Cafe Hopper Review: Doi Chaang Coffee @ Rochester Park

Was at a lost of which cafe to hop to for my off day and decided to consult some of my friends for suggestion. One of my friends reminded me of this thai origin cafe at Rochester Park. I have heard people talked about it but haven’t been there. For Doi Chaang Coffee please do me a favour to Google on your own.

I was really feeling very tired this week and was really hoping that I can find a good resting place for my tired soul. It wasn’t that difficult to find the cafe after all. It wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be but reasonably simple decor…more minimalist style. They are suppose to be famous for their layered cheese cake, especially the matcha flavoured. Sadly it was out of stock this morning. I guess the only reason why it’s out of stock could be that its really damn bloody good. Haha. I ordered the Hokkaido milk layered cake and their iced lemongrass americano. I was quite impressed by the lemongrass americano. The Thai people can make anything out of lemongrass and I guess this time is coffee. The lemongrass favour really made me miss Thailand and I was reminiscing Bangkok and Korat as I savour the coffee. The layered cake was refreshing and very pleasant to my taste. The textual is soft but not looking it’s feel.

I spent a good one hour plus there and started writing my next piece of poem. I had inspiration then. I think this is a good attempt to bring a piece of Thailand to our Singaporean cafe enthusiasts here. Worth the visit guys!

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The Gatekeeper

Cafe Hopper Review: The Lokal@Neil Road

I heard so much about the cafe and looked out some review about the place. Now finally I am here today. It’s not exactly a difficult find but still I decided to take a cab just to avoid wasted walking. The cafe is really located at the corner between Bukit Pasoh and Neil Road. A very nice corner indeed. I walked in and just as I expected, not crowded. It’s a weekday you see and it’s always a good privilege to be able to visit cafe during weekdays, not crowded and you can slowly take your time to savour the coffee and the cafe food. Over the years, due to the cafe culture, there has developed this category of cafe cuisine. I guess it’s the same for The Lokal as well.

I ordered my usual latte and this time with their French toast. They did surprised me with their combination of,French toast, melted ice cream and crispy strip bacon. Lovely combination of sweet and savoury taste. The coffee was something I would really love to have another cup if not because I was hopping to somewhere else later. The overall environment is cosy and with a little pinch of street arts on the wall and at the counter. The cafe provides nice, cosy corners for people to have mini discussion or simply to soak in your quiet time alone!

They have friendly staff here. Was reading somewhere that somebody commented the staff were unfriendly. I didn’t feel that at all when I was there. The lady that served me was even sensitive to my need of my personal quiet solace and thus recommended a corner that I was able to have that. Thanks Germaine if you are reading this.

Lovely place and accessible…So do drop by The Lokal and experience the cafe space too.

The Gatekeeper

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Cafe Hopper and Poem: Narrative, 27/12/2014

Lying on my cosy bed
Watching the raindrops
Falling on my window
My mind flashing back
With lots of memories
Some are hauntingly creepy
Some are fond memories
Of love and passion

We remember our memories
Not because we can’t let go
We remember them because
We have the courage to face them
Memories give us a history
A history for us to recollect
A narrative for us to tell
The story to ourselves

The raindrops keep falling
And my mind keeps dripping
The songs keep playing
Telling me stories after another
I don’t have a nice story to tell
But my narrative is nothing less
Of what flesh and blood constitute
Perhaps, you have a story tonight?

Cafe Hopper Review: Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roastry @ Upper Thomson

This is a new cafe on the block. They took over a corner unit near the former Long House Hawker Center! It was previously Liquid Kitchen and now turned into a boutique cafe! Interior decor is simple but impressive! It’s white in general and even the coffee machine is white in colour. I love the spaciousness of the cafe and cafe goers have enough space to chat with their friends or even sitting alone looking out to the traffic along Upper Thomson road.

I ordered the shrimp and asparagus ragout roll from the menu and was pretty impressed by the creativeness of the breakfast set! The taste was alright and of course you can’t compare them with big western cuisine restaurant! I also ordered the 7oz latte and turned out that the latte is smooth and doesn’t leave behind a after taste. And I was enjoying all of these with a jazzy groove in the background as music!

The overall experience is great and considering that it is only their soft opening! They have not officially open yet and will be soon! You don’t see any cakes in their display shelves for now! A new cafe with lots of potential for growth and development! Just hope that the rent doesn’t kill off creativity and the means to survive!

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Cafe Hopper Review: The Coffee Daily @ Brighton Crescent

Sometimes a planned trip maybe not necessarily turn out well and a random appointment sometimes turn out to be better! This was what happened today when a good friend asked to have lunch! Was rather random but still we decided to go to this cafe at Brighton Crescent. I was really clueless about the place and I discovered that it’s pretty near Chom Chom food center at Serangoon!

When I arrived at the cafe I was totally captured by the retro outlook and knew that this was going to be great! The cafe has a homely team… No uniformed furnishing… All the chairs and tables are randomly mixed and matched! But in their randomness there is a certain retro flair! I love the furnishing and I love the rainbow cake even more. I thought as first it was an ordinary sponge cake kind of rainbow cake. When I took the first bite I knew that the texture of the cake is firm and chewy to the mouth! I love the overall texture! However, it’s a little pricy at $10 per piece. Oh and the way they presented their cake to me was truly a pleasant surprise! Well… My picture tells it all!

I ordered the latte as well! They have different flavor of latte and I think the toffee latte was good! I ordered that because of my dog which has the same name! I love this cafe and I if not because of its inaccessibility, I would make this my regular haunt!

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Cafe Hopper Review: Old Hen Cafe @ Rangoon Road

This is really a very back-dated entry. I have visted this particular cafe last month or so and finally found time and space to pen this down in my blog. Old Hen is some where that I actually planned to visit. I have heard so much about their cold brew coffee and seen so many nice pictures of the legendary bottle in Instagram. Thus, that Sunday morning after my church service, I have decided to give my normal Starbucks at Raffles City a miss and travel down to Rangoon road for this new experience. The cafe was suppose to start operation at 10am and when I was there two young dudes greeted me and asked me if I was here for the cafe. I replied, ‘Yes!’ They told me that they have forgotten the key to the cafe and the father is sending the key down. It would probably take about an hour before the key arrived. Oh…I was rather amused and surprised by the annoucement. I decided to take a cool morning walk down Rangoon road to see if there’s anything else that would excite me.

I returned to Old Hen and was impressed by the neatness of the cafe and the simplicity of it all. Its a very white based cafe and yes….with some dried flowers. I love the big, long table the most. I asked about the cold brew coffee and was very interested to know what is it all about. Basically it was a unique way of brewing coffee with cold water instead of hot water. Not many cafes have this except for Chye Seng Huat Hardware and one or two more. The cold brew is supposedly effective in extracting out the bitter taste of the coffee and making the coffee smoother. When I took the first sip from the bottle, I did felt that the coffee was smoother and certainly tasted good without the bitterness.

I managed to get Terry, one of the partners of the cafe to chat with me for a very long time. His other partner is his twin brother and they both came back from Australia and decided to start Old Hen cafe together. I thought its pretty cool to start something together like this one….and they went to Bangkok for their barista training. I shared with them my cafe hopping experience, both in Singapore and Thailand. It was such a good time of sharing that I actually walked out of the cafe without paying for it. Yes…I actually did that! I was so embarrased when I found out about it and called them immediately to apologise. I paid them evetually…yes I did….!

Ok, coming back to the cafe…it does have alot of potential to develop further. They definitely need to beef up a little for food….and probably a bit more advertising and publicity. Rangoon Road is emerging quite strongly as a cafe haunt soon…..so they have a good location here.

The Gatekeeper

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Cafe Hopper Review: Jewel Cafe & Bar @ Rangoon Road

Visiting Jewel was a mistake. Don’t get me wrong…it isn’t a bad cafe. I was suppose to visit another cafe along the same road … I arrived at the cafe at 10:00am sharp (their opening hour) but the owner forgot the bring the key out and so customer and two owners were locked out of the cafe. Well, so I decided to take a slow walk down the road. To my surprise, I found another cafe along the same road. So, how can I resist this great find or I should say “mistake”.

There is nothing very spectacular about the cafe but I must say that the cafe has a very cosy feel when you stepped in. I would say that this is a good place to have your morning breakfast on a Sunday and be charged for the rest of your activities of the day. I ordered their egg benedict and I must they are pretty nicely done. I love the crisp coming from the muffin toast. When you bite it down you can feel the crisp and trust me, it’s quite nice having that sensation on a Sunday morning.

The Gatekeeper

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Cafe Hopper Review: OZ Specialty Coffee @ Upper Thomson Road

Been wanting to pay this very small cafe a visit, but somehow always deterred by it’s size and the fact that majority of it’s seating space is outdoor! Today, after my hike at Macritchie Reservoir, I decided to pay a visit to any of the cafés along Upper Thomson! Since I have not been here, guess this will be my pick for the day! I came with the intention of just having a cuppa of latte or piccolo, so glad to find piccolo in the menu! I also ordered a set of Belgian waffles! Just a very simple Sunday brunch! I love simple Sunday brunch!

I was impressed by coffee it serves and love the taste of it’s beans! However, the Belgian waffles were pretty ordinary! Small the cafe maybe, it does lift up to it’s name of being a “specialty coffee”. Of course we can’t expect too much from a tiny cafe like this when it comes to food! So I am totally alright about the food being ordinary! I also love the counter seat which somehow shut myself away from the rest of the people in the cafe!

A good cosy corner for a good cuppa of coffee! Do come and experience the marvel of small space!

The Gatekeeper

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Cafe Hopper Review: Clouds and Pebbles @ Central Embassy, Bangkok

This is really a way overdue entry. I was in Bangkok like about two weeks ago and I finally got the time to put in this entry. Was busy with so many things. Anyway I have decided to slow down a little today and let time catch up with me. For that, I decided to make a long way down to Haji Lane – visiting those vintage shops, fashion and cafes….did I mention cafes? Yah I did mentioned cafes. How can I miss that out right? I have not written anything about the cafes along Haji Lane. Soon I will be. For now, let me finish my last of the four cafes that I visited during my Bangkok trip two weeks ago.

Clouds and Pebbles is located at Central Embassy, a brand new shopping mall near Pleonchit Station. This cafe was also featured during the recent Bangkok Bakers Festival. They are famous for their various types of yogurt dessert and trust me they are really sweet to your soul. I almost felt like I was dying of diabetes. Don’t get me wrong! Not that they are not good….just that most of their stuffs are too sweet for me. However, they do serve pretty nice coffee. I ordered a piccolo…yes…they have piccolo. For cafe hopper like myself, we are always excited to find piccolo in the menu. Why? Cos we don’t want to have an overdose of caffeine.

There are many other big time cafes in Central Embassy itself. If you are needing a good cafe chillax right smack in Bangkok city, Central Embassy may be a good one stop station for some of the famous cafes like Audrey Cafe, Harrods Cafe and etc.

The Gatekeeper

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Cafe Hopper Review: Karmakamet Diner @ Sukhumvit Soi 24

This was an arduous find for me. It took me two days, two tries to find the cafe. Eventually it was through another Thai cafe hopper friend that I found the cafe. It’s really quite tuck in at one corner of Sukhumvit Soi 24, definitely not within sight. The trick is, hit Emporium Hotel at BTS Prom Phong, check with the hotel staff where is Karmakamet Diner, they will direct you to this beautifully crafted cafe. Of course, now that I know, I won’t need to hit the hotel anymore, but still thankful for them to direct me to this place.

Once you entered the compound of the cafe, you will have straightaway experience the rustic feel. The grounds are cemented with pebbles and the you will feel like the cafe is situated in some mountain area. Stepping into the cafe itself, you will be greeted with a aromatic smell of herbs and spices. There is a corner in the cafe that sell Karmakamet’s own aromatherapy products. You will also see herbs and spices being planted all over the cafe to bring out the nature feel of the place. Of course, the woody furnishing also adds on to the nature feel. In short, I have simply fallen in love to this haven right smack in Sukhumvit area.

I ordered the ice black coffee and Gravlax Salad recommended by my Thai cafe hopper friend. He said this is a must try. When I received the salad, I can understand why it’s a must try. It has pretty expensive ingredients in it, like fish roe and caviar. The greens are very fresh as well and the overall outlook of the dish is gorgeously decorated. Just looking at the salad would have up your appetite for more. The black coffee is pretty ordinary but I guess their strength seems to be in their variety of cocktails and mocktails. However, it was too early in huge morning and I really don’t wish to have cocktail. I gave it a miss but will come back again for the cocktail one day.

I sat there for a good one hour or more and I felt good just chilling out there and enjoying the aromatic smell of herbs and spices. I took lots of photos here and even a selfie to share with my readers that I visited this cafe haven in Bangkok. This is a must-visit for passionate cafe hopper and you will appreciate more if you experience the arduous find for it.

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