Sunday, January 16, 2011

Forty Hands Coffee ...... Gourmet coffee in the quaint Tiong Bahru neighbourhood

When I heard from my sis-in-law about a new cafe right in the middle of the old, still quaint part of Tiong Bahru, I knew I had to plan some time to visit. I've been staying near the area for almost 10 years and it's really nice to know that there's some buzz around that part of Tiong Bahru that seemed to escape the wrath of urban redevelopment. This Saturday, I had some spare time to kill after having my usual "goon-du" haircut with my regular neighborhood barber. While waiting for HY, for her hair to be 'sculptured' by her stylist, I stole some moments inside Forty Hands Coffee.

I have to drive two times around the block before I managed to spot Forty Hands when some delivery truck decided to drive off, revealing the 'Tiong Bahru's treasure trove of gourmet coffee'. 

Do you see a hip cafe along this stretch of SIT residential?
Check out where that little sign board near the corner leads you.
The price of coffee here can be a little pricier than elsewhere as Forty Hands claims that they support sustainably produced coffee beans and put their focus on Fair Trade Coffee and Direct Trade coffee. All these made drinking coffee more responsible and ethical. Responsibility and ethical? Click on the links to understand more.

The cafe latte here's quite good. It has a stronger taste of fragrant roast and lesser richness from the milk. This comparison was measured against my personal favorite. I prefer a stronger richness of milk in my latte. So, Kith Cafe or Jones the Grocer is the one I liked. The carrot cake was the moist type that I like. Apart from the typical cakes and coffee, I heard from my friends that they served one of the best "tau sar" bun. There's also the breakfast menu to try out. I think I'll have to come back to better appreciate the "finer" stuff that Forty Hands has to offer.

Here's my order of S$4 cup of Cafe Latte and a S$5.50 piece of Carrot Cake.
The cafe extends in a longish manner from the entrance at Yong Siak street, through the packed air-conditioned section, all the the way to the rear door where the 'outside' seats are located. The 'outside' seats, as the lady serving me at the barrista counter put it, is a high ceiling section of the cafe that leads to the rear door. This Saturday afternoon, there were hardly any seats available at the air-conditioned section. I chose a seat nearest to the rear door. This corner was quite a chill-out corner. I was able to enjoy my coffee without much disturbance, away from the rest of the cool folks who came to check out the cafe as well.

I enjoyed chilling out with my cuppa in the high ceiling 'outside' seats
The unassuming entrance, with the "Forty Hands" sign tucked in a corner,
blends nicely, almost hidden, as if Forty Hands didn't want to shout out loud
to spoil the peaceful, quiet Saturday afternoon of Yong Siak Street. 
My experience with Forty Hands had been a short 30 minutes before HY called that she's ready for me to pick her up. However, the chill-out factor of the place made it seemed much longer than that. Anyway, 30 minutes is a lot of time to polish off a slice of cake, a cup of coffee and yet still enjoy the ambience. After I'm done with my Saturday's quota of indulging, I lugged my camera and sauntered out the rear door that leads to the public car park.

If you spot gf walking pass while you are having a cuppa with another babe,
this is the 'emergency' exit  (rear door) that you need to know. ;-)
78 Yong Siak Street #01-12
Tel : +65 6225 8545
Forty Hands Website


Unknown said...

i was there on Sat too! tried the most expensive dau-sa-bao in Singapore. not bad.

Unknown said...

Need to try that during my next visit :)

Boon Teck said...

the all-day breakfasts are pretty good too! and the truffle mushroom sandwich.

we seem to have a trend of aussie cafes/ bistros opening in Singapore. love them for their coffee!

boon teck

Unknown said...

Boon Teck : The more the merrier. Great for caffeine addicts like me. Cheers!

Unknown said...

Thanks Nicole!


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