I chanced upon this café while taking a walk around Kampong Glam waiting for SushiAirways to open doors for dinner.
The bright blue shade outside the cafe with its huge Chinese logo and the words “traditional pastries” caught my eyes. I thought this would be a nice place to park ourselves for a while and take a nibble, since I was hungry. We later found out that this café had just been opened for a week (which means it’s close to a month by now).
A quick look at its menu pasted on the door showed four types of bread, half-boiled egg and tea/coffee sets. It reminded me of Ya Kun. But once you step inside, you will immediately see a shelf full of interesting pastries.
The vibe: Nostalgia is the theme of the café – from the mini grandfather clock and 1930s-style posters of Shanghai ladies in cheongsam hanging on the wall, down to the vintage mementos encased in every table. I can almost hear conversations of some older customers reminiscing about the olden days as they chat and sip coffee here. Younger folks will find some of the mementos interesting. Actually, the place made me feel more like an olden day coffee shop than a café.
The food: Like the décor, the pastries, which I think are the highlights here, are supposed to be old-school style. I only found this out a few days later when I decided to google about the place. I read from TimeOut that the café uses recipes passed down from a grand uncle, so the pastries here are done the ‘50s way.
Here’s what the hubby chose (clockwise, from bottom left): coconut buttercream cupcake, butterfly cupcake, optical case and coconut tart.
I liked the buttercream cupcake and coconut tart the best. The pretty pink buttercream aside, it had a very aromatic butter taste which reminded me of cakes I ate when I was a little girl (somehow, they taste a bit different from modern day butter cakes, do you think so?). The blend of the ultra-smooth buttercream and the cupcake itself gave it a melt-in-your-mouth feel. The coconut tart had a nice texture – you can bite into fragrant coconut bits and the tart was topped with a layer of white chocolate. I thought that was a nice creative touch.
After realizing that the pastries were made from recipes of the 50s, I think I’ll be back another time to savor these treats. I’ll add a cup of tea or coffee to complete the nostalgic experience.
Dong Po Colonial Cafe
56 Kandahar Street198904
Tel: 6398 1318