Chasing away monday blues at Homebodies

I finally checked out homebodies during lunch today.

And I am glad I did.

It’s difficult to find a nice quiet place in raffles place. At least now I know there is somewhere I can go to when I need some peace and quiet (may not stay this way for long), and my caffeine fix.

Hidden away on the second level of a shophouse, the signage probably will not even call out to a passerby. But once you make your way up the stairs, the cosy coffee joint greets you through a huge piece of glass.

They have a simple no-frills menu. Coffee is either white or black, with varying sizes for each. I got myself the 8oz white (S$5). It was a little too milky for my liking but anyhow, I liked it and was a happy soul after the cuppa.

Food-wise, it only serves hot dogs. You get a choice of original (S$8.50), wagyu (S$10) or kurobuta (S$10) . $1 top up for the brioche or sunflower seed panini (instead of the original hot dog bun). I’m a huge fan of hot dogs so this menu worked for me.

Decor is minimalistic and stylish with lots of wood accents. The result is a cosy and inviting space which feels almost like home. Seems to me a perfect place to read a book, have a cuppa and enjoy the gorgeous view of the Singapore river.

Pictures probably can tell a better story.

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homebodies
60A Boat Quay, 2nd floor
Singapore 049848

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

Tiong Bahru Bakery

I have to admit that for the longest time (living in my little well), I thought that the much hyped about Tiong Bahru bakery was a local bakery. I didn’t know much about it except that it’s become really packed and popular since it opened in (where else but) Tiong Bahru just a couple of months ago. Well, but a quick search on the Internet has revealed that it’s actually the brainchild of the local spa esprit group and Gontran Cherrier, a French celerity baker.

No wonder.

So anyway I finally managed to check it out last night because it recently opened a second store at raffles city! I was there for dinner and only a few tables were occupied. It has a weird system though. Basically you cannot get seats first. You have to queue, place your order, pay and then get assigned a table (table number will be reflected on receipt) before you can collect your cutlery and sit down at the assigned table.

I thought the chorizo croque Monsieur and the sandwich were pretty regular. It didn’t make me go WOW. But oh well to be fair I did not order their croissants which are their bestsellers. I thought the lemon tart was really yummy and refreshing though. I really enjoyed it! my only complaint was that the crust was a little bit too hard for my liking. My flat white was perfect!

I’ll probably return to try their croissants and other desserts (which looked pretty promising) someday but I think I’ll pass on their sandwiches.

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Tiong Bahru bakery
252 North Bridge Road
#B1-11/12
Raffles City Shopping Centre
Singapore

Date at Loysel’s Toy Cafe

It’s been a while since ys and I went anywhere without Aly. So we decided we would give ourselves a short break this afternoon and left Aly at my mum’s place while we scooted off for wanton mee at old airport road and to check out Loysel’s toy cafe.

I’ve been wanting to check it out for a long time but never had the chance to. But after seeing the lovely pic of the cuppa being served at the cafe on nerdymummy’s blog , I decided to check it out today since its near my mum’s place.

Loysel’s toy cafe occupies the first floor of an old warehouse, right at the end of kampong Bugis, which is really near the junction of kallang road and lavendar road. Given that it’s not that easily accessible, ys and I were quite shocked to find that it’s actually really crowded and almost all the tables (including the ones outdoors) were occupied! I think what’s attractive about the place is the relaxed vibe (which is ever so popular with youngsters) these days and of course, the coffee!!

I had wanted to try the piccolo but because the weather was so warm today and we were seated outdoors, we ordered the iced mocha and iced latte instead, both of which were amaaaaazing! The salted caramel pecan cake was just so-so in my opinion but we are definitely returning for the coffee!!

Anyway, it was a simple date but it was nice, just chatting over coffee, laughing about silly things and enjoying each other’s company. I think we were both thankful for that short break and will try to do this more often. It’s definitely good for our sanity 🙂

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Loysel’s toy cafe
66 kampong Bugis #01-01 Singapore