Cafe Hopper Review: Weewa Cafe@Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat)

First time in Korat I visted a cafe. This is Weewa Cafe. Thanks to the staffs at Alpha Students’ Centre. They decided to bring me to this cafe. The cafe has a very rustic courtyard. You will be greeted by a stretch of koi fish and some sitting area as well. However, honestly you would’t want to be sitting outside because it can be pretty hot in the noon time at Korat. Given the hot weather we rather be sitting indoor with air-conditioning. When I went in, the thing that really caught my eyes was the stained glass window at the sides. They are very simple stained glass window but it gave the cafe interior a very retro feel.

Because this is a totally new environment to me, I wanted to try something different too. I ordered the iced caramel boom coffee. I also ordered a lemon pastry. I must say I am still not satisfied with the coffee here. I am not sure if it is the way the barrista did it, but the coffee doesn’t bring out the after taste and you really do feel like you are just drinking soft drinks. But I must say this as well, the pastry is quite impressive. The lemon pastry I ordered tasted very rich and every mouth of it really tasted lemon and giving a very refreshing touch to our taste buds. I was also impressed by the banana chocolate cake. There is really like real banana in the cake and the sponge tastes rich with banana.

We didn’t sit there for very long but it was quite a good chill out. The atmosphere is a plus for this cafe and needless to say, the pastries. I guess the coffee thing is really a nation-wide thing. Generally, its not easy to get good coffee in Thailand. They still have a long way to go before gourmet coffee can take off.

the gatekeeper




Cafe Hopper Review: After You Cafe@Silom Complex, Bangkok

I was here because of a friend’s recommendation. He told me that the place is good for its dessert and nice ambience. It happened to be just beside Baan Ying, a cafe which I reviewed sometime ago. Since I roughly know the place, I decided to pay After You a visit during my Christmas break. When I stepped into the cafe, it already hit my soft spot for wood. The cafe is so filled of woody stuff, just like Baan Ying and very spacious. The spaciousness of the place is so welcoming in a congested Bangkok with most of the shop spaces being very tiny. There is so much of walking space and if you sit at the cafe you have so much of personal space as well. The counter is located in an angle that seems to tell every customer, “Hey I am here…!” Indeed a very welcoming atmosphere and more so when the staff are generally friendly and full of smiles.

I ordered my usual latte and a maple syrup toast with assorted sausage. Looking through the menu, they serve mainly pancakes and thick toast and they are mainly sweet….what am I talking about…this is a dessert ship right. The menu is quite interesting and there are other permutation of pancake with other ingredients or thick toast with other stuff. So its really cool just looking at the menu. I also noticed a corner where they have this nice, modern, wooden shelves full of cookies and other pastries. They have a whole table of different types of brownies and other stuff. This is is just so amazing. I must say also that that the cookies are very nice. I was so tempted to buy one!

The food arrived and they serve the australian type of latte and I must mention that their latte does have some standard there. I noticed that they like to foam their latte in Bangkok or in Thailand. The main draw here is the food. When my stuff came, I was so excited. It really looks very beautiful and yet not too complicated. The toast is coated, not simply just tainted with maple syrup….the syrup is coated on the surface of the toast and it forms a very crispy crunch on the surface. So each bite of the toast is sensational and its soft in the inside. This give it a very good texture in the mouth. The sausages however are pretty normal but well complimenting the toast.

I am so thankful that my Thai friend recommended this place and I certainly would like to go there again.

the gatekeeper




Cafe Hopper Review: The Little Hut House of Waffles@Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok

I arrived at Asoke Station and was moving around to try to locate my apartment. Thank God for GPS and I had some idea of the area. Asoke has been one of my favorite spot in Bangkok because of Terminal 21. I love the stuff in Terminal 21. If you have never been to Bangkok for shopping spree, this is one place that you must visit when you are here. I finally found Sukhumvit Soi 23 but I saw no sight of Citadines 23 apartment. Based on my previous experience with Citadines, they are always located in prominent places and it should not take me too long to find them. As I walked further into the street, there I found Citadines. I am so proud of this Singapore brand name that can be found all over the world. Just when I was about to approach my home for the next few days, I bummed into this little hut that is just across Citadines. It really looks very cool…like this houses in cartoon. I told myself I must visit this little hut.

I checked into the apartment and rested for a little while, waiting for technology to be all charged up…well, I mean all the mobile phones and other gadgets that God knows since when we can’t do without them. I was all so excited to enjoy some quiet moment with myself and to do a little shopping before I retreat to Latkrabang to runaway from the new year crowd. Guess where was my first stop…bingo…Terminal 21. I just love this shopping mall. Again, I went from Terminal 21…to MBK then to Siam Paragon and back to Terminal 21 again.

I decided to pay the little hut a visit on my way back to the apartment. I dropped by and I must say that the exterior decor of the place is really attractive and it does allure you to come in. However, the interior of the cafe is not as fantastic as the exterior. I was expecting it to be a little more woody and probably with a fireplace some where to add to the cosiness. However, within the interior is another little bakery. I didn’t’ get to try to bakery…I guess most of the things were almost gone. I ordered my usual latte and I must say that the latte does have some standard there. I know I cannot expect too much on coffee in Thailand but this one is drinkable. I love the foam on the latte…its so wholesome. I was rather full so I didn’t order any food initially. But I thought it will be difficult to write about this cafe when it acclaims to be the house of waffles and I didn’t eat anything at all here. I decided to order a plain waffles. Its hard to be a cafe critics I guess….you somehow have to eat.

The waffle looks pretty good and its more towards the soft type of waffle. The waffle tastes pretty good just with a little bit of honey on it. I must say that if you are a dessert lover, this should quite a pretty nice place to have waffle. After my food, I decided to go back to my apartment to send out some updates to the bosses. Then I remembered that there was late night shopping in Terminal 21. Hey Hey….I went out again for my shopping venture and it was cool! I love the experience. When I was on my way back, I observed that the little hut did have quite a considerable crowd. I suppose many of them could be attracted by the exterior decor. Honestly, its a not bad place to go to…a little resting place in the buzzing Asok area.

the gatekeeper


Cafe Hopper Review: Provence@Chitlom, Bangkok (Gaysorn Plaza)

This is the second cafe that I am reviewing in Bangkok. Its hard to find a good cafe outlet especially when you are not so familiar with the place. I was roaming around while waiting for a local Thai friend to finish his MBA class. We are suppose to meet at Terminal 21, one of my favorite shopping malls in town. For those who are not so familiar with Bangkok, Terminal 21 is situated at Asok. The unique thing about the mall is that every floor has a unique country theme. For instant, the second floor is Japanese and the third floor is Istanbul if I am not wrong. The things there are pretty affordable. I love to shop for shirts and bags over there. Some of the shops operates in JJ market as well but JJ market is just too hot for any shopper in my opinion. I went there once to get some stuff for Toffee, my toy poodle, and I was perspiring like hell!

Anyway, I was in Gaysorn and I bummed into Provence Cafe in the mall. Its a very pretty cafe with the attempt to bring in the Italian atmosphere into the mall. The cafe is situated on the second floor or third floor and its very spacial. You will have a feeling of sitting by the park when you are in the cafe. The only thing rather strange about the cafe is that they don’t serve latte. I decided to go for cappuccino instead. However, they also run out of that. The staff were a little unfriendly at first when I sat down. Maybe because I was not very richly dressed and Gaysorn is a pretty up-market mall in Bangkok, almost equivalent to our Paragon in Orchard Road. Since they did not have latte or cappuccino, I decided to just order the iced thai coffee and a set of club sandwiches. Because people are scarce in Gaysorn, you will find that sitting in Provence provides a sense of tranquillity and peace. In addition, you will be getting aroma from many of the aromatherapy shops, selling all kinds of products there. As such, it can be pretty relaxing just sitting down there and rest before you go for your next round of shopping in town.

The coffee was pretty ordinary. Well, it tasted very much like coffee but I like their club sandwich. The toast effect is good…crispy on the outside and the softness of the various ingredients inside. The ingredients are pretty wholesome and its worth a try if you are a sandwich lover. I can’t say that it is fantastic but pretty reasonable in taste and texture I guess. Do drop by Provence and have a look and experience for yourself some up-market shopping in Gaysorn as well. If I remember correctly they have a LV outlet there and a Hugo Boss.

the gatekeeper




Cafe Hopper Review: Chock Full Of Beans@Changi Village

I was attending one of the many invites to BBQ and its really has been a long since I attend any of these BBQ session. Its always not so pleasant to do BBQ in Singapore as the weather is hot and humid. Anyway, I went for it…turned out to be quite fun and of course a lot of mosquitoes as well. They had their fun sucking our blood while we happily BBQ our way. We felt rather bored and decided to explore the place a little. After all, its been a long time since I came to Changi Village. I remember there are a few nice cafes around the area as well. Of course, Cafe Hopper won’t miss a single chance to hop into one of them. This time round, I hoped into Chock Full of Beans. I have heard of this one from many friends. I love the name and always wonder why they decided to use the word “Chock”. I didn’t bother to find out anyway…

We just had a whole lot of BBQ food so we decided to just order drinks from this one. I must say that the only surprise we got from them are the latte art on every cup of coffee they serve. When the first cup of coffee arrived, it was a Tic-Tac-Toe pattern. We we were so excited over and it we waited with excitement for the next cup of coffee to arrive. Well, I must say that they never fail to surprise us what’s the next pattern on the next cup of coffee. Other then this, I must say that the coffee taste pretty normal. Nothing very exceptional about it.

I love the decor. Again, it has a little woody element in it and it always warm my heart to see people use wood as part of their designs. The shop space is pretty small and thus, I am quite impressed by the decor and the space consumption in the cafe. This commendable. Of course, they have outside seatings as well but honestly if given a choice, most people would like the comfort of the air-conditioning, which in my opinion is the best invention by human hands.

This is one cafe that is worth the visit if you have already travelled all the way far east to Changi. A very good resting place from all the beach activities in the area. Or perhaps, a good place to chill after your dinner there or supper.


the gatekeeper



Cafe Hopper Review: Joan Bowen@The Village

Wow! I have not logged in for quite a while and I am now doing this from Bangkok. I was told by my Thai friend that there’s lots of interesting cafes waiting for me to write about here. I certainly hope that I will have time to do so. I have been very busy getting ready for the trip and so I have neglected all my readers for a long while. I am so sorry about this.

This is a cafe that I have visited quite some time ago. We had a little retreat there and it turned out to be a pleasant surprise find. Joan Bowen is not new to some and it is famous for employing people who are mentally challenged so that they can earn a living for themselves as well. I really like this spirit of social enterprise. When you entered Joan Bowen, it will give you a cottage style feel. Oh yah, and I feel that I am entering a very nice, cosy , swiss cottage home. Usually you won’t see a big crowd here but that doesn’t mean that they are not good. Joan Bowen is acclaimed for their fish and chips and I must say that this acclamation is not in vain. The fish is fresh and the portion is really huge. Another dish that you should try is the ribs. The meat is very tender and the BBQ sauce is really good.

I didn’t think too much about the coffee there. I would think of Joan Bowen as a restaurant first rather than a cafe. Interestingly, they serve very good coffee. They are not your usual kind of latte or cappuccino, just very normal coffee but the coffee is fragrant and it really awakens the soul. Most of us ordered the coffee and I must say that it feels good when the whole room is filled with the aromatic scent of coffee.

Joan Bowen is one place you certainly need to pay a visit. Good food, great coffee and a good cause for social enterprise…what else to ask for?

the gatekeeper




Cafe Hopper Review: Maison Ikkoku Cafe@Kandahar Street

Maison Ikkoku Cafe – heard of this cafe from a friend and always thought that it is located in some mysterious corner of Singapore. I happened to be walking along Beach Road and coincidentally I bummed into this little cafe at the corner of Kandahar Street, some what alongside Beach Road. Well, not that mysterious after all, but it is certainly near the famous Sultan Mosque near Baghdad Street.

When you enter the cafe, it gives you a very cellar feel. You will notice the lighting with pipeline design and the uneven wall surface that makes it seems like some underground place. You would also notice the hanging cabinets at the ceiling. My personal feel is that it is one cosy corner with a slight stain it character in it. It’s actually a pretty cosy corner, especially when my friend and I had walked a long way.

I ordered my usual latte and a piece of carrot cake which my friend agreed to share with me. You know I can’t have too much of these cakes….not very healthy for me. I was allured by the little carrot design on the cake and told myself…just this once! I must say that the latte was really nice. It’s one of the best latte I have ever tasted so far. The roasted after taste of the latte was simply addictive and the coffee bean is a good mixed of 4 or 5 different types of beans. They are pretty open about their mix which I really find it very good.

The carrot cake was wholesome and I must say very tasty. You can see how wholesome it is when you see the filling in between the layers. Every bite of the cake comes with the many other ingredients in it. I love the cake. I doubt they bake the cake themselves but I must say they certainly have very good suppliers. However, $6 for a piece of cake is a bit pricey actually. Ok, let’s not talk about dollars and cents here.n

On a whole, it was a very refreshing experience in the cafe. The cellar or underground feel of the cafe give customers a sense of a secret hiding place where you can gossip about your boss, or bitch about your friends or just philosophising about life. Certainly a cool chill out place! I left my name card with them and introduced myself as cafe hopper to them….

The gatekeeper