Thursday, January 31, 2013

KL Eats - A&W

Our final day in KL, that Monday we packed our stuff early, had breakfast and set off for more shopping. My aunt who was sick since the day we're here was finally well enough to join us. Luck was even on her side for she ended up being the first paying customer (yes, we're THAT early) at a hijab shop and got a discount!

We made a final visit to the basement at SOGO shopping centre to get our hands on the confectioneries at Four Leaves bakery. I went crazy there and bought almost RM30 worth of breads and pastries.

We then check-out frm the hotel at noon before we crossed the street to have lunch at the fast-food outlet that we've hankered for so long! Yeah, since they totally disappear from SG after the Jumabhoy family feud.  We made it our personal mission to dine here before we set off. Even my foodie aunt felt the same way.

My last A&W meal must have been at least 4-5years ago. Despite being in KL last year, we were in such a rush that we missed out on an opportunity.

Kiddo & me in A&W

I got all nostalgic when I saw that all-familiar brown bear with its orange top (their mascot). I remembered having a water bottle in its shape as a kid and that bottle had been so precious to me, then. I think it was bought at the A&W in the zoo.

And those pictures of the famed root beer float and coney dog (as seen above) made me go all, "Awww…"

Coney dog

Despite how tentalising their Mozza Burger range had looked, I had my eyes on only their Coney Hotdog. I'm the faithful sort and this is definitely what I've missed having. Even when I hoped to have something more filling, in anticipation of the long bus ride back to SG.

My dad felt the same way, somehow. He requested for this too.

I was surprised to see the hot dog nestling inside. It was longer than what I used to remember, eons back (maybe it's quite filling, after all).  And after the first bite, I noticed that it had quite a 'snap' to it. Definitely something I loved about hotdogs/sausages.

And that spiced beef sauce… Still taste the same. Sigh… :)))

Root beer float

My cousin excitedly poked the given spoon into my cold mug before I could stop her. We watched in horror as the fizz built up from inside and caused the creamy froth to overflow down the sides.

She was all sheepish when I grumbled, "I was supposed to drink up some of the root beer before the spoon goes in…" -___-

I know that it's just a drink but that's how precious it is. We can buy our own bottle of A&W's root beer and premium vanilla ice-cream but that chilled, large glass mug makes all the difference!

Curly fries

Sorry McD, your Twister Fries never quite cut it. A&W's curly fries are still the one for me.

We left this fast-food restaurant all contented and happy. Mission Accomplished!

Something tells me that the next time I step into another A&W outlet, I'll end up ordering the same thing, somehow. All for nostalgia's sake…

Update: I suddenly recall that I DID have A&W when I was holidaying in Bali 2 years back. But the food there just don't seem the same, somehow…

Monday, January 28, 2013

KL Eats - Zam Zam Restaurant

Nope, I don't think this is affiliated with the Zam Zam institutuion located at Noth Bridge Road, opposite Sultan Mosque in SG.

Zam Zam Restaurant appeared to be the 'in-house' restaurant for Frenz Hotel. We had our simple breakfast spread here in the mornings and we can't help noticing tentalising looking pictures of the foods they served.

We planned to dine here on Sunday evening, after the wedding and some shopping. Gotta' have some!

Early that Sunday, we've started anticipating. Even at the wedding we were like, "…Bone steak! Tonight!" As I've mentioned in the previous post, thankfully the fare at the wedding didn't really affect our cravings for Indian food, that evening.

Upper level

We chose to sit at the upper level, away from the noisy street. This level actually adjoins the mezzanine floor of the hotel, where the 'Surau' (praying area) is located. The restroom here is apparently suitable for taking ablutions, too.

The decor is modern and clean. Maybe because the hotel itself is quite new. There are wash basins with soap located on this floor. This is an important feature, considering that we'll be feasting on Bone Steak later. It's essential to have our hands clean!

Hot honey-lemon drink

I was having quite a bad throat and the idea that I'll be having curries and mutton doesn't help much. So I opt for this to at least alleviate the soreness of it all.

Chicken Biryani

My uncles' order, which they end up sharing with my son. Kiddo's eyes widened when he had a taste of this and went, "Nak! Nak rice!" (I want! I want rice!). Of course he had his way. Everyone dotes on that lone little kid in a group, don't they?

All of us had a taste too. It was really, really nice! Given the consistent colour, I can see that they used only saffron and not colouring. The rice was soft and fluffy. And the chicken was tender and flavourful.

No wonder this was highly recommended in online food reviews.

Mutton Murtabak (large)

Since it's called 'Zam Zam', we can't help being tempted to try out their murtabak to compare with the one served by that popular food institution in SG.

My parents opt to share a large one and I joined in.

The dough was nicely soft and slightly chewy (indicating that it was kneaded well). And fluffy too! I lunged for all that crispy sides. The generous amount of mutton wasn't gamey and the onions were sweet. Very yummy!

Mee Kuah

Since my cousin told me that their Mee Kuah is served with a piece of bone inside (by default), I was pretty enthused about dining here already.

However, when I was there, I backed out from ordering this for myself. I realised that the murtabak and the bone steak would have filled me up nicely. Having the Mee Kuah would have been too overwhelming. The gravy for both would have been similar after all.

My cousin's bowl had looked pretty dismal because she chose beehoon instead of the yellow egg noodles (I'd prefer kway teow) and she requested for 'no veggies'. Hmph!

Bone Steak!

The one that we've been looking forward to. The gravy was good, the bones meaty, the sinewy tendons chewy but tender and the marrow, abundant. However, the meat wasn't really stewed in the gravy so the meat somehow lacked flavour.

The ones we have here had the meats simmering inside the flavourful broth most of the time, therefore they really absorb the hearty flavours of the soup that they sit in. Here, it seemed that the meat and bones were set aside and only added in when they prepare the gravy.

But that didn't stop us from enjoying these, nevertheless. The slices of French loaf that they served on the side (in the background, above) was tasty somehow. Used those to mop up the reddish gravy.


All in all, it was a truly enjoyable meal. What makes it all better was that my aunt picked up the tab for this dinner. :)))

Sunday, January 27, 2013

KL Eats - Wedding

So that Sunday in KL, the main plan was to attend my distant cousin's wedding at Kampung Batu Muda, located at the outskirts of the city, close to Batu Caves..

You can view more pictures of the wedding at my 'Mummy Blog'.

One thing I really enjoy about this wedding was the food. Weddings in KL are typically similar to what we have in SG, food-wise. Nasi Minyak or Biryani, Ayam Masak Merah, Dalcha, Acar etc. But my aunt was reminiscing the kind of food usually served in weddings at the 'kampung' (village), where the fare is simple yet tasty.

So she request her daughter-in-law's family, who does catering; to prepare just that.

Ulam & sambal belacan

The thing I look forward to, the most! The groom's grandma specifically brought this nice salad greens that she plucked straight from her own backyard in her village at Ijok, Selangor.

Really enjoyed munching down on the 'Daun Salom' and 'Kecipir/Kacang Botol' (4-angle beans) with fried salted fish and sambal belacan (chili infused with shrimp paste).

Daun Salom has a taste and scent that's almost similar to the popular 'Ulam Raja' (also known as cantik-manis). Nice, subtle aroma of ripening mango but with much sturdier stalks (I usually discard them).

Our plates

Also on the menu is 'Ayam Masak Semur', a dish that is pretty prevalent in weddings hosted by families of Javanese descent. Chicken cooked with soy sauce, pepper (lots of it) and other spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom & star anise. Although it's such a simple dish, it's definitely one of my favourite wedding dishes ever.

Had the same dish at a wedding in Belakang Padang, Indonesia too.

There's also 'Opor Nangka'- pieces of unripe jackfruit stewed in spicy coconut gravy. Another ubiquitous dish was the 'Sambal Goreng'- a medley of offals like chicken gizzard, beef lungs and tripe stir-fired with spices and chillies, with 'petai' (stinky beans). And finally, another of my favourite, 'Sambal Kering Tempe, Ikan Bilis & Kacang' - deep-fried 'tempe', whitebait & groundnuts coated in dry/sticky chili paste.

Oh, there's also a free-flow of fish crackers.

Epok-epok 'pusar'

A wedding held by this family is never complete without these. I remember, during the wedding held at the 'kampung', women from the village will gather at the bridal house with their own rolling pins just to make the dough for these.

Thin and crispy 'spiral' pastry with luscious curried potatoes inside. What's not to like…?

All in all, I'm just so glad my aunt put her food down and have her choice of food varieties for her youngest son's wedding. Miss all these foods! Besides, being able to skip on those regular Indian fare here meant that we can have our fill at the Zam Zam Restaurant located at our hotel later on!

Next entry, coming right up!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

KL Eats - Part 1

Went to KL on the very first weekend of 2013 to attend a distant cousin's wedding. 9 of us, including my kiddo.

The previous time there's a wedding here, my relatives reside at Sunway Putra Hotel (I didn't go). Since we prefer to travel on Orange Coach, it's either that or Frenz Hotel. Sunway Putra is a 4-star hotel and has a shopping mall below but we much prefer staying at Frenz Hotel, which is located right smack in the heart of Masjid India district.

Frenz Hotel is a 3-star hotel and is very small. However considering that it's still new, the facilities are still in great condition. Breakfast spread at the ZamZam restaurant below was a tad mediocre, though. But my aunt claim that food still fare better that the much luxurious hotel they stayed at previously.

Of course, when we are at the heart of the shopping district, we just go to do some shopping, right? Went around checking out the various shawls and hijabs. We went to the nearby SOGO Mall almost everyday. And the stretch of road at Jalan TAR is closed on every Saturday for a bazaar, where stalls flanked 2 sides of the streets, selling things from clothes to accessories to drinks and of course… FOOD!

That evening, I was apprehensive about bringing my kiddo out with me but my parents were heading over to the wedding venue to mingle with our relatives so I didn't have a choice. Thankfully, I brought the stroller. Kiddo did some running around, then kicked a bit of fuss. He later asked to be 'buckled up'.

Next thing I knew, he was fast asleep. Weehooo…! Freedom! To shop!

I had a blast at the Saturday bazaar along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR), Masjid India area. Never mind that I had to navigate the stroller at the crowded street. I also had great, understanding company in the form of my cousin Tim and aunt, who are a bit of a shopping and food fanatic themselves.

Saturday night crowd at Jalan TAR bazaar

The 3 of us were actually quite hungry, as we have not had our dinner yet and it was past 8pm. So our hungry selves were much tortured to see sooo much food on display. And the aromas of food being freshly cooked right there…

Guess it's true when they say that we shouldn't shop on a hungry stomach… We end up making many impulsive buys that led to some regrets… Boohoo!

Fried goodies

Fried chicken… fried quails. Various fried, skewered stuff- from fishballs, nuggets, seafood… to beef and chicken offals. Fried everything, lah!

Fried chicken cutlet & fried sausage

Fried chicken cutlet

It's like when we're at those temporary neighbourhood bazar in SG, there were stalls manned by Chinese folks selling these 'XXL Taiwanese Chicken Cutlet'? Yeah, something similar.

Ahh… those are the fried chicken cutlets before they're cut-up, sprinkled with pepper and paprika and packed into paper bags, upon order. just like those Taiwanese styled street snacks. Those sausages are the foot-long, large cheesy chicken sausages.

My cousin Tim was the one who bought this.

Laksa Penang 

I think we bought from the wrong stall. I remembered the previous time I was here, there's this particular stall that has a lot of seating area and people were savouring their bowls of these. This one doesn't seem to have that but we bought anyway.

Later on, as we reached the end of the bazaar, we spotted another Penang laksa stall with the said seating area. But we already bought 2 packs from the other stall… Huhu. And when we had a taste later on, it turns out that the laksa wasn't even nice…!! Huuhuu.

The gravy was too diluted, the taste of mackarel/sardines was lacking. And there was nary a hint of 'hae ko'. Did we even get the right type of Penang Laksa??! Pfft.

Popiah basah

My aunt was enticed by these freshly-made 'popiah' (chinese spring rolls). However, as we made our way down the various stalls, we discovered another stall selling much more tentalising popiah! The ones where they have fried shallots sprinkled on top of that sauce.

I suddenly recalled buying from that stall before. And theirs was indeed delish!

True enough, when we had this popiah later on, it wasn't too good. The stewed veggies inside was tasteless and the chilli sauce seemed to lack a key ingredient, which I can't figure out what.

Another bad buy. :(

Lok Lok or celup-celup

While 'Lok lok' is how the Chinese refer to it, 'celup-celup' is the Malay way. Both literally translates to: Dip Dip. You know, like dipping something in sauce…?

Skewers of bite-sized food chosen by customers which are then cooked (most commonly it just by boiling them in some stock?). Some stalls had options like, boiling, grilling or deep-frying in batter). This one had only 1 type of sauce- the spicy peanut one. Some stalls offer many varieties of sauces.

It's akin to Yong Tau Foo- on skewers.

All 3 of us were big fans of these so we looked forward to encountering a stall selling this. When we found it, it appeared to be so popular and crowded that I had no choice but head somewhere that's convenient for me and my sleeping kiddo in the stroller.

Left it to my cousin to choose for me, with parting word that goes something like, "…Choose anything but make sure there's quail eggs and cockles for me!"

My aunt, she chose only for herself and had the sauce poured in together with the skewers of food. She chose enough to feed another person. My cousin asked for the sauce to be packed separately. She meanwhile, chose enough to feed another pair.

The peanut sauce was super spicy!!!! Needless to say, some skewers went to waste.

This is what I meant by, "not buying food when you're VERY hungry".


Unlike our authentic 'doner' kebabs prepared by actual middle-eastern guys, the 'kebab' here is merely spiced minced meat cooked on the grill and shoved into hotdog buns before being slathered with chilli sauce and mayonnaise.

Also a messy eat, no less.

Crispy apam balik

My cousin Tim went crazy over these 'Apam Balik'. Similar to crepes- with sprinkles of sugar, ground peanuts and sometimes, cream corn, before being folded over.

Unlike the usualy thick, fluffy ones; those sold here are very thn and definitely crispy. Almost like love letters!

Kuih Akok

My aunt was searching high and low for this. She even had to ask around. Apparently her mum love this so much and requested it when she know of my aunt's KL trip.

'Kuih Akok' is a traditional Kelantan-ese dessert made of mainly eggs, coconut cream and palm sugar.

Crème caramel

The stall selling the Kuih Akok also sells Crème caramel. Kinda' impressive, huh? My aunt can't resist buying a couple of these to bring back for her family. 

Red velvet cake

When my aunt and cousin were at the Lok Lok stall, I hung around near the neighbouring drinks stall. Thirsty me was choosing something to drink and I spotted something strange nestled amongst the canned drinks in the ice box (seen above).

It was something in a jam jar. 2 of them, actually. Looked very, very familiar. Looked a lot like… Red Velvet cake!!

I can't grab it because my sleeping son was at a stall on the other side and I dare not leave him behind. I actually had to toke 2 large strides out just to choose my drink. So when I saw that my aunt was done buying her Lok Lok, I excitedly gestured for her to take those jam jars out and buy them. Pronto!

She was like, "Why? What's that?" I frantically replied with, "Red velvet! Red velvet cake!!"

She went wide-eyed like, "Whaaa...?" And proceed to take the jars out to pay.

Later I saw her putting the jars back into the ice-box. Turns out, those jars belong to someone who left them there to be chilled. The guys at the drinks stall allowed it out of goodwill.

Sigh…That red velvet cake had looked sooo good!

Red velvet cake

A luck would have it, we encountered the person who chilled the cakes there on our return leg from the other end. My gutsy aunt actually approached her to ask that she sell at least one of those to her.

And she conceded!

As it turn out, her stall selling clothes was right next to the drinks stall. She actually bought like 5 or 6 of those Red Velvet jars from someone who baked from home, somewhere in Sentul, KL. Those are the 2 left as she had eaten the rest. That petite lady actually ate soo much?! That cake must have been awesome, right?

Oh, she sold it to my aunt for RM10. Expensive…? We don't mind!!

And it sure is good. The red velvet cake was fuffy and soft and the cream cheese was sweet enough to complement the cake's flavour. It's all just nice. Worth all that hooha.


After we hauled everything back to the hotel, do we realise that we somehow manage to resist buying the very thing that tempt us the most.

Those skewers of beef steak that's almost like the mid-eastern beef kebabs. The heady aroma of those freshly grilled cubes of black-pepper steaks were so tentalising and we were always drawn to all the stalls selling them. Yet, we never buy any. I wonder why??

Hmm… Does this warrant another visit there?

Auntie Anne's pretzel sticks

Saw this in SOGO and can't resist buying them. I know my mum loves this too. Oh, the eclairs were superb!

Dunkin donuts

Quite an impressive display. Didn't buy any though. We were more enticed by the confectioneries from Four Leaves Bakery located on the same floor.

As we know, the Four Leaves in SG are non Halal-certified. So we were drawn to the many varieties of bread sold there, especially their hot favourite. It was this triple layer triangular chicken ham & cheese sandwich that's coated in egg and breadcrumbs. Yes, fried. Sound good, uhh?

I was looking forward to their chocolate croissants but we came too early and those were't baked yet. Too bad we're departing at 2pm that day itself… Huhu...

Mee Kari

I had this at the mid-point rest stop in Pagoh. I was curious on what this is like. The one in SG has this thick chicken curry gravy.Here, the gravy was a tad diluted. Almost similar to the instant noodles kind.

This bowl had one of the most delish tofu that I ever tasted. Don't know why, maybe they were freshly-made or something? And some fishcakes. I was taken aback to see those yellow egg noodles. Never too fond of those. Never figured out why but after this bowl I think I got my answer…

Those noodles later create havoc in my belly. Big-time flatulence throughout the journey back to SG. Such discomfort is most unwelcome on a long bus ride, thankyouverymuch. Eugh!

And no, this aren't all. There are other foods as well. Food during the wedding and we paid a visit to a much-missed fast food outlet. To be told in another post, yea?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Teh Tarik Changi - Seafood corner

Another 'celebratory' dinner for my mum's birthday (it's her 60th, after all). This time my brother insist on taking the tab.

I remember that we were really ravenous that day. Suggestions were asked around, on what to have. My dad mentioned 'Western' food and we eventually saw ourselves headed for Changi Village. I had NO idea what our destination was until my bro mentioned that my parents want to try out the food at Olivye Cafe.Gelato… Ahh…

But… but they were closed! Huhu. They were having a Christmas Party at the level above (how can I forget that it's Christmas??!). I was disheartened to see that my parents were disappointed. Sigh…

Then I suddenly recall a certain anonymous comment on my blog entry on Teh Tarik Eating House next door (you know who you are!). So I told my parents about a certain someone's comment that the seafood is pretty good. If they don't mind having seafood, that is.

The eatery seemed a wee bit more vacant that I expect. It's a holiday after all, right? Then again, the next day is a working day. One noticeable thing was that there seem to be a shortage of staff, too. Many tables still had soiled crockery left uncleared and there was only a lone staff doing the clearing. We were later told that the place was packed-out during lunch.

My bro and I went over to the stall to check out their menu. I remember that the Yam Basket was recommended so I made sure that was in the list. Also choose the Har Cheong Kai and other favourites. The staff who attend to us seemed like a newbie and as we were about to head back to our table, she came by to inform us that the Yam Basket & Har Cheong Kai were unavailable that day. Huhu.

And the cute thing was; when we mentioned that we chose the Har Cheong Kai because we want to have fried chicken, she recommend that we order from the fried chicken stall instead. Her boss might just knock her head for doing that! Hee.

Eventually settled for Thai Style Chicken (just a gamble) and hotplate tofu to replace the Yam Basket (almost similar, no?).

The picture sequences are as how the dishes arrive at our table:

Thai-Style chicken

This was the first dish to arrive. I end up impressed. Maybe because I had lowered my expectations as I wasn't sure what the dish is really like.

The deep-fried chicken fillets were crispy and the Thai sauce was a nice balance of sweet, sour, salty & spicy. Reminds me a lot like the Thai-style chicken feet from most chicken rice places. This surely is my new favourite dish!

Kiddo was really hungry by then and asked for some chicken. I had to suck some the sauce away before letting him have some. 

Hot-plate tofu

Surprisingly, the dishes that were meant to replace the unavailable orders, came first.

This dish was more suited for kiddo. Non-spicy with nice tofu, fish cakes and egg for him. But he much preferred the Thai-style chicken! 

Salted egg-yolk prawns

Ahhh… The star of the day. The large tiger prawns were fried simply, with not much of a batter. And that sauce, my goodness, that sauce!

Easy said, it was soo good that my dad literally scooped the sauce into his mouth. Like soup. And he isn't the sort who's too eager about foods but this sauce really got him. A bit of a warning about those bits of chili padi (birds-eye chillies) though. Killer spicy!

Will come back here for this dish when any sort of yearning kicks in, seriously. 

Sweet & sour fish (fillets)

I don't know why I ordered this. Maybe for nostalgia's sake? It's like, our family hardly ever skipped on ordering this most times.

Luckily I chose the fillets instead of the whole fish, cos' it seemed that we may have over-ordered! There was in fact, another fish order (which came last). Thankfully, the sauce taste good. So this dish was still enjoyable. One can hardly go wrong with this sauce, right?

Cereal squid

I ordered this because I remember that my hubby loves fried squid. And the fact that I can't eat at a Zhi Char place without ordering anything with 'cereal'. A must-have to me, personally.

I like that they squid came in rings, instead of those rectangular pieces I see elsewhere. 

Foo Yung Omelette

Basically an omelette with many ingredients inside. Ordered this for kiddo but at the rate that it came out so late, kiddo almost totally ignore it when it arrived. I thought that such a simple dish would be prepared first… NOT!

Then again, I should have cancelled this order when we got the hotplate tofu.

Grilled sambal stingray

When this arrived, I was like, "Did we order this?" My bro cleared his throat and owned up to making the order.

At this point, my belly really can't take in any more food. So I had a taste of the sambal sauce. It carried a strong taste of dried shrimps and was very spicy. Fiery hot kind of spicy. Whoa!

End up, we doggy-bagged this as everyone had surrendered. No more food, please! Guess we really over-ordered. My mum remarked that we should have skipped the hot-plate tofu & sweet & sour fish because they had become 'too common'. Guess she enjoyed discovering new foods with much more interesting/complex flavours (cue the salted egg yolk and Thai sauce).

Thank you 'Anonymous', whoever you are- for this recommendation. Now we have another Zhi Char option for my family when we come by Changi Village. Aside from our other favourite, Ah Nam BBQ Seafood.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chye Seng Huat Hardware

Yet another update on a cafe. This time it's about a famed coffee institution. So popular that it's been blogged about by many others, so I won't go into much details; save for my own personal experience.

Heard and read so much about this place and my colleague had been going on about their coffee so I bugged him to bring me there.

Quick overview:
This coffee institution was set up by the people behind Papa Palheta & Loysel's Toy. Papa Palheta somewhat changed the coffee/cafe scene in Singapore when they first came around. They are serious about their coffee, so everything was set to evolve around just that.

Being set up by the same people, all 3 cafes carry this similar characteristic: quirky location. In fact, the whole place just seem to have a somewhat whimsical setting. Things like entering Papa Palheta from the back lane at Hooper Road, Loysel's Toy being located at the former Sam Tat warehouse building etc…

And then there's this coffee place taking over wholly, the premise it is currently in; name and all. Right smack in a district where you will never expect to encounter a chic coffee joint.

You can read more HERE, HERE HERE.

The outdoor seating area, the 'roastery' & the 'workshop'

The premise is really like an institution, what with the various 'sections' located within:
The Coffee Bar, Coffee Retail, The 'Roastery', The Workshop and The Annex.

'The Annex' is where the you can call and reserve in advance, for a tasting session ($23). They even conduct barista training classes at the level above. My favourite section is the 'coffee retail' - where you can see an array of various coffee 'gadgets' on display and for sale, of course.

The retail section

I've set my eyes on one of the 'Keep Cup'. Totally regret not buying one that day!

And then there's the Coffee Bar…

The coffee bar

Very awe-inducing. The island bar is almost reminiscent of those found at Japanese restaurants, where we can watch the chefs at work. Same goes here. It's really, really interesting to watch the baristas.

Reminds me of hubby's cousin, who worked at the 'dessert bar' of a popular dining establishment. I asked her if it was awkward to have customers watching you preparing their dessert. She just shrugged and said that that the whole experience is actually quite fun. Especially when being able to interact with them.

Ahh… interaction. I guess that's the key here, why the 'bar' was designed in this manner.

The low-height island bar is designed to encourage interaction, I guess. Watching/scrutinising the baristas at work, our curiousity may heighten at one point and we might not be able to resist the urge to just ask them, why certain steps are done in a certain manner etc…

Guess you can easily spot a 'coffee geek' there…

I'm not exactly the sort who enjoy sitting at counters, watching people work that way, much less any interaction of sorts. I'm just a tad shy (hurhur). BUT (yes, that's a pretty strong 'but' there), my experience at Papa Palheta changed that. There's just something about the way they execute certain steps, the motions… that make you feel compelled to at least ask them, "Why…?"

Moving on to the coffee…


All that coffee jargon… I would have been soo befuddled!

Vintage tray

My colleague was the one who ordered the coffee (he's the experienced one) while I was left to observe the place and take in the eclectic energy.

He came back bearing this vintage-looking aluminium tray with embossed circles. Okay… when was the last time I saw this??

Our cuppas

I had the Christmas special, the Orange Cappuccino, sans sugar. Cos' my cuppa buddy for that day, the 'coffee geek' keep chiding me for 'impairing' the actual taste of such good coffee. Yes, him and his 'Long Black'.Tsk…

And he wasn't wrong about their coffee being good. They used good beans, their roasting technique is good and the dedication coming from the barista as they prepare each cuppa… It helps that type of coffee sold here are generally 'no-frills', with minimal add-ons.

I've had their coffee from Papa Palheta and Loysel's Toy and I can say that they somewhat meet my expectations as to what my cuppa should be like. Robust/full-bodied, aromatic and minimal acidity.

The orange accent really reminds me of my favourite Van Houten chocolate from my childhood years (now sold in those cute, little slabs).

There's a vintage turntable in one corner with a collection of records. My colleague told me that the record player is still functional. Right beside it is where we help ourselves to the ice-water. Which we pour into those 'Arcoroc'-like glasses, similar to those seen at Penny University.

What's up with coffee joints and vintage items, huh? And why are we such suckers for these kind of details??

And finally, desserts…


I heard that the confectioneries were made by their in-house baker.

As I stood by the counter, hem & haw-ing on what to choose, I was approached by the baristas who were currently free as the crowd had receed by then. We strike up a conversation (I can't recall about what). Very impressed by their warm personalities.

In case you're wondering, I sampled a piece of that Christmas 'Stollen'. Not bad, actually. Not to my liking, though.

Confectioneries in the box

Bought some cakes back, to be shared with my colleagues for tea break.


Got the brownie ($5), which came highly recommended by the barista. And the Raspberry Financiers ($5.50 for 5 lil' nuggets). Yes, I know that the spelling for this is similar to those 'financial investors'.

Desserts - served

And this was how I had my desserts. All the items were nicely heated up prior to serving. I don't have any vanilla ice-cream so I dug out this B&J's strawberry cheesecake ice-cream to accompany my brownie.

The brownie was above average. Totally enjoy its very crispy 'crust'. The added crunch was a nice touch, actually.

As for the Raspberry Financiers… WOW! So in love, can?

I had too Google up on this interesting dessert. Even looked up on the recipes. Gonna attempt making this cos' I wanna have more!

Seriously, it's just too bad the place is a little out of the way for me. Would so love to head there, sit at the bar and observe the baristas passionately get about making coffee. With a nice cuppa and a plate of those Financiers, please.

Chye Seng Huat Hardware
150 Tyrwhitt Road
Singapore 207563
Tel: 6396 0609
Tue to Thu: 9am – 7pm
Fri to Sun: 9am – 10pm