

Enjoying a cup of coffee and waffle ice cream at Oblong on a weekend late morning is very much enjoyable because of the lack of crowd. This place is actually quite crowded at night after 8.00pm.

Oblong also offers dessert combo for their lava cake and brownie at a price of $10.00 with a drink. I should applaud their effort for maintaining an affordable price for their reasonable quality desserts and hope they maintain it this way. Overall, i recommend their red velvet waffle with ice-cream over their normal waffle.

The only drawback is for the lack of ventilation in the cafe while they are toasting their waffle and that makes your clothes smell after staying in the air-con cafe for an extended period of time.

I had also wrote about another cafe that sells Red Velvet Waffle to make a comparison. You may read more about it here.

Red Velvet Waffle from Stateland Cafe

 

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.