As one of the most popular coffee houses in Singapore, Chye Seng Huat Hardware is definitely on the list of any cafe hopper’s itinerary.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware (CSHH) is one of the first “integrated concept” cafes. It’s part of the Papa Palheta family, and just like the new Coast and Company in the East, CSHH is more than a place for food and drinks. There’s a roastery, workshop, coffee tasting room (or school) and even a store – under one roof.
The CSH Hardware is located at 150 Tyrwhitt Road, in an unassuming white building. We walked from Lavender MRT, via Horne Road, and would’ve almost missed the spot if not for the name on the side of the building.
So we found the right building, but was greeted with silence at the corridor. We thought the cafe was closed.
It’s easy to miss CCSH because the front is rather unassuming. The retractable doors were shut, like most of the hardware businesses around the area that were closed over the weekend. But a few steps more and we saw some parking space repurposed into an outdoor dining area.
What we really needed though, was respite from the hot sun.
We went inside, and took in the cool comfort. Immediately several things caught my attention.
These large colourful lamps, for instance.
The windows on those old-style doors filter some natural light in.
Vinyl player that isn’t playing music. Audio’s plugged in to a nearby iPhone.
Of course, there’ll be a looking glass at the back.
We then quickly tried to find seats. So happened there were three of them right at the bar, which were first-class seats in this theatre-in-the-round of a cafe.
Despite the rather modern and minimal take on the industrial look, the cafe feels cozy, and rather homely. But Chye Seng Huat Hardware isn’t quite the place to chill. Only some sections have comfortable seating and ample table space. If you’re seated along the walls or at the bar, be prepared for a squeeze.
The crew here is efficient. People are always moving about. You’d feel pedestrian – sitting around, waiting for your orders to arrive.
So you find a space, then proceed to order at the cashier. Be tempted by cakes and crumbles.
Espresso with Milk ($5.50). One tip about having hot drinks here – please do not save your drinks for the end. The air conditioning and ceiling fans here make quick work with cooling down all hot drinks and food in minutes.
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich ($13).
The Huat Breakfast ($17). After visiting so many places, this is the only “big breakfast” I’ve had so far that’s worthy of its pricetag. Generous servings of everything – this is a real steady brunch.
Bangers and Mash ($16). An alternative if you want to keep things simple. Once again, very generous servings.
My sister and cousin were more adventurous and ordered the Hand Brewed Coffee.
And it so happened that we sat right in front of the barista preparing hand brews.
We found the Hand Brews to be quite… exotic. As total newbies to this world, we felt it strange to have tea-like notes in the brew.
You can bring back some coffee wares and beans to start your own coffee bar at home. Papa Palheta beans here, of course.
Above CSHH Coffee Bar is a real’ Hipster crafting workshop space and store called Tyrwhitt General Company, or TGC. We didn’t have time to visit (Cafe Hopping Time Limit!) but would probably wander to the second level next time.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware
150 Tyrwhitt Road
Closed on Mondays. Open other days from 9:00am.
For more information refer to their Facebook page.