Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Cafe: Chye Seng Huat Hardware

By Tuesday, September 04, 2012 , , , , ,

The Father of the Third Wave Coffee Movement, Papa Palheta, has started a new cafe called Chye Seng Huat Hardware. This cooler than thou coffee joint has only been opened for a month or so and has been drawing in coffee affectionados, yuppies and indie wannabes despite its rather inaccessible location. Then again, it's a smart way of picking their target audience as seen by the number of Golfs, Minis and Audis scrambling for lots, looking a little out of place in the traditionally cheena estate of Jalan Besar.

True to its Papa Palheta beginnings, this coffee bar could be easily missed by the untrained hippie eyes (the entrance is not by the store-front but through the tow-away sign by the side). The owners have kept the decor true to the heritage of the site and area with with the traditional facade that is in line with the rest of the shophouses. The Art Deco facility is touched up with modern and sleek lines while embracing the use of the industrious steel bars, grills and sheets. Thank god for this. I'm getting sick of all that "Scandinavian brick walls" already.
CSHH is their flagship store of Papa Palheta, the largest of the 3 outlets. This 8000sqft compound houses not only the coffee bar, it is practically a school for coffee education. Other than serving novices the flawless coffee, CSHH aims to enlighten your taste buds and open your eyes to a world of aromatic beans through 3 levels: The Roastery, the Annex and the C-Platform. Watch the magic begins with the transformation of the fresh beans to roasted brown seeds at the Roastery.
Be treated to an exclusive tasting at the Annex (three-course session which includes coffee and light bites for $23). Satisfy your inner chemist geek at the C-Platform, where you learn more about the state-of-the-art coffee gadgets, apparatus and machines. 
For the DIY nut in you, grab the V60 filters, Chemex sets, espresso machines, beans and all by Papa (single origins and blends) off the grill and wood racks. If that is not your cup of coffee, sit back and relax as you hang out around the first 360-degree coffee bar in Singapore while the barristers grind and steam it for your cuppa. The signature Terra Firma blend is used in espresso based drinks (S$4 onwards), as well as single origin ones. Or go for the cold brew coffee(not iced)(S$7), served in a cough syrup bottle (really cool) or a coffee beer (S$7.50+), a special concoction by Jungle Beer and Papa.
What really excited me was the food. I'm really more of a cafe than a coffee person and the food really kinda makes or breaks a place for me. The 10 item menu which includes a mix of sweets and savories (not inclusive of the desserts rack at the counter), is carefully conceptualized. Extensive thought and effort has gone into planning this as compared to the pathetic offerings at Loysel's Toy.
The Patrick's Platter (S$16) is lovingly presented on a wooden board and has all my favorite meats: Pork rillette, duck terrine and parma ham. Everything works, down to the sweet-ish pickles and zesty tomato bruschetta sides. The pate is a smooth butter that glides onto the airy and slightly salty muffin like panini? bread. I tasted a hint of salted egg yolk. Don't ask me how but it's awesome. 
The Smoked Salmon Sandwich with cream cheese, onion and capers (S$11) was also a delight. Love the succulent smoked slices of pink meat that is contrasted by spurts of citrus from the capers. Or if you want something more substantial, go for the beef or chicken patties. They look like a carnivore's dream. 
Do save some space for the tea cakes on display. The Hazelnut ginger tea cake (S$3) is an interesting combination which surprisingly worked well together. The salty buttery crumble top gives way to a moist and sweet bottom with a hint of spice in the ginger chunks. Gotta have this really. The chocolate cake is also a hot favorite, along with the madeleines.

There really isn't a better place to be educated on coffee in Singapore right now. Even if you are not that into coffee, this is still the place to flaunt your pretentious self while you enjoy the food on offer. Chye Seng Huat Hardware is the place to see and be seen and it's at the top of my cafe list right now. Peace.

Chye Seng Huat Hardware
150 Tyrwhitt Road
Singapore 207563
Tel : +65 6396 0609
Tue-Thu: 9am-7pm
Fri-Sun: 9am-10pm

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  1. woohoo I didn't know such place exist. I want to learn more about coffee appreciation and seems like it is a good place to check out.

    1. Yeap. Would love to do the tasting at the Annex. Love the food options too. :)