Monday, November 14, 2011

Chi-chi coffee

Not taking into account the Nespresso machine in the office, here are my experiences at 2 different 'chi-chi' or 'atas' coffee places - Papa Palheta & L'etoile Cafe.

On both occasions, it was my colleague Jim who brought me to these quaint locations. He, who acknowledged me to be a fellow coffee lover; with whom he regaled tales of his adventures in finding a good cuppa'.

So that afternoon after having lunch, he remarked, "I think we still have time for some coffee."

Thought nothing of it, until he turned into Hooper Road.

Well, as you may know, Hooper Road remained pretty nondescript, until the appearance of this particular coffee place; which can only be accessed from the obscure rear entrance.

I was very enthralled by the idea that such a quirky place exist and was really curious about it. The idea that I was headed there, made me feel like Charlie waiting at gates of the chocolate factory!

Papa Palheta

Coffee-lover's haven.

Check out the odd pieces of (almost) mismatched furniture. The whole place has some random bric-a-brac here and there. They were quite a novelty to see.

FYI, this place serves coffee and only coffee.

The fella

My colleague who brought me here.

Not sure what the room beside him is. Might be their roasting room? I saw the word 'Lab' on the door. Hmm...

Drip brew

We sat at the bar (the sitting area is pretty cramped). The barista was preparing filtered coffee when I was there. Sure is interesting to watch. Looks time-consuming but that's because everything was meticulously executed. Every detail taken into consideration.

The whole get-up reminds me of the contraption that my bosses bought when they came back from Vietnam. People there are more laid-back and can spare time to wait for their coffee as it drip through the filter.

My colleague strike up a conversation with the staff above (as he waited for the dripping to be done), in what I was sure sounded like 'coffee language'. Something about the beans for that day, their origins, the gadgets, machines, methods etc. You can sense how passionate these people appear to be and how pleased they are to mingle with those who share this similar passion, namely coffee. Hmm…

Two words: Coffee. Geeks.

My latte

My colleague ordered a plain ol' Long Black and I chose latte (seems uncool to get a cappuccino). Sure glad I did. I never expect any coffee-art so I was taken by surprise. So ecstatic about it but I kept it cool up-front as I contain the elation inside.

Gorgeous, isn't it? Reminds me of the popular Korean drama, 'Coffee Prince.'

And the coffee itself… The aroma. The initial taste. The after taste. WOW.

The whole experience brings me back to this tv show, 'Living Coffee With Paul Bassett' on Discovery Travel & Living channel. 100% passion. About coffee.

One more thing. There's no fixed pricing for the coffee served here. It's all tips-based. You tip according to what value the coffee you just had deserve. My colleague gave $5 for each of our cuppa'.

Well worth it.

Quirky, vintage artefacts

Very cute, very vintage red FIAT toy car.

As you can guess, after seeing that limp mop in the background; this car is 'parked' in front of the toilet. -___-

Other entries on this place HERE & HERE.

~~ Moving on to the next location.

L'etoile Cafe

That's French for 'star'.

Came by here on another day, for pre-lunch coffee. I was already so taken in by the simple layout on the 1st story (esp. when we got to snag a cosy corner by the window), that I thought nothing of it when my colleague asked if I want to check out the upper level. I easily declined.

BIG mistake!

Go HERE to see what I missed out on. Gah!

This cafe is gorgeous, la!

Read somewhere about the owner re-creating the place to be very much like the French-concept cafes in Japan with added touches of local vintage.

L'etoile Cafe

The coffee itself is good, too. Had the cappuccino and it came served with this itsy-bitsy honey biscuit which reminded me of my childhood years, somehow.

Nice place to chill out in. Cosy enough for you to snuggle up with a good read (when it's the off-peak period). For spontaneous visits, you can always choose from the numerous books on the shelves (not just for display). My friend warned me though, of inconsiderate students who adamantly remain to study despite the crowds (yes, during peak hours).


I was also introduced to this 'Be Disloyal' card by the same fella.

"…Be disloyal. Go to any of the 8 cafés – enjoy your favorite coffee, receive the disloyalty card and try out the other cafés. Once the card is full, go back and claim your free coffee from your starting café."

The 8 coffee places that partake in this interesting venture are:-
1) Jewel Coffee
2) Smitten
3) Jimmy Monkey
4) Loysel's Toy ---> (so eager to check this one out!)
5) Forty Hands
6) Oriole ---> (and this one too!)
7) Broers Café
8) SOHO Coffee

Here's an informative entry.

Seems like the coffee/cafe culture here is getting to be more interesting…

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