Because of the SEA Games’ Nila Run sometime ago, my friend and I headed to Kallang to collect our race packs. We ended up looking for nearby cafes to explore as well.
First on our list was the Instagram-famous Tian Kee & Co., followed by the lesser known Brawn & Brains on Guillemard Road.
Tian Kee & Co.
Converted from an old provision shop, Tian Kee & Co. is located in a quiet corner of Dakota Crescent. Despite the sweltering heat, there were many people there on the day we went.
We ordered the rainbow cheesecake, two lattes and a “Half Day Breakfast” to share.
Coffee was decent, but what I really love was the rainbow cheesecake. It was light, not gelak like how dense cheesecakes can be. This is their signature dessert. If you head to the café in hot weather, I’ll advise you to eat the rainbow cake fast because it melts into a puddle when it gets warmer!
The Half Day Breakfast could be better, though. Both the potatoes and egg weren’t seasoned well enough and tasted a little bland.
The neighbourhood is a perfect location for hipster photography. Plus, so many pretty cats if you are a cat lover.
Brawn & Brains
Another café we visited was Brawn & Brains, a teeny weeny café along Guillemard Road.
Had the smoked salmon wrap (which was more of a taco) and sugared pistachio croissant, with a mocha and flat white to go along. The food is decent, and in terms of pricing, very affordable for a café, though portions are quite small. The coffee was a little bitter, but it could be because of the blend I chose – Brawn & Brains let you choose your own blend for your coffee.
Between the two cafes, Tian Kee and Brawn & Brains, I’d say that Brawn & Brains has more affordable (and slightly better tasting) food and coffee compared to Tian Kee. However, I don’t think people who café hop only consider food as their only criteria! The location must be interesting enough for photography as well. In that aspect, Tian Kee would be a better choice, because it’s such an Instagram-worthy café.
Whatever your choice, do remember to explore the quaint and retro Dakota Crescent when you are done. It’s such a quiet and nostalgic neighbourhood, and I am quite sad to hear that everyone will have to move out by the end of 2016 to make way for further development. So do visit this place while it’s still standing.