Cafe Hopper Review: 3 Cafes and 1 Lane

Yesterday I met up with a friend and we were all ready to do some hopping. We were all so excited about the meeting….we really planned to go to just one cafe to have lunch and coffee tasting. In the end, we hopped from one cafe to another and we both had an over dosage of caffeine. But its was fun though. Went to some very interesting corners of Singapore and for this entry I am going to review 3 coffee places and 1 lane in Singapore. Our original plan for the day was to visit Wimbly Lu, a coffee place hidden at a corner of Jalan Riang. Where is that? Never heard of it before? Me too! Apparently, “riang” means “happy” in malay. So if I may translate this, it would mean Happy Walk! I must say that the place lives up to its name for sure.

When we arrived at Happy Walk, we were shocked to see Wimbly Lu closed and it would only open at 1pm. It was 12 plus then. We stood around and now knowing what to do next. There was an italian pizza restaurant next to Wimbly Lu and a seafood house which was not open as well. We came out with this brilliant idea of having pizza for lunch a La Pizzaiola and once Wimbly Lu is ripe to operate, we will move there after lunch. Cool idea right! So let me start with La Pizzaiola.

La Pizzaiola

We were very warmly greeted by the staff in the restaurant. The place has a semi outdoor dinning area….air-coned but with glass ceiling that allow our warm sun to penetrate through….that’s greenhouse I guess with air-con. We decided to sat on the high table and chair. Not too sure what we wanted to eat or order, we decided that since it’s a pizza place we should try their pizza right. How can we eat fries in a pizza house. We ordered the Bufflolina Pizza and decided to share that one together. I always appreciate the wait between when we have ordered our food and when the food arrive at our table. Usually that moment always set the tone for the entire time together. So, it’s very important to set the tone right and I guess we did! After all we have known each other for quite long…any tone also can do!

The food came very shortly and we were surprised by the portion of it. The one-man pizza is more than enough for 3 persons to grab. The pizza has very nice crispy crust. Although it is mainly tomatoes and cheese, it is not too plain as well. The taste of it is just nice. There’s a bit of the sourish taste from the tomatoes and the cheesy sensation adds some vibes into the pizza as well. No meat…but meat and veggies don’t really have a place in this round circle. We just love the plainness of it. I must say that the pizza is a good start to our hop that day.

The team of staff in the restaurant is friendly and we simply love their hospitality and service by them. If you ever visit the place, do try to sit at the semi-outdoor area and have a feel of dinning in the out-in door. I think it will be cool to do that in the evening as well. I believe that the place will come more alive at night with all the nice cosy lighting.

Wimbly Lu

Our next stop was Wimbly Lu. There is like so much of expectation for this place. So much has been said about this place and I was so excited to see that vintage beetle right in front of the cafe. Seeing this place right in front of me is like arriving at a pilgrimage place…like seeing the Western Wall right in front of you or the Great Wall of China. I took quite a number of pictures while my friend puff all her way. You will enter the cafe with a very swiss cottage kind of feel but some part of the furniture sort of give that feel away as well….so also not quite there really. Like La Pizzaiola, it was a little semi outdoor area at the back of the cafe. The bakery is opened for all to view. It can be pretty exciting to see them baking the cakes.

I ordered their famous root beer cake with vanilla ice cream and my friend order their double chocolate. We both agreed that the double chocolate taste pretty ordinary. Not really what we would expect from Wimbly Lu, especially it is acclaimed for their chocolate products. However, the root beer cake with vanilla ice cream truly surprised us. The taste of root beer on a piece of cake is very refreshing to me and mixed with the all time familiar vanilla ice cream, it’s really a perfect match. I simply love this masterpiece of cake! Just when you think that is all, deep underneath the wine glass is a pool of chocolate sauce for you to plunge that last piece of root beer chocolate fully into it. Slowly dig it up from the deep mud….and swallow it into your mouth. Oh, before you totally consumed it, let the last piece see the last light by allowing to drip a little of the chocolate sauce….not too much…just a little of wastage will do!

Don’t try the coffee. Of all the latte I have tried so far, this is one of the not so good one. It’s very ordinary. I think this is forgivable as their main selling point is not their coffee and never their coffee.

Chye Seng Huat Hardware

Let me say this, this is the most exciting part of our hop for the day. CSHH is one of the most extraordinary cafe I have ever visited so far. It is so legendary. It is situated along Tyrwhitt Road which is a parallel road to Jalan Besar. From the outside, you would never imagine that a cafe haven dwells within. It looks like a pretty rundown hardware warehouse from the outside. You can choose to enter the cafe through the main door or you can also do so by the gate leading to a little courtyard which again looks like an abandoned old factory.

When you entered the cafe, you will be dumbfounded what you have discovered. Its has a very cool decor that looks some sort like a warehouse but not so because of its modern flare. I love the island counter that allow customers to survey what the staff are doing throughout. Sometimes the staff would hold a mini meeting or discussion which makes work looking so cool!

We both ordered cold coffee and guess what, CSHH surprised us again by the way they serve their coffee. We were again dumbfounded by it and stood there for a while before the guy at the counter explained to us what’s all the arrangement is about. The coffee is served in a brown bottle that looks like either some chemical or some medicine. We are given a large cup of ice and a few packs of milk and a small cup of sugar. Now honestly, the coffee tastes a bit weird for us. It’s very light but you know what, you will have so much fun trying to mix your very coffee. I enjoyed seeing the milk flowing into the coffee. It’s so sensational! You must visit the toilet of the cafe. I shan’t say too much about it cos it has one of the most unusual basin in the toilet.

Well, we did not get to try out the food because we did not really have the appetite to eat anymore but certainly we have the energy to move on to our next destination, Haji Lane.

Its been one of the most exciting cafe hopping session so far. All thanks to my friend!

the gatekeeper




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