Gem in the East – Penny University

I love good coffee and I love pretty cafes but it’s not easy to find both at the same time.

Hip coffee joints have been sprouting up across Singapore in the last two years but never in the east where I live! The closest was Loysel’s toy, which is still considered central rather than east.

So I was really excited when I learnt about Penny University opening along east coast road. I have been hearing rave reviews about this cafe (esp about the desserts) but never had the opportunity to check it out until last Saturday. It had been raining the entire day and we were in need of our coffee fix, and was thinking of a place where we could just chill out, and enjoy a cuppa and a dessert. So we decided it shall be Penny University.

It is located along east coast road (beside margarita’s) near the junction of east coast road and telok kurau road. Parking can be a problem but we managed to find parking along telok kurau road near the junction.

It’s a charming little coffee joint with an indie laid-back vibe – has 2 booth seats, about 7 or 8 tables for smaller groups of 2 or 3, and a bigger communal table (which is a concept that is gaining popularity these days). I liked that it was casual and fuss free. You get your own seats, order and pay at the counter, and your food and drinks get delivered to you.



They have a small menu consisting of sandwiches, all-day breakfast items, and daily selection of pies, pastries and cakes. Coffee orders are straightforward – either espresso with milk or espresso without milk. I love small menus. It means I spend less time angsting over what to order and it usually also means these guys know what they are good at and keep to it.

We got ourselves espresso with milk. Some may find the coffee a tad too acidic for their liking but I loved it. In fact, I loved it so much I dropped the sugar. We also ordered a lemon strawberry tart to share. I may not have tasted many lemon tarts in the last three decades of my life but can I just say that this has to be my favourite by far. The smooth lemon filling was refreshing, not too sour and not too sweet, and just tangy enough for me.


We intended to only have coffee and dessert but couldn’t resist ordering cheese toasties with marmite and poached eggs from their all-day breakfast menu to share. All I can say is, it was yumz. I thought it was worth every cent of the 6 bucks we paid! The poached eggs were done well, the bread was toasted to perfection and I loved the marmite, cheese and poached eggs combi to bits!


Ok, granted we didn’t get to chill out much since we had Aly with us (toddlers and chilling out are mutually exclusive) but we really enjoyed the food and coffee and will definitely return. For date night perhaps?

What’s your favourite cafe in your neighborhood?

**Just a note, it’s not a kid friendly place (and I am not surprised and don’t blame them). I asked for a baby chair and was told they didn’t have one, so we ended up taking turns to have Aly sit on our laps. Tight spaces between the tables also mean that strollers may not be that practical.

Penny University
402 East Coast Road
Singapore 428997