It is rare to find cafes which are unassumingly tucked away in a corner of an HDB. Popular for their specialty coffee chains in Malaysia, Coffee Nowhere have expanded to Singapore. Their new outlet has opened in Tampines which should be welcome news to the East-siders. Their name actually stands for ‘Coffee Now Here’. Their Tampines outlet is quite small and can seat around 12 people. It would typically suit folks looking for a quick coffee break or takeaway. The cafe structure is linear and the dimly-lit yellow lights give it a warm feel.
The cafe has the standard fare in the menu – sandwiches, waffles, juices, coffee and tea. But the menu has some very interesting options that I tried for the first time and they turned out to be really good.
Coffee nowhere counter
Coffee nowhere menu
To get our caffeine kick, we ordered the ‘Creme Brulee Capuccino’ which had a nice taste to it. The layer on the top made it look like a creme brulee and the taste of burnt sugar was subtly present which made it a good choice.
Since the menu options did seem interesting in terms of the flavours, we ordered the ‘Rose Latte’. At the beginning, I was apprehensive as to how this entire drink was going to turn out but I ended up loving it. They use the Monin flavored gourmet syrups in their flavored lattes which gave it a nice twist. The almond biscotti paired well with this latte.
Creme brulee cappucino at $7.80
The waffles trend is here to stay in Singapore and almost every cafe has it in the menu. The ‘Strawberry Waffles’ at this cafe was decent. The waffles could have been a bit crisper, but they were light and fluffy on the inside. The ‘Snow White’ scoop of ice cream was really good. Their ice cream counter has a neat display of a variety of flavours and that is really pleasing to see.
Rose latte at $6.80
The service staff is extremely friendly and open to suggestions. Like their other outlets in the West side, I really wish they had more space inside the cafe. On the whole – for their good service, for some unique offerings and for satiating your dessert cravings even late into the night, Coffee Nowhere is worth a visit if you are in the area.
Strawberry waffles with snow white ice cream at $12.80
One aspect of food experimentation is trying new cuisines. It was nice to see So Pho open a new outlet at Tampines. It opened a while back and I’d been wanting to try it out since I saw a decent number of vegetarian options on their menu. This chain serves Vietnamese cuisine in a casual and contemporary setting. They have the standard Ikea decor but they have personalized it with quotes on the wall with interesting twists on the word ‘Pho’. This is run by Katrina Holdings who also run ‘Bali Thai’ and some other restaurants. This restaurant is Halal-certified.
To begin with, we ordered the ‘Banh Mi Chay’ which is the vegetarian traditional Vietnamese baguette. The baguette is crisp and filled with fresh vegetables. When you bite into it, you will enjoy the overall crunch of the baguette with the lettuce. Even though it looks small, it is quite filling.
Vietnamese cuisine is known for its noodle preparations. Knowing that, we ordered the ‘Bun Dau’ which was a vermicelli-style noodle drizzled with a lively sauce. The vermicelli was made of rice and contained sauteed tofu along with some vegetables. This dish was not as great as we had expected. The noodles were quite greasy and as the heat reduced, became difficult to eat.
Banh Mi Chay at $5.5
I wanted to have rice for the mains and ordered the ‘Com Chen Chay’ which was the Vegetarian Fried Rice. The dish was good to look at when it was served and it ended up being good in taste too. It is served on a lotus leaf in a traditional Vietnamese manner. It has loads of vegetables like carrots, bell pepper, tofu and greens. I enjoyed this dish.
Bun Dau at $9.8
To beat the Singapore heat, we chose ‘Lemongrass Iced Tea’. It was light and refreshing and not sweet in taste.
Com chen chay at $8.8
It was our lucky day as the ‘Xoi Che Vdi Xoai’ was available in the desserts. This is the famous Mango with Glutinous Rice drizzled with Gula Melaka and sesame seeds. This dessert was extremely good and I am sure that it being the mango season also really helped in nailing this sweet treat.
Lemongrass iced tea at $3.2
For their quick service, decent dishes, affordable prices and for a different cuisine experience, So Pho is surely worth trying out. They also have other outlets at Paragon, NEX and JEM.
Mango with glutinous rice at $4.8
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Vietnamese
|Nearest MRT: Tampines
|Address: 4 Tampines Central 5, #04-30, Singapore 529510
|Timings: Mon-Sun: 11 am – 10 pm
In the food courts or round markets in Singapore, it’s nice to chance upon a vegetarian stall offering broth and vegetable combinations. During one of my random outings in Tampines round market, I came across this small food stall serving pancakes. Upon inquiry, I got to know that it has been around for decades. The name of the stall was Granny’s Pancake and somehow, I liked the place at once. Part of the reason could be that there was a smiling grandma serving these hot pancakes over the counter. The stall was quite crowded in the morning and since it was labelled as a vegetarian plus eggless pancake stall, I was tempted to try it.
Granny’s pancake shop
When my turn came to place the order, I asked the smiling granny as to what I should try at her shop since I was visiting the stall for the first time. Her suggestion was that I try the ‘Coconut Pancake’. The coconut filling was bright orange and looked striking and delicious. When I had my first bite, what struck me was the coconut was nicely moist and sweet. The dough was soft and spongy on the exterior and the filling was fresh in the interior. This gave the pancake a perfect balance. Totally worth a try.
Next I decided to go for the ‘Red bean Pancake’ which was quite interesting. They are quite generous in their filling and that makes every bite of the pancake delicious. The red bean paste was well applied all over and was not very sweet. Two pieces of the pancake when eaten at the same time are quite filling.
I plan to try their peanut butter flavour the next time. I think they close by 2 pm on weekdays and it is better to go in the mornings to be sure to get these pieces since they literally sell like hot pancakes. I totally enjoyed my pancake experience at this place and as far as my memory goes I did not pay more than $4 for my purchase of 4 pieces. They have other outlets across Singapore as well.
Red bean pancake
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Pancakes
|Nearest MRT: Tampines/Simei
|Address:Blk 138 Tampines St 11, #01-148 Singapore 521138
|Timings: Till 2 pm on weekdays; Not sure about weekend timings